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I have a data model in the Power BI desktop. I'd like to publish it to the server, but I'd also like to have an internal report run MDX (or DAX) queries against it. Is this possible? Can I just create a connection string and connect to Power BI like to an SSAS Cube? Maybe using the REST APIs?

Edit: Thanks for your answers. Kyle gave me the best answer to my question, so I accepted him, but all of you made me clear that I'd better just use SSAS. This is what I did, with some hassle of seeing up the HTTP bridge, but it works like a charm now.

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Yes, it is possible in a basic sense. Whenever we run Power BI, it creates instances of SSAS Tabular in the backend that you can connect and run queries against. This is not directly supported by Microsoft, but there is an alternative to do this. Go through these steps:

  • Go to user->AppData->Local->Temp->Power BI Desktop

  • Open  PowerBI Desktop model

  • The new folder will appear in the temp folder and inside there is a folder called AnalysisServicesWorkspace1111111111(The numbers at the end are random).Inside that folder is a file, msmdsrv.port.txt, which contains the port number (portnum) on which the SSAS Tabular model is running

  • You can open SSMS and connect to Analysis Services server localhost:portnum

  • The specific database instance you can find either via SSMS or the name of the GUID folder in the workspace folder (it'll be something like "33df46dd-8c77-46eb-bf01-8d545f626723.0.db")

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