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Changes to Data Loading Features in Power Query – May 2014

The Power BI team continues to deliver new features at a rapid pace. The May 2014 release of Power Query is no exception. There are quite a few new features packed into this release, which you can read about at your leisure but I’m particularly interested in the ones pertaining to data loading, as I’ve discussed several of the limitation in this area in the past.

This release is major indeed. There are three significant changes to the data loading features in this build.

Configurable defaults for data loading

I’ve just posted an article on how to do this and why. To put it simply, the default data load behaviour is to load data into a worksheet in most cases. This leads to larger than necessary workbooks, to the point where they may not work properly with Power BI. Now you can change this default behaviour, which will be welcome for anyone doing serious data modeling.

Worksheet Size Warning

If you do decide that you want to load data to the worksheet, or you’re simply unaware of the issues, you will be prompted to consider loading to the data model once your data hits 10 MB, which is the maximum non-model workbook size in Power BI. Prior to this update, the user wouldn’t know that there was a problem until after they tried to use the workbook in Office 365.

Data Model Preservation

Prior to this update, it wasn’t possible to modify the query without losing all changes to the data model, or formatting in worksheet tables. This release of Power Query remedies this situation. You can now go back and make changes to your query without having to recreate the model.

Power BI is being built in a surprisingly collaborative way, with a large amount of input from the community. I’ve never seen this done to this extent at Microsoft, and it’s very good to see. I know that all of these features have been asked for and discussed by the community in the last few months, and here they are. Kudos to everyone involved, and keep it up. This product keeps getting better and better.

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