What's New in PowerPivot

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The SQL Server 2012 release of PowerPivot for Excel includes the following new features:

  • Diagram View. The Diagram View is available on the Home tab of the PowerPivot window, and it enables you to view tables in a visually organized way and to easily add and change relationships and hierarchies. For more information, see PowerPivot Window: Diagram View.

  • Hierarchies. A hierarchy is a list of child nodes that you can create from columns and place into any order you want, making it easier for reporting client users to select and navigate the common paths of data. For more information about hierarchies, see Hierarchies in PowerPivot and Create a Hierarchy in a Table (Tutorial).

  • Relationships in Diagram View. In Diagram View, you can easily create relationships between columns in separate tables. The relationships appear visually, which enables you to quickly see how all the tables relate to each other. For more information about Relationships in Diagram View, see Create Relationships Between Tables (Tutorial).

  • Multiple Relationships. We added the ability to import multiple relationships. The first relationship is active, and the other relationships are inactive and appear as dotted lines in Diagram View. For more information, see PowerPivot Window: Diagram View and View and Edit Relationships.

  • Calculation Area. The Calculation Area enables you to view measures in a grid pattern and to easily create, edit, and manage measures and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) within the model. For more information, see PowerPivot Window: Calculation Area and Create a Measure and KPI (Tutorial).

  • Advanced Tab. The advanced features are now available in a separate tab. The features include the ability to create or edit perspectives, summarize a numeric column by an aggregation function, and set reporting properties for a reporting client tool, such as Power View. For more information, see PowerPivot Window: Advanced Tab.

  • Reporting Properties. In the Reporting Properties area of the Advanced tab, you can set the table identifier, group values based on a table identifier, add table details, set the representative column, set an image URL, and set the representative image for reporting client tools, such as Power View. For more information, see PowerPivot Window: Advanced Tab.

  • New DAX Function. We added a new function to enrich the relationship feature:

    • USERELATIONSHIP Function. Specifies one or more relationships to be used in a specific calculation. For more information, see USERELATIONSHIP Function (DAX).
  • Sort by Other Column. If you do not want to sort your column alphabetically, you can now sort your column by another column. For example, you can sort by a month number column that assigns each month its number in order to sort the column in a natural way.

  • Add Values to Rows and Columns. You can now add values to rows and columns.

  • Blob Support. You can now import images and blobs. Blob data is now automatically detected and accepted as a binary data type.

  • Other Tab Changes. We moved the ribbon features around in the Home and Design tabs slightly, based on customer feedback and usability studies.

    • Home Tab. The Freeze and Column Width buttons were added to the Design tab. The View area was added with the Data View, Diagram View, Show Hidden, and Calculation Area buttons. For more information about the new Home tab, see PowerPivot Window: Home Tab, PowerPivot Window: Diagram View, and PowerPivot Window: Calculation Area.

    • Design Tab. The Hide and Unhide button was removed and became the new Show Hidden button that was added to the Home tab. The Mark as Date Table button was added. When you switch to Advanced Mode, the Advanced area is no longer added to the Design tab (the Advanced tab is added instead). For more information about the new Design tab, see PowerPivot Window: Design Tab.

In addition, the following features were added to previous SQL Server 2012 releases of PowerPivot:

See Also


PowerPivot for Excel Tutorial Introduction


Excel Window: PowerPivot Tab Reference


Introducing PowerPivot for Excel

Other Resources

Welcome to PowerPivot for Excel

PowerPivot Window Reference

PowerPivot User Interface