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I have developed some SSAS tabular models and connected Power BI to them with a live connection.

My GM now would like to put some of this data out there for the public to view and interact with it. I know that you cannot publish to web a PBI file that has a SSAS Live Connection. So I am after some guidance on how to proceed.

  1. Do I import the SSAS Tabular model into a new PBI file and then use that data?
  2. Do I import the source tables from our datawarehouse and build the model again within the PBI file?
  3. Some other option?

Some guidance on this would be appreciated.


I think option one is likely your best bet. I presume your using directquery?

That does cut down your analytical option as well unfortunately.

Importing the data might assist in two ways here, better analysis opportunities and better sharing capabilities.

Maybe others may have more to add here. I haven’t exensively use SSAS myself, many other databases though, and import has been the way to go due to the two things mentioned above


I am using live query (so same as direct query). I did notice that when I imported from SSAS Tabular model, it does not give you all the fields that you need. It appears to flatten the SSAS Tabular Model into one table.

For now I am importing the data from the datawarehouse and having to recreate the measures.

I was just under the impression that if we use SSAS Tabular then any user can connect PBI to the model and all calculations and processing are done on our server. It just makes it difficult when / if you want to expose some data to the public.

Any assistance about whether to use SSAS Tabular Models or PBI would be appreciated.


I haven’t personally used Power BI this way. I’ve done some reading though. (Maybe you have seen these)

This was the best article I can across

It suggests here you can bring in the tables/meaures, so it seems odd that you can’t do the same when importing.

All I would say here is that the live connection restricts you from basically doing anything quality or advanced inside of Power BI, because you can’t use most DAX measures or change the model. So you have to really weigh up what you or the business may need.

Chrs, Sam


Hi Sam,
As you mentioned, using SSAS tabular model in live mode restricts the advanced analytics that you would want to use. I was trying to replicate your Sales Scenarios report using our SSAS tabular model in live mode. I noticed that it does not let you create those Demand changes and cost changes series tables as well when SSAS is being used as datasource. We come from retail environment and we have tons of data. If I were to publish this data set for the business to consume, it would be really painful for them to import large amounts of data. And also a nightmare for IT to maintain security and quality surrounding it. What do you recommend as the best practices for self service analytics in Power BI using very large data sets?
Nagasatya Devarakonda,
BI Architect.


Yes it is frustrating, I can understand. Hopefully MS will improve this functionality soon. There is likely a lot of technical complexity in doing so and probably why functionality is not there yet.

Really all I can recommend is what I have done with consulting work with clients with large datasets, and that is to refine the data tables with SQL before they reach Power BI. Then rebuild custom reporting applications for what you need in Power BI, including the models/measures visuals etc.

This is really the only way if you have huge datasets and Power BI can’t cope with the volume of data.


Keeping fingers crossed for MS to release some thing soon for large data sets. :slight_smile:
Thank you very much for the info.


I found that when importing data from the SSAS Tabular model, it did some really annoying things. So I just went back and imported the data from my Data Warehouse and recreated the calculations that I required, which was just copy and paste.