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DAX.DO - a replacement for DAX Studio?
The legendary Marco Russo has launched a new web-based DAX editor, but can it compete with or even replace DAX Studio?

Posted by Andy Brown on 22 February 2021

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DAX.DO - a replacement for DAX Studio?

Executive summary: probably not, but judge for yourself!

You may well find that you can manage without either DAX Studio or DAX.do now that the DAX editor in Power BI has improved so much.

First things first - what's DAX Studio?

DAX Studio is an open-source project begun by Darren Gosbell, who lives and works in Melbourne.  It allows you to create DAX queries to run against your Power BI, PowerPivot or Analysis Services Tabular data models:

DAX Studio

An example of a query in DAX Studio.

What is DAX.DO?

If you've tried to teach yourself DAX from a text book (hint: it's easier to learn from our Wise Owl course), the book was probably written by Marco Russo of SQLBI (probably in partnership with Alberto Ferrari).  Now Marco has written a web-based DAX editor, which you can find at dax.do:

The DAX.DO interface

Like any website, this will run in any modern browser.

This includes a nice clean interface and lots of great features, all explained in a strong Italian accent (with lots of gestures) by Marco himself:

Marco Russi

Marco explaining how to use DAX.do.

Advantages of DAX.DO relative to DAX Studio

There are two main reasons that I can see to use DAX.DO over DAX Studio:

Advantage Notes
It's web-based Because DAX.do is a website, you won't need to keep updating your software to get the latest features.
Sharing DAX online You can publish measures that you've created to the cloud (well, to the SQLBI website), and even create a private link to them which will allow you to make changes while only letting others view your work.

However, the two products have much more in common than they do differences: they both allow you to comment and indent DAX, they both make it easy to get help on DAX functions and they both let you click and drag on keywords to add them into your query.

The disadvantage of DAX.DO

Apart from the horrible name (sorry, but I immediately think of dog do or cat do), DAX.do suffers from one huge disadvantage - you can't link to your own data model (well, I can't see how to do it and the tutorial doesn't mention it):

DAX.do databases

DAX.do comes with two built-in data models installed (I presume) on the SQLBI server, but until I can upload my own data model and connect to that I'll stick to DAX Studio.


By contrast, DAX Studio asks you to connect to your own data model each time that you run it (it doesn't have a native database):

DAX Studio connect

DAX Studio asks you to connect to a PowerPivot, Power BI or SQL Server Analysis Services data model.

One either tiny picky point: in DAX Studio you can run a query by pressing F5, whereas in DAX.do you have to press Ctrl + F5

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