Useful tools for working with SSAS Tabular Models

Written by Chris Sutcliffe

July 18, 2019

When developing, maintaining and deploying SSAS Tabular models in Azure Analysis Services or SQL Server Analysis Services Tablular, using Visual Studio SSDT is sometimes lacking in what users really need. Luckily there are a number of additional tools available which we discuss in this article.



BISM Normalizer

This is an excellent tool build by Microsoft's Christian Wade (Senior Program Manager for Analysis Services), available as an add-on for Visual Studio, which allows you to compare your solution to your development, QA or production models, identifying any changes.  

Available on the Visual Studio market place 


Tabular Editor

Offered as an alternative to Visual Studio (SSDT), Tabular Editor allows users to author models, even without a workspace server. As an open source project, any BIM file can be edited offline and has the ability to manage measures, calculated columns, display folders, perspectives and translations.

Currently supports compatibility level 1200 and 1400.

The executable and source code can be found here



Dax Studio

This tool is an extremely useful tool for those who want to execute and analyze using DAX queries against SSAS Tabular models (Azure and on-premise), Power BI Desktop models and PowerPivot. A great feature of DAX Studio, is the server timings, which allows the collection of detailed query execution statistics when doing performance tuining, and even tracing active queries being run against your cubes. Another useful but overlooked feature is the DAX Formatter, allowing you to maintain consisten formatting in your DAX queries!

Available for download here



VertiPaq Analyzer

Due to the in-memory nature of Analysis services, its extremely important to optimize your data model . The VertiPaq Analyzer is an Excel tool which allows you to connect to your model and identify the memory usage of your table such as; table size, column size, caridnality, dictionary size, hierarchies and encoding/compression. The tool also gives you access to all the DAX formulas for your measures and calcuated columns. Extremely valuable to spot areas in your model that can be improved. 

Head over to the sqlbi website to download