Joshua Fennessy

Converting a PowerPivot model to a 2012 SSAS Tabular Model

Did you know that you can easily convert existing PowerPivot models to SSAS Tabular Models?  You can!  In this post, I’ll show you how.

PowerPivot models created with either version 2008 R2 -or- 2012 can be converted using this method. There is no need to convert PowerPivot models to version 2012 before converting to a SSAS Tabular Model.

Gather up your desired PowerPivot model and follow along below to complete the conversion.

Note: You may get messages warning you that data sources are not accessible by service accounts. The import should complete succesfully, however, additional work may be needed to ensure all data sources are properly utilized post-import.


  1. Open SQL Server Data Tools (formerly called BIDS)
  2. Create a new Project.  Within the Business Intelligence \ Analysis Services template section, chose the Import from PowerPivot project type.ProjectTypes
  3. Browse to a valid PowerPivot 2012 Model. Click Open.
  4. image

  5. Once the import is complete.  Click the Existing Connections ( image ) toolbar button and review any existing connection(s) included in the model.  Modify any connection strings to ensure proper operation from an Analysis Services server.
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  7. OPTIONAL – Do a test deploy and process to ensure that all connections are functional using specified impersonation options.
    image
  8. Conversion Complete!  With the PowerPivot model now converted to an SSAS Tabular Mode Cube; additional features such as Partitioning and Role Based Security can be added to the model to further enhance usability and/or performance.

4 thoughts on “Converting a PowerPivot model to a 2012 SSAS Tabular Model”

  1. Thanks for the post. Just thought it might be helpful for others to know that a critical prerequisite is to have Analysis Services installed in Tabular mode as opposed to the default Multi-dimensional mode. This conversion will only work if you use an AS instance running in Tabular mode.

    1. Sorry John, now that I took the time to read the first line of your post, I see:

      “Did you know that you can easily convert existing PowerPivot models to <>?”

      My apologies for being redundant. DC

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