Category Archives: Power BI

DynamicsCon: Putting The “F-U-N” In “Dynamics User Group” If You Rearrange Some Letters And Add An F

I recently had to change the title of this site and remove the “Microsoft MVP” title; unfortunately I was not re-awarded this year. It felt like one of those detective movie “Turn in your gun and badge!” scenes – only in nerd speak “Turn in your stickers and NDA!”

I’m not sure if I’ll ever get my stickers again, but I do want to continue my passion of making Dynamics and the Power Platform simpler, intuitive, and most importantly fun for new users. For the fun part, my upcoming goal is to entertain by volunteering and presenting for a new User Group event called “DynamicsCon”.

That’s Exciting, Tell Me More!

DynamicsCon. Go look at the site! Looks like a fun time, right?

DynamicsCon will start its life as a virtual event running September 9 – 10 and brings together the finest Dynamics experts from across the lands, and me. You and your organization can attend for the low price of $0.00 – that’s right, FREE KNOWLEDGE.

For this event to be a smashing success, and for me to present to a virtual stadium full of screaming fans, would you take a second and help get this community event rolling?

  1. Register at
  2. Vote for the sessions you want to attend or watch later!
  3. If you want to present, or know someone who does, submit your ideas at

DynamicsCon content selection is driven by the community – the sessions we submit and vote for are the sessions that will happen.

Shameless Plug Time

I submitted a presentation for your consideration titled “8½ Power BI Concepts I Wish I Knew When I Started”. This presentation is going to be really good; my presentation quality is always proportional to the cleverness of the title. I only need your votes and I can start thinking up the 8½ things I’m going to share!

Please vote for my session here:

And in the spirt of the community freely sharing ideas, please comment below with any Power BI Concepts You Wish You Knew When You Started…

Spring 2019 Release Notes Deep Dive

Spring is in the air with flowers and rain and 500 pages of Release Notes. I’d like to highlight some of the features I’m looking forward to.

Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations

Expense Client Usability

I’m a fan of any UI refreshes in the application, especially the forms I have to personally use on a regular basis. I can already feel myself getting reimbursed faster.

Simplified View – Templates and Saved Views

These are additional UI improvements for allowing different groups of users to have different Form views. Seems like this will improve productivity; I hope there will be options to deploy the correct query/view from a Workspace or Menu item so users can get the appropriate Default view. It’s also unclear what options will be available via the X++ Development tools.

Enhanced Grid Experiences

There are a lot of forms in the Project module dealing with the Work Breakdown Structure or Subprojects that could benefit from fancy grid controls. Also, there are some “light weight” reporting scenarios that could be lit up using these controls.

Updated Navigation Bar that Aligns With Office Header

I have mixed feelings. I liked the menu path for screenshots and documentation. Hopefully the menu search being obvious is worth the trade off.

Developer Tools and Application Lifecycle Management

Lots of fantastic concepts in this article for developers, especially partners. Developer VMs can become a significant costs for developing for Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations, so reducing this cost is a plus. Also, having a Microsoft managed version of a Tier 1 environment could standardize some disparate processes.

Event-driven Architecture for Integrations

There are so many possibilities when adding Event driven architecture (think Microsoft Flow); the challenge sometimes is imagining and defining good business scenarios.

Finance and Operations, Entities in CDS for Apps

Since CDS was released in the April 2018, F&O has needed a more native integration. This is a welcome addition to the stack.

However, the release notes don’t specify if this kind of CDS integration can be customized using the development tools. I hope that’s part of the experience so we can light up scenarios outside those listed in the article.

One Version Experience

The Embedded Power BI tool looks interesting.

Business Intelligence (Power BI)

New Filter Experience

This is in regards to the Filter bar on the right side. I would guess most report consumers don’t even know this exists. Having a way to have it expanded and formatted will turn those types of filters into viable options.

Drill Between PBIX Reports

It’s been possible in the past to do a version of this using URL formulas and URL filtering. Will be good to have more built in options.

Performance Analyzer for Reports

Excellent idea, especially for DirectQuery based data connections or complicated DAX expressions.

Azure Machine Learning Integration

Nice to get options other than web services to consume Machine Learning models.

April – September 2019 Release Notes For Dynamics and Powers

Check out the latest features for all your favorite Dynamics and Powers!

Pro tip: The first article in every section contains the Estimated release date. I suggest looking at feature from that article so you also know when to expect them.

For example the F&O article:

PUG Summit | Understanding Time Intelligence with Power BI

Presenter: Dan Edwards

Auto Date Fields

Power BI can create automatic date hierarchies, for report and drill down by Year/Quarter/Month/Day. It’s important to consider whether your data model has more than one fact table with a date attribute. If there are multiple facts, or you have already created a date table, it’s a better to use your own date dimension.

“Don’t use auto date/time” -Dan

I love these types of tips and tricks – here’s how it works, and don’t do it!

Creating a Date Table with DAX

It’s possible to use a DAX expression to create a date table. The initial DAX expression looks like this:

Date = CALENDAR(“1/1/2016”, “12/31/2019”)

Use the DAX expression to create a New table in Power BI.


Then additional columns can be added to the Date dimension table:

Month = MONTH(‘DATE'[Date])


It’s also possible to do concepts like MonthDate where you calculate a Date column with the first day of every month, which can provide flexibility.

MonthDate = DATE( YEAR(‘DATE'[Date]) , MONTH(‘DATE'[Date]) , 1 )


Using an Effective Date

One of the scenarios is a scenario where the user wants to pick the effective date – for example a cutoff date or the last 12 months.

Dan mentioned he has a fairly extensive blog post on how to implement this concept.


Great presentation!