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How to process tables in your model, and ideas for speeding processing up
Part two of a three-part series of blogs

Processing tables involves loading data into your model, and can take a long time. This blog explains how processing works in SSAS Tabular and the different options available to you, shows how to process tables or models, and gives some ideas on how to make processing run more quickly.

  1. The theory of processing tables in SSAS (Tabular)
  2. The practice of processing in SSAS Tabular (this blog)
  3. Some ideas for speeding up processing

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 19 February 2016

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The practice of processing in SSAS Tabular

The previous page shows how processing works; this page shows how to do it!  You can process an individual table, all tables, or else all of the tables using a particular connection (the options are described under separate headings below).

Processing an individual table

To process a single table, select the table in design or data view and then choose this menu option:

Process table menu

Choose this option to process a table.

Processing all of the tables for a given connection

A typical requirement is to process all of the tables from a particular SQL Server database.  To do this, first choose a connection:

Existing connections

Choose to look at your existing connections.


Now choose a connection, and choose to process it:

Process connection

Choose to process all the tables using this connection.

Processing an entire model

If you want to load the data for an entire model:

Process All menu

Choose this menu option to process all of the tables in a model.

Choosing processing options for deployment

When you deploy a model SSAS will process its tables, but by default it will do so only for tables and partitions whose data has changed. To change this, first show the properties of your project:

Project properties

Right-click on your project and choose to show its properties.

You can now select how SSAS will copy data when you deploy your model:

Processing option property

In the project's properties window, change the default processing option (if you choose Do Not Process, SSAS will copy metadata when you deploy a project but won't load any data).

"Metadata" are the definitions of your tables and relationships, specifying which tables, columns and rows are included in your model, but not including the data itself.

Processing in Management Studio

You can also choose to load data from SSMS:

Processing a database

Right-click on the model you've deployed to Analysis Services, and choose to process it in its entirety.


You can then choose how you're going to process it, and choose OK:

Processing options

Choose how you want to process the data.  Process Clear wipes out all existing data, without reloading it (essentially deleting the contents of the model).

You can also process individual tables from SSMS:

Process table in SSMS

Right-click on the table you want to process, and choose the option shown.


You can now tick which tables you want to process, and choose how:

Processing tables from SSMS

You've now got complete control of what you process, and how you do it!


That's pretty much the whole story on processing (with the possible exception of partitions, covered in a separate blog).  The final thing I want to look at is some ideas for speeding up processing. 

  1. The theory of processing tables in SSAS (Tabular)
  2. The practice of processing in SSAS Tabular (this blog)
  3. Some ideas for speeding up processing
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