Using DAX Studio or DAX Editor as add-ins to create measures in SSAS Tabular
Part three of a three-part series of blogs

The built-in DAX formula editor in SSAS Tabular leaves a lot to be desired. This blog shows how to install and use two of the most useful third-party add-ins: DAX Editor and DAX Studio.

  1. Editing DAX expressions - available tools
  2. DAX Studio
  3. DAX Editor (this blog)

This blog is part of our online SSAS Tabular tutorial; we also offer lots of other Analysis Services training resources.

Posted by Andy Brown on 11 January 2016

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DAX Editor

DAX Editor is a Visual Studio add-in which allows you to list all of the measures in your model.  It also allows you to create and edit measures, but I can't ever get this to work reliably!

I'm reluctant to criticise this add-in because it may be my ignorance which is stopping me using it effectively; all I can say is that my experiences haven't been good.

Installing DAX Editor

You can download DAX Editor from this site, but an easier way is directly from Visual Studio (the menu options below are for 2010, but I'm pretty certain they're similar in 2012, 2013 and even 2015).

First show Visual Studio's Extension Manager:

Extension Manager

Choose this menu option to enable extension manager.

 

Choose to look online for add-ins by clicking on this link:

Online extensions

You'll obviously need a connection to the Internet to do this.

Type in dax as a search term to find all extensions to do with DAX:

Finding DAX Editor

Finding DAX Editor in the available Visual Studio extensions.

Download this:

Downloading DAX Editor

Click on this button to download the editor.

 

You'll now need to restart Visual Studio:

Restarting Visual Studio

One way to restart VS is to click on the button at the bottom right.

 

I then get an error message, but I can choose to ignore this and proceed:

Error message

The error message I get is typical of my experiences with DAX Editor.

What DAX Editor can do for you

You can use this add-in to list out the measures in your model in Visual Studio:

Measures in a table

The measures can be hard to read - it would be nice to list them in one place ...

To list out your measures, first save your model:

Saving a model

Make sure that you've saved any changes you've made to your model.

 

Now choose this menu option:

Extra menu option

This extra menu option only appears when you install DAX Editor.

 

This creates a file with extension .dax:

The DAX file created

You now have a record of which measures are in your model.

Displaying the list of measures

If you're displaying all files, you'll be able to double-click on the .dax file created to edit it:

Show all files

Click on the icon shown to display all files for a model.

 

What else you should be able to do

According to the documentation, you should also be able to create a DAX file and run it to create measures.  You can use the DAX toolbar to do this:

Showing the DAX editor toolbar

Right-click on a toolbar and choose this option to show the DAX Editor toolbar.

 

In theory, you can then type in instructions to create measures (as I've done below), then choose to save these new measures in your model:

Saving new measures

In theory, you can click on this tool (the menu command doesn't show up on my laptop) to save this measure to your model.

In practice, I can't get this to work.  My advice would be to try this tool out yourself - if I could ever get it to work as in the documentation, it would be a wonderful addition to SSAS Tabular.

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