model documentation

Power BI model documentation for free

Once you created some Power BI reports, no doubt you will need information about your model. There are few ways for Power BI model documentation. I collect here all the ways I know.

Power BI Sidetools

Taking advantage of the fantastic XMLA endpoint and external tools features, Power BI Sidetools allows you to manage your DAX and M formulas in Visual Studio Code. Measures, calculated columns & tables, Power Query queries can be viewed with syntax highlighting and/or intellisense. 
Visual Studio Code is a lightweight but very powerful free source code editor created by Microsoft. Its functionalities are really amazing :

  • Powerful editing capabilities including advanced search and replace across multiple files, compare files, …
  • Flexibility splitting the editor to display multiple files simultaneously
  • Themes
  • Snippets (reuseable pieces of code)
  • Plugins
    • syntax highlighting and/or intellisense (DAX, M , R, Python, SQL, Json … )
    • GIT functionalities
    • Collaboration
    • Azure management
  • And much more …

Have a look at this page : https://thebipower.fr/index.php/power-bi-sidetools/


Power BI assistant

  • List all DAX formulas and allow to search text within or export to Excel
  • List links between measures/columns (ie measures used by other measures)
  • Compare measures between different versions of the same report
  • Get the memory used by tables/columns

More details, downloads and tutorials : https://thebipower.fr/index.php/power-bi-assistant/


Power BI service documenter

Power BI template to document Power BI service reports

https://prathy.com/2017/12/power-bi-template-to-document-the-power-bi-service/


More insights in SQL server profiler

https://biinsight.com/connect-to-power-bi-desktop-model-from-excel-and-ssms/


Power BI performance tips and techniques

http://blog.pragmaticworks.com/power-bi-performance-tips-and-techniques


Power BI helper

Usefull free toolbox to get more insights in your pbix files : http://radacad.com/power-bi-cleanup-tool-time-saving-with-power-bi-helper


Data vizioner

Document, review and improve Power BI reports : https://www.datavizioner.com/


Tabular editor

Useful free software to easily manipulate and manage measures, calculated columns, display folders, perspectives and translations in SQL Server Analysis Services Tabular Models : https://github.com/otykier/TabularEditor/wiki


VertiPaq analyzer

Data model size with VertiPaq analyzer: https://www.sqlbi.com/articles/data-model-size-with-vertipaq-analyzer/


DAX Studio

Usefull free software to explore your Power BI model, DAX functions and DMV :
https://daxstudio.org/

Some queries to search in columns and measures in DAX studio :

//  Uncomment the query you need

//  Query to get columns
//select [ExplicitName] as [Column name], [Expression] as [Formula] from $SYSTEM.TMSCHEMA_COLUMNS where [Type]=2 and [SystemFlags]=0

//  Query to get measures
//select [Name] as [Measure name],[Expression] as [Formula] from $SYSTEM.TMSCHEMA_MEASURES

Power BI cleaner

Imke Feldmann’s Power BI cleaner tool : https://www.thebiccountant.com/2020/01/01/tidy-up-power-bi-models-with-the-power-bi-cleaner-tool/


Guy in the cube review

Have a look at this review from Guy in the cube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7R3ol9a46yQ


Model documentation using PowerShell and a template

Power BI Model documentation using PowerShell and a template from Marc Lelijveld. As a bonus, it is implemented in External tools : https://data-marc.com/2020/07/28/external-tools-document-your-power-bi-model/


Power BI Field Finder

Finding out where columns and measures are used in the visuals of reports : https://powerbi.tips/2020/01/power-bi-field-finder/


Tabular analyzer

A Power BI and PQ implementation of the metrics from Vertipaq Analyzer. The goal is to use the Rest API’s and XMLA endpoint to enable to automate capturing these metrics for many models at once : https://github.com/savoy9/Tabular-Analyzer


If you find other ways to get Power BI model documentation, please contact me.