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Using tabular model perspectives to restrict which tables a user sees
Part one of a two-part series of blogs

Perspectives in SSAS tabular are windows which allow you to control who sees which bits of your model. They're really easy to set up, as this blog shows, but aren't a substitute for setting security roles.

  1. An overview of perspectives in tabular models (this blog)
  2. Creating and using perspectives in SSAS Tabular

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 18 February 2016

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An overview of perspectives in tabular models

A perspective allows you to control who sees what.  By default, users of your model can see every table and every column (other than those hidden from client view):

The full model

Typically, users can see all of the tables and columns not hidden from client view.

What perspectives allow you to do is to present different tables to different people:

Choosing a perspective

You can choose to be a biologist or a retail expert, to see different combinations of tables/fields.


For our example, this is what a Biologist might see:

Biologist perspective tables

The tables you might see if you used the Biologist perspective.


You can also use perspectives in pivot tables:

Choosing an Excel perspective

When you create a pivot table, you can choose which perspective to use.

Choosing the Biologist perspective as above would show you the following pivot table field list only:

The pivot table fields

All of the other tables and columns are either hidden from client view or are not contained within the Biologist perspective.


The above shows that perspectives are really well implemented in SSAS Tabular and easy to use.  However, they don't provide any security - if you know what you're doing, it's easy to hack a pivot table to see the whole of the moon, rather than just the sliver that the perspective is choosing to show you.

The rest of this blog shows how to create and use perspectives in SSAS Tabular. 

  1. An overview of perspectives in tabular models (this blog)
  2. Creating and using perspectives in SSAS Tabular
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