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New features in the November 2018 update of Power BI Desktop
Part six of an eight-part series of blogs

A big new update this month, including expandable row headings in matrices, copying and pasting between visuals and conditional formatting of charts (although it's what's waiting in preview which will really blow your mind).

  1. Changes introduced in the November 2018 Power BI update
  2. Expandable row headers in matrices
  3. Conditional colours now apply to charts too
  4. Copying and pasting visuals between Power BI reports
  5. Asking related questions in the Q and A Explorer
  6. Composite models and many-to-many relationships (this blog)
  7. Preview - relationship diagrams and new ways to filter
  8. Summary of features waiting in preview - November 2018

For a cumulative list of all of the updates to Power BI Desktop in the last few year or two, see this blog, or have a look at the Power BI courses that we run.

Posted by Andy Brown on 26 November 2018

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Composite models and many-to-many relationships

The new composite model feature allows you to do 3 things in Power BI:

Feature Notes
Multiple connections You can now have lots of connections to different data sources in the same data model (including mixing DirectQuery and other connections).
Setting storage mode You can specify for a visual based on DirectQuery that it should be loaded with its data if it doesn't need a direct link to the underlying database.
Many-to-many relationships You can create relationships between two tables where neither of them has a unique field (see below).

If you create a many-to-many relationship, you'll see a scary warning message:

Many-to-many warning

The warning message you see when you try to create a many-to-many relationship.

The main differences you'll encounter when you use many-to-many relationships are that (understandably) the RELATED function in DAX doesn't work, and you also can't use the ALL function in the same way (see here for more details).

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