Costs of Relationships in DAX

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The relationships in a data model queried by DAX are a fundamental part of the engine and simplify the query itself. This article examines the cost of relationships in a data model, providing hints to optimize them. When you create a data model in Power BI, Power Pivot, or Analysis Services Tabular, every time you have two or more tables, you are likely to define relationships between them. These structures are important to simplify DAX queries, because of the automatic propagation of the filter context. They are also important for performance, because the storage engine queries are more efficient whenever the filter context propagates through relationships instead of by using DAX expressions (such as in the simulation of a relationship at different granularities described in Handling Different Granularities pattern). Nevertheless, there is a cost associated with relationships, which can have an impact in performance.


Tags: dax, design


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