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Announcing read/write XMLA endpoints in Power BI Premium public preview

Headshot of article author Christian Wade

The ability to easily extract actionable insights for intelligent decision-making is critical to the success of large enterprises. Power BI customers demand analytical solutions that scale to petabytes, are secure, easy to manage, and accessible to all users across the largest organizations. This demand has driven Power BI to support self-service and IT-managed enterprise workloads on a single, all-inclusive platform.

We are excited to announce the public preview of read/write capabilities for the XMLA endpoint in Power BI Premium. The read-only capability already announced provides open-platform connectivity for Power BI datasets enabling customers to leverage single-version-of-the-truth semantic models compatible with a range of data-visualization tools from different vendors. The read/write capability now introduces many additional scenarios for dataset management, advanced semantic modeling, debugging, and monitoring. Backwards compatibility with Azure Analysis Services and SQL Server Analysis Services tools and processes makes it easy to migrate Analysis Services models to leverage next-generation capabilities in Power BI.

Premium Superset of AAS

Client tools that work with the XMLA endpoint

Here are some of the tools that now work with Power BI Premium using the XMLA endpoint.

Tools for Analysis Services (SQL Server Data Tools) – SSDT is a model authoring tool for Analysis Services tabular models. Analysis Services projects extensions are supported on all Visual Studio 2017 and later editions, including the free Community edition. To learn more, see Tools for Analysis Services.

SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) – Supports DAX, MDX, and XMLA queries. Perform fine-grain refresh operations and scripting of dataset metadata using the Tabular Model Scripting Language (TMSL). Requires version 18.5 or above. Download here.

SQL Server Profiler – Installed with SSMS, this tool provides tracing and debugging of dataset events. While officially deprecated for SQL Server, Profiler continues to be included in SSMS and remains supported for Analysis Services and now, Power BI Premium. To learn more, see SQL Server Profiler.

Analysis Services Deployment Wizard – Installed with SSMS, this tool allows deployment of an SSDT tabular model project to a Power BI Premium workspace. It can be run interactively, or from the command line for automation. For example, this tool can be invoked from Azure DevOps pipelines. To learn more, see Running the Analysis Services Deployment Wizard.

PowerShell cmdlets – Use the Analysis Services cmdlets to automate dataset management tasks like refresh operations. To learn more, see Analysis Services PowerShell Reference.

Power BI Report Builder – A tool for authoring paginated reports. Create a report definition that specifies what data to retrieve, where to get it, and how to display it. You can preview your report in Report Builder, and then publish your report to the Power BI service. To learn more, see Power BI Report Builder.

Tabular Editor – Enables BI professionals to easily build, maintain and manage tabular models using an intuitive, lightweight editor. A hierarchical view shows all objects in your tabular model. They are organized by display folders, with support for multi-select property editing and DAX syntax highlighting. To learn more, see

DAX Studio – A complete tool for DAX authoring, diagnosis, performance tuning and analysis. Features include object browsing, integrated tracing, query execution breakdowns with detailed statistics, DAX syntax highlighting and formatting. To learn more, see

ALM Toolkit – A schema compare tool for Power BI datasets used for application lifecycle management (ALM) scenarios. Perform easy deployment across environments and retain incremental refresh historical data. Diff and merge metadata files, branches and repos. Reuse common definitions between datasets. To learn more, see

Excel PivotTables – Use Excel PivotTables to summarize, analyze, explore, and present summary data from Power BI datasets. Click-to-Run version of Office 16.0.11326.10000 or above is required.

Third party – Includes client data visualization applications and tools that can connect to, query, and consume datasets in Power BI Premium. Most tools require the latest versions of MSOLAP client libraries, but some may use ADOMD.

Semantic modeling capabilities

The XMLA endpoint enables open-source community tools like Tabular Editor to provide additional modeling capabilities supported by the Analysis Services engine, but not yet supported in Power BI Desktop. Functionality now introduced to Power BI Premium datasets includes:

How to enable

For further information and how to enable read/write operations for the XMLA endpoint in Power BI Premium, please visit

Final note

With read/write capabilities for the XMLA endpoint in Power BI Premium, Power BI is growing to become a superset of Azure Analysis Services. The convergence of IT-managed workloads and self-service BI on the Power BI platform taps into Microsoft’s deep heritage in enterprise BI spanning multiple decades. It paves the way for customers to co-locate BI artifacts, modernize BI solutions, and leverage the full power of Analysis Services in Power BI.