Our end-of-the-year tradition is to recap what happened in the DAX and SQLBI world and look at what is coming next.
New DAX functions in 2023
Microsoft released 58 new DAX functions:
- LINEST, LINESTX: computes linear regression.
- ROWNUMBER: returns the unique rank for the current context in window functions.
- RANK: ranking function implemented as part of the window functions to compute the rank for the current context (similar to RANKX, more flexible).
- MATCHBY: used in window functions to determine how to match data and identify the current row.
- TOPNSKIP: it is not a new function, but it has been finally made available in IntelliSense (it was not visible and not documented before).
- INFO: 52 new functions starting with “INFO.” that return the same result as corresponding data management views (DMVs) that were available before only using a SQL-like syntax.
Despite the large number driven by the new INFO functions, we did not see big changes in DAX, but rather a consolidation of the new window functions.
After three years, in 2023 the composite models reached the general availability! More important, the official name is now “composite models”, dropping the previous “DirectQuery for Power BI datasets and Analysis Services” name used in preview. Add to this that “datasets” have been renamed to “semantic models” (a change we fully support at SQLBI), and it seems this year we made peace with the Microsoft naming departments (there should be more than one).
What SQLBI delivered in 2023
This year we increased the number of in-person courses delivered and we have also attended more in-person conferences. The hybrid format is here to stay for several events, but an increasing number of community events chose an in-person only format. The new normal is a combination of different types of experiences available.
However, we spent more than 50% of our time producing new content:
- We released the second edition of the Optimizing DAX video course. We are recording the last few sections about optimizing composite models, which will be available early in 2024. This monumental project took more than two years to complete, as we started it in 2021. A positive side effect of this project is the number of features added to DAX Studio.
- We published new original content on SQLBI+, the subscription service launched in 2022 for advanced content that supports professional model authors who create semantic models for Power BI and Analysis Services. The subscription includes two new courses published in 2023 (Inside Calculation Groups and Window Functions in DAX), plus new sessions published in 2023 and access to the entire library of SQLBI+ content.
- Our SQLBI YouTube channel surpassed 90,000 subscribers. We introduced a new series (The Whiteboard) and added a few other videos to the unplugged series. We also continued to publish a video for each corresponding article every other week.
- We published more than 30 new articles and blog posts at sqlbi.com.
- Together with friends from Tabular Editor, we founded a new company, Tabular Tools, which launched DAX Optimizer – a commercial tool to find bottlenecks in DAX code of semantic models – and PBI Explorer – a free tool that gives you a code-first view of your PBIX/PBIP reports.
As always, we also started something else, but it is better to talk about what is coming relatively soon!
What’s coming in 2024
You want to know what is coming next – we too!
- Visual calculations in DAX: It is no longer a secret. Microsoft announced a new feature coming in 2024 to create visual calculations in DAX. We will talk about it once it is in the public preview stage. Hopefully soon, very soon, in 2024!
- The Definitive Guide to DAX: Is it time for a third edition? Window functions, consolidation of calculation groups, visual calculations. Yes, we already started working on it. But it is not clear (yet) whether a new version of this book will be published in 2024 or 2025. Be patient!
- Optimizing DAX, the book: The students of the Optimizing DAX video course already have accesso to the ebook version drafts, but once we publish the last modules, the full book will be printed. We do not have the final page count yet, but it will be thick and heavy.
- New in-person events: We have already published the schedule for the first half of 2024 of our flagship Mastering DAX workshop, a 3-day in-person course that is the best choice for people who want to consolidate their DAX skills. We plan to provide additional in-person options for newbies (for which Mastering DAX is too advanced) and experienced DAX developers (who might have already attended Mastering DAX). Stay tuned!
- New content for the SQLBI+ subscription: We will publish videos for the Windows Functions in the DAX whitepaper, new mini-courses about visual calculations and security in tabular models, and additional advanced videos on data modeling, tools, and optimization.
- Regular content: We will continue publishing new articles and videos every other week.
- More: Yes, there is more. Do you like spoilers? We don’t!
Enjoy DAX with us also in 2024!
Returns the rank of an expression evaluated in the current context in the list of values for the expression evaluated for each row in the specified table.
RANKX ( <Table>, <Expression> [, <Value>] [, <Order>] [, <Ties>] )