DAX Support in SSMS v17.0

DAX in SSMS v17.0

SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) v17.0 is now generally available and includes significant improvements for DAX queries. The official blog post shares details on the IntelliSense improvements (e.g. matching parentheses) with supporting images and related details on Azure Analysis Services support.

I haven’t had a chance to work much with DAX in the new SSMS or the new DAX Editor in SSDT¬† but this was #6 on my Top 10 MSBI List for 2017 so I thought a short blog post (amid everything else going on in MSBI and Power BI) was worth it.

SSAS Productivity

For a long time if you needed to write a non-trivial DAX query you’d open up DAX Studio. You definitely ‘could’ write DAX in the MDX window of SSMS (or open the project in SSDT) and I’ve saved many DAX queries in MDX files within a SSMS solution for easy reference but without any DAX window or IntelliSense writing DAX queries in SSMS hasn’t been a ‘modern’ or pleasant experience. I’ll continue to use DAX Studio for many development and tuning scenarios but thankfully with v17.0, in many cases I can just stay in SSMS.

For example, in many cases it’s not just the DAX query but the SQL views being used to load the model or possibly the stored procedures used in an ETL process. You also need to view and modify the TMSL scripts for processing and managing model. Handling all of this within SSMS is a real boost to productivity.

*I can better understand the lack of tooling support for M queries (for now) as M hasn’t been part of SSAS like DAX.

I’ll look to post something about DAX Editor in SSDT over the next couple of weeks.

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