Power BI Helper Version 2: Connection Types, Multiple PBI files, Relationship advise, and Not used tables

Posted by on Jun 19, 2018 in Power BI, Power BI Helper | 4 Comments

I started Power BI Helper with the intention to help to find issues in Power BI reports faster and easier. This tool over time became better and better. I’m excited now to let you know that the version 2.0 of this product is now available for everyone to use and enjoy. This version comes with these features:

  • Connecting to more than one Power BI model. Selection option for the model.
  • Showing the connection mode of the Power BI file.
  • Showing list of tables that are NOT used in any visualization, and can be hidden from the report.
  • Modeling advises
    • List of both directional relationships
    • List of inactive relationships
  • Some minor bug fixes

If you are new to Power BI Helper, read below posts to learn what are existing features of this product:


To Download Power BI Helper, click here:

Download Power BI Helper from here.

Connecting to more than one Power BI Model

Power BI Helper, to analyze your model, needs the instance of Power BI Desktop to have the file open. Sometimes you have more than one file open in the Power BI Desktop. Previously, Power BI Helper only connected to the first instance of Desktop. Now in this version, you get a list of Power BI Models available in a drop-down list, you can choose the model, and even if you have multiple Power BI files open, then you just need to switch in the drop-down list.

If you have multiple Power BI files open in the Power BI Desktop;

Here is the view of how you can switch between models:

As you can see in the screenshot above; you can choose the file you want to connect. Also, the port for that Power BI model will be shown in a text box

beside it.

Showing the connection mode of the Power BI file

Power BI files can be created in three types of connection: Import Data(or scheduled Refresh), DirectQuery, and Live Connection. It is very important most of the time to know which connection mode you have used. Power BI Helper will tell you the connection mode of a file.

Showing list of tables that are NOT used in any visualization, and can be hidden from the report

In the very first version of Power BI Helper, we had a feature that showed you tables USED in any visualization. we got lots of feedback that you like to know what are tables NOT USED in any visualizations so you can hide it from your model. we have now this feature available in Power BI Helper.

Modeling advises

In Power BI Helper version 2.0 we introduce a new tab named Modeling advises. This tab intent to give you some best practicce advises for your modeling to help you design better Power BI model. At this stage, Modeling advises is giving you only two information; list of both directional relationships, and inactive relationships. Later on, we will add more features to this tab.

What’s Next?

We are launching a user voice (ideas) web page for Power BI Helper to hear what features you want to add next into Power BI Helper. Please stay tuned. if there is anything you would like in the meantime, please let us know in the comment below.

Reza Rad
Reza Rad is an Author, Trainer, Speaker and DW/BI Consultant. He has a BSc in Computer engineering; he has more than 15 years’ experience in databases, programming and development mostly on Microsoft technologies. He is a Microsoft MVP in Data Platform for seven continues years (from 2011 till now) for his dedication in Microsoft BI. He is author of some SQL Server and BI books, and also Power BI online book; from Rookie to Rock Star.


  • Hi Reza, great work again, it’s improving tremendously with every version.
    I’m very curious on how you managed to list the available power bi desktop instances… Care to share some thoughts on that?

    Thank you

    • Hi Wouter
      There are lots of codes behind it. a part that gets the port of the process for SSAS part of Power BI, and another one which gets the process details of Power BI Desktop.

  • Thanks Reza! Love the Helper. And I look forward to all of your new blogs each month.
    A couple of ideas that could make the Helper even better:
    1. On the Configure tab, you see a list of the fields used in visualizations. It would be great if you could download that list or at least copy and paste it. Also, inline with what you’ve provided now for tables not used, would it be possible to show Fields not used in visualizations?
    2. I would love to be able to see which report pages use which Fields. Now I can see that a field is used somewhere but knowing at least which report page it is used on would be really helpful. Or you could allow a selection by report page to filter the list of used fields.

    • Hi Rob.
      Thanks for your comment.
      for your #1 comment; we are looking into exporting these information into a format in the next versions. please stay tuend
      for your #2 comment; this is already possible. the third tab in Power BI Helper gives you that information. just search for any field you want and you get all reports that that field or table have been used


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