If you think PowerPivot and Tabular are good tools but sometime the design tools are not fast/complete/flexible enough, please consider voting this suggestion on Connect to request a textual representation Tabular or PowerPivot Data Models.

This is the simplest way to improve the Productivity of PowerPivot and Tabular users/analysts/designers. 

I would like having a simple textual representation of a BISM model, that can be translated back and forth to a XAML representation of the data model (this could be then integrated within Visual Studio, but other development tools might use this language as well).
I’d like to write (for Tabular) something like:
TABLE Customers (
    CustomerKey INTEGER,
    Name STRING,
    Weight FLOAT
TABLE Sales (
    CustomerKey INTEGER ref Customers[CustomerKey],
    Quantity INTEGER,
    Amount CURRENCY
This would be the syntax to keep the functional-style, even if I would prefer a more declarative language such as:
TABLE Customers
    CustomerKey INTEGER
    Name STRING
    Weight FLOAT
    CustomerKey INTEGER ref Customers[CustomerKey]
    Quantity INTEGER
    Amount CURRENCY
We can discuss about the syntax, but we all know that this can be done, especially for Tabular which has a smaller number of properties to handle if compared to Multidimensional (which could benefit from the same approach, too).
The implementation of tools enabling the translation of models to/from this language would be cheaper that writing/improving advanced graphical editors and many other features that you have for free once you have a text file:

  • Source control
  • Revision history
  • Version comparison
  • Team development

This is the single feature for Tabular/PowerPivot with the best ROI that I can imagine.
And if Microsoft does not time to implement it… well, at least they could publish a document such as “Tabular Language Draft 1.0” and somebody in the community will implement the necessary translation tools. Having an “official” Language is important, because in this way nobody would spend time on something that could change too much in the future.
Are you convinced? Nice!
So please, help me in this campaign for a PowerPivot and Tabular textual modeling language.
This is the call for action:

  1. Vote this item on Connect
  2. Spread the word as loud as you can!

Don’t wait, do it now!


Returns the value as a currency data type.

CURRENCY ( <Value> )