What's new in SQL Server 2017? For SSAS Tabular, lots, it transpires.
Part five of a six-part series of blogs

This blog summarises the main new features of SQL Server for non-administrators (that is, most of us). Most parts of SQL Server get minor changes at best, but SSAS Tabular 2017 gets a host of major improvements.

  1. What's new in SQL Server 2017 (differences versus 2016)
  2. Changes to SQL Server 2017 installation
  3. What's new in the T-SQL language in SQL Server 2017
  4. What's new in Integration Services 2017 (SSIS 2017)
  5. What's new in Reporting Services 2017 (SSRS 2017) (this blog)
  6. What's new in Analysis Services 2017 (SSAS 2017)

Posted by Andy Brown on 23 January 2018

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What's new in Reporting Services 2017 (SSRS 2017)?

When you're installing SSRS 2017, be careful to choose to use the developer edition:

Developer edition

It looks like you need a product key - but click on the drop arrow and you'll see that this isn't the case.

Once you've installed SSRS, you'll see the changes listed below.

Comments

The biggest change introduced in SSRS 2017 is that you can now add comments to reports in the web portal:

Adding a comment

You can say what you think about someone's report!

Built-in DAX querying from tabular models

We've been predicting this for a while, and it's good to see it's finally happened.  If you have deployed a tabular model, you can now choose this as a data source:

Choosing Analysis Services

When creating a data source, you can choose SSAS and choose to create a connection to a tabular model.

You can then add a dataset based on this model:

Query Designer button

While adding a dataset, you can go into query designer in the usual way.

You can then choose to interrogate the tabular model's deployed cube:

Tabular model cube

Drag dimension values and measures into your query in the usual way.

By default, the query designer will create a DAX query to interrogate your data:

DAX query

This is the DAX from the above query.

All very welcome!  It now means that there is no reason not to use tabular models in SSAS, in this owl's opinion.

You can create DAX queries like this in Report Builder too, but be aware that you can only create DAX data sources like this from tabular models created in SQL Server 2016 or higher. 

Other than that, SSRS is pretty much exactly the same as in SQL Server 2016. 

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