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Lesson 2: Add Data

In this lesson, you will use the Table Import Wizard in SQL Server Data Tools to connect to the AdventureWorksDW2012 SQL database, select data, preview, and filter the data, and then import the data into your model workspace.

By using the Table Import Wizard, you can import data from a variety of relational sources: Access, SQL, Oracle, Sybase, Informix, DB2, Teradata, and more. The steps for importing data from each of these relational sources are very similar to what is described below. Additionally, data can be selected using a stored procedure.

To learn more about importing data and the different types of data sources you can import from, see Data Sources (SSAS Tabular).

Estimated time to complete this lesson: 20 minutes


This topic is part of a tabular modeling tutorial, which should be completed in order. Before performing the tasks in this lesson, you should have completed the previous lesson: Lesson 1: Create a New Tabular Model Project.

Create a Connection

To create a connection to a the AdventureWorksDW2012 database

  1. In SQL Server Data Tools, click on the Model menu, and then click Import from Data Source.

    This launches the Table Import Wizard which guides you through setting up a connection to a data source. If Import from Data Source is greyed out, double click Model.bim in Solution Explorer to open the model in the designer.

  2. In the Table Import Wizard, under Relational Databases, click Microsoft SQL Server, and then click Next.

  3. In the Connect to a Microsoft SQL Server Database page, in Friendly Connection Name, type Adventure Works DB from SQL.

  4. In Server name, type the name of the server you installed the AdventureWorksDW2012 database.

  5. In the Database name field, click the down arrow and select AdventureWorksDW2012, and then click Next.

  6. In the Impersonation Information page, you need to specify the credentials Analysis Services will use to connect to the data source when importing and processing data. Verify Specific Windows user name and password is selected, and then in User Name and Password, enter your Windows logon credentials, and then click Next.


    Using a Windows user account and password provides the most secure method of connecting to a data source. For more information, see Impersonation (SSAS Tabular).

  7. In the Choose How to Import the Data page, verify Select from a list of tables and views to choose the data to import is selected. You want to select from a list of tables and views, so click Next to display a list of all the source tables in the source database.

  8. In the Select Tables and Views page, select the check box for the following tables: DimCustomer, DimDate, DimGeography, DimProduct, DimProductCategory, DimProductSubcategory, and FactInternetSales.

  9. We want to give the tables in the model more easily understood names. Click on the cell in the Friendly Name column for DimCustomer. Rename the table by removing “Dim” from DimCustomer.

  10. Rename the other tables:

    Source name

    Friendly Name








    Product Category


    Product Subcategory


    Internet Sales

    DO NOT click Finish.

Now that you have connected to the database, selected the tables to import, and given the tables friendly names, go to the next section, Filter the Table Data prior to Importing.

Filter the Table Data

The DimCustomer table that you are importing from the database contains a subset of the data from the original SQL Server Adventure Works database. You will filter out some of the columns from the DimCustomer table that aren’t necessary. When possible, you will want to filter out data that will not be used in order to save in-memory space used by the model.

To filter the table data prior to importing

  1. Select the row for the Customer table, and then click Preview & Filter. The Preview Selected Table window opens with all the columns in the DimCustomer source table displayed.

  2. Clear the checkbox at the top of the following columns:






    Since the values for these columns are not relevant to Internet sales analysis, there is no need to import these columns. Eliminating unnecessary columns will make your model smaller.

  3. Verify that all other columns are checked, and then click OK.

    Notice the words Applied filters are now displayed in the Filter Details column in the Customer row; if you click on that link you’ll see a text description of the filters you just applied.

  4. Filter the remaining tables by clearing the checkboxes for the following columns in each table:






















    Product Category



    Product Subcategory



    Internet Sales




Now that you have previewed and filtered out unnecessary data, you can import the data. Go to the next section Import the Selected Tables and Column Data.

Import the Selected Tables and Column Data

You can now import the selected data. The wizard imports the table data along with any relationships between tables. New tables and columns are created in the model using the friendly names you specified, and data that you filtered out will not be imported.

To import the selected tables and column data

  1. Review your selections. If everything looks OK, click Finish.

    While importing the data, the wizard displays how many rows have been fetched. When all the data has been imported, a message indicating success is displayed.


    To see the relationships that were automatically created between the imported tables, on the Data preparation row, click Details.

  2. Click Close.

    The wizard closes and the model designer is visible. Each table has been added as a new tab in the model designer.

Save the Model Project

It is important to frequently save your model project.

To save the model project

  • In SQL Server Data Tools, click on the File menu, and then click Save All.

Next Step

To continue this tutorial, go to the next lesson: Lesson 3: Rename Columns.