Better Field List support for Analysis Services Tabular
It's about time to improve support for SSAS Tabular:
1. Auto-generate DAX
2. Avoid splitting a table into a "measure group" and "dimension". See how PBI Desktop handles metadata.
3. Carry over data types so that users can create reports, such as show me invoices where Due Date is greater than ... Currently, all dimension table fields map to Text.
4. Many customers have expressed interest to connect Excel tables directly to Tabular, bypassing Pivot Table, so they can use the column dropdowns and other Excel goodness.
5. Support descriptions as tooltips when the user hovers on a field in the Field List.
I’ve modified the title of this request to better reflect the work that we are now planning to do. The original request included multiple features, some of which we now plan to implement while others will not happen anytime soon.
The work we plan to do is to quit showing tabular objects as if they were multi-dimensional in the PivotTable field list. We’ll stop splitting tables into measure groups and dimensions. We were already handling this correctly for the Excel data model, and we’ll extend that work to also handle external AS databases.
In addition, when a field is dragged to the Rows area of a PivotTable, we will also stop converting everything to strings. We’ll retain the field’s data type so that we can apply proper sorting and filtering to dates and other non-text fields.
We will not be switching to sending DAX queries from Excel, because this would be a huge amount of work without much benefit to our customers.
There are no plans at this time to display descriptions from the database as tooltips in the field list. We would need more votes for that specific item to consider it, because it’s not clear how many folks would benefit from this.
We are thinking about ways to have Excel query tables connected directly to tables in AS tabular, but that’s only in the brainstorming stage for now. It could very well be implemented sometime in the future.
Joshua Chartier commented
I love these changes. Stopping the auto-string conversion in rows will definitely remove a sharp edge for our users.
Tooltips on the field list would be very valuable for us. We're building large models in Power BI that our users currently only view through the Analyze in Excel feature. They love being in Excel and the flexibility that PivotTables offer, but some of the interactions between dimensions and measures are subtle and having some sort of in-tool description, beyond a name, would be a huge boon. This is especially true for new users. If this feature is also valuable to you, please vote: https://excel.uservoice.com/forums/304921-excel-for-windows-desktop-application/suggestions/36401269-tooltips-support-for-ssas-tabular