Last month we released a preview of the Azure Analysis Services web designer. This new browser-based experience will allow developers to start creating and managing Azure Analysis Services (AAS) semantic models quickly and easily. While SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) and SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) are still the primary tools for development, this new experience is intended to make modeling fast and easy. It is great for getting started on a new model or to do things such as adding a new measure to an existing model.
With this round of updates, we are adding the most significant modeling feature yet, the ability to edit your model visually with the new diagram editor.
This new diagram editor was designed for making changes on models with a large number of tables in mind. To make the best use of screen space, you are not required to make all the tables visible on the diagram at once. Tables can be dragged into the diagram from the table list and can be closed from view by clicking the three dots at the top right of the table.
New measures can also be added to a table by clicking on the same three dots and then clicking measures to bring up the measure editor. When you want to change the properties of a table, measure or column, you no longer need to do this one object at a time. With multi select, you can select as many objects as you want at one time and update the properties for all of them in one batch.
By dragging a column from one table to another, a relationship will be created between those tables. You can edit the relationship by clicking on the relationship line which will bring up the relationship editor.
While the new diagram editor is a great way to easily understand and make bulk changes to your model, you still have all of the power of the existing JSON editor. You can switch between the editors by changing the view at the top of the screen.
As you enhance your model, you can continuously test it out by switching to the query view at the top of the screen.
The query view will give you a preview of what your model will look like when used in tools like the Power BI desktop, and it will also let you run sample queries against your model so that you can check your data.
You can try the Azure Analysis web designer today by linking to it from a server in the Azure portal.
Submit your own ideas for features on our feedback forum. Learn more about Azure Analysis Services and the Azure Analysis Services web designer.