Released: SQL Server Data Tools 17.0 RC 2

SQL Server Data Tools 17.0 Release Candidate 2 (RC 2) has just been published. You can download and install from here:

If you’re evaluating new enhancements in Analysis Services Tabular 1400 models, be sure to download this latest version because it includes several important fixes; particularly with the modern Get Data experience.

Most noteworthy is the addition of a menu bar to the Query Editor, as shown in the following screenshot. The purpose of this menu is to provide quick and easy access to the same functions that Microsoft Excel and Power BI Desktop provide through the Query Editor ribbon.

Menu Navigation

Feedback received through email via the SSASPrev alias made it clear the Query Editor toolbar alone was not intuitive enough. See also the conversation in response to the Introducing a Modern Get Data Experience for SQL Server vNext on Windows CTP 1.1 for Analysis Services article. The ideal solution would be a ribbon in SSDT Tabular that mirrors the ribbon in Power BI Desktop. That way, there would be no friction switching back and forth between Power BI Desktop and SSDT Tabular. Unfortunately, however, the Visual Studio shell does not provide a ribbon infrastructure, requiring us to take a different approach.

While the Query Editor menu bar isn’t a ribbon, it can still be a very useful user interface element. In fact, you might find the menu arranges available commands in a clear and logical order and helps you conveniently discover performable actions. If you want to work with commands that act on a query, look at the Query menu. If you want to remove rows or keep a range of rows, the Rows menu has you covered. Want to add or remove columns? You get the idea.

Moreover, you can work with keyboard shortcuts! Want to keep the top 10 rows in a table? Press Alt+R, then K, enter 10 in the Keep Top Rows dialog box, and then press Enter. Want to remove a selected column? Press Alt+C, then R, and the job is done. Want to display the Advanced Editor? Alt+ V, E. And simply press the Alt key to discover all the available shortcut combinations. In the following screenshot, you can see the sequence to parse the time values in a column would be Alt+T, M, T, and then P. This may not be the most convenient sequence, but it comes in handy if you find yourself performing a specific action very frequently.

Query Editor

Next on our list is to implement support for shared queries, functions, and parameters, and then to enable as many data sources as possible for close parity with Power BI Desktop. So, stay tuned for the forthcoming releases in subsequent months and keep sending us your suggestions and report any issues to SSASPrev here at Or, use any other available communication channels such as UserVoice or MSDN forums. You can influence the evolution of the Analysis Services connectivity stack to the benefit of all our customers.