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Using DAX Studio or DAX Editor as add-ins to create measures in SSAS Tabular
Part one 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 (this blog)
  2. DAX Studio
  3. DAX Editor

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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Editing DAX expressions - available tools

SSAS Tabular is an excellent product, but even its best friends couldn't claim that editing measures written in DAX is easy!

Editing measures

You can use square brackets and apostrophes when typing to make creating measures easier, but it's not by any means a state-of-the-art editor.

Fortunately there are some third-party tools available to help you; unfortunately, they all seem to have their foibles!  This blog looks at two which should be useful:

Tool Notes
DAX Studio A separate program which allows you to edit beautifully formatted DAX expressions.
DAX Editor A program built into Visual Studio, which (in theory at any rate) allows you to create expressions by typing them in as text.

A couple of disclaimers for this blog:

  1. I've given my personal experiences.  I've spent a fair bit of time evaluating the products, but wouldn't promise to know them as well as SSAS Tabular.
  2. I'm writing this blog in January 2016.  It will eventually become obsolete, as new and better tools hit the market.

My recommendation would be to try DAX Editor first.  If you can get this working properly (I can't), use it; otherwise, install and use DAX Studio.

Of course, the ultimate "better tool" would be to improve the DAX editor provided as part of Visual Studio.  PowerPivot (SSAS Tabular's baby sibling) tries to provide a better editor, but doesn't succeed.

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