Format Strings don't work on a SSAS Model with Calculation Group(s)
AAS recently implemented Calculation Groups with big fanfare.
However any SSAS / AAS Cube that has any users using Power BI in Live Connect mode cannot add this feature to their cube. I would be willing to bet this is > 95% of all Microsofts Cube customers.
The problem is that any graphical visual (i.e. not table/matrix/card) will not honour any format string (static or dynamic).
This means that any simple measure that shows a % will show as a decimal 0.01 instead of 1%.
This is such a jarring issue for users it means that we cannot use the great new feature because Power BI has only allowed Matrix and Table to honour the Format String as defined in the model
I've contacted the support team and I'm told that the dev team are only expected to start working on this during this summer with no ETA.
A real shame that Microsoft's flagship reporting tool cannot work with Microsoft's flagship OLAP database until then. Our users were looking forward to reducing the number of measures to 0.2 of what they were (sorry, that should be 20%, couldn't resist :) )
Hi everyone. This is an issue we’re actively working on, and while we don’t have a firm ETA yet, we’re aiming to get it out by the summer. I know that’s a little way off but please understand it’s a priority for us!
Thanks for your patience
Jake Burns commented
Thanks Will for your attention to this - we were excited to implement for one of our longest-standing clients, but this is causing a lot of issues (that took me a lot of searching to find out that I wasn't the only one. Thanks to the author of this thread.
Ryan Premak commented
Can we get an update on when this issue will be fixed? Thanks!
Hi, any ETA? Hope it comes to SSAS and PBI Report Server, we really need it, such a shame it makes all the programmers effort unused ...
Ian R commented
Any update on an ETA for this at all?
Just to add to the comments below, I can confirm that removing any formatstrings from all calculation groups does indeed get us back to the base formatting of the selected measure at least.
I've found as well though that using a FORMAT() within the formula for a Calculation Item does carry through correctly which has got me to a point at least where I can make use of Calculation Groups, though still not quite ideal.
Josh Ash commented
Another issue is that exporting data from a matrix that uses a Calculation Group gives an empty file. Could you also please address this issue?
One more note, if need be, you could do it in two phases:
Phase 1: don't break what was working:
In this phase, graphic visuals would just work as they did before, honoring the original format string of their measure even if there are calculation groups with custom format strings in the model. At least this way we could use the calc groups without breaking what is already in production. This should be relatively easy, and is actually fixing what clearly is a bug.
Phase 2: full support
properly update the graphic visuals to honor the custom calc groups string formatting as it should be.
If phase1 could arrive by May (or earlier, just please include it in the next PBIRS) it would be great, while you complete phase2 which I understand can alas be more complex.
Just my thoughts, but that would make us quite happier.
Thanks, good to know it is at least started!
If I may suggest something, please please aim to get it out for the next PBIRS which should be out in May - it really limits the usefulness of the best new feature of SSAS2019.
If it is not done in May, we would move to september which in practice would be october, way too late!
I have the same issue here, and I have discovered something that might help in the struggle.
The thing is, in my case, I find the following:
When Calc groups are added to the model, yes, the measures become variant. But this is not an issue by itself!...
If all FormatStringExpression of all Calculation Items are empty, then the behaviour of measures is unchanged (at least in my testings) - the usual format strings of normal measures are properly shown in graphs, business as usual, all happy
If afterwards, I add just one FormatStringExpression to ANY of the Calculation Items, (including SELECTEDMEASUREFORMATSTRING() or any other), then the bug arises and graphs in PowerBI do not respect their source formatting (matrix is OK as you have reported)
So in my case, it looks that the problem does not come from just 1500, or from adding calculation groups, but from adding a single FormatStringExpression to the model.
Therefore, in my case so far I am able to add Calculation Groups and Items without and issue to an existing model (phew!), but not use the custom format feature.
I hope this helps shed some light, and yes, Microsoft should solve this!