Time fore new enhancements to the Power BI model Documenter tool! I just presented the new enhanced version of the Power BI model Documenter at the Dutch Power BI User group. Soon, there will also be a recording online of the presentation that I will add to this post as soon as it is available.
Well, that’s enough side-talk. What’s new? There are a few things that I did on the Model Documenter tool. All the feedback I received was really valuable for me to work on in the new version.
Error handling and debugging
First of all, I worked on the cleanness of my code. As I’m not a native developer, I have to do a lot of trial and error to get stuff working exactly as I have it in mind. As of the beginning, the script contains a task to create the drop off folder for the connection file. Though, if the folder already existed, the script wrote an error to the screen, while everything was actually going as planned. In v1.2.0 of the model documenter, I enhanced the error handling to only write errors to the screen that actually matter.
Secondly, the transcript that runs while the tool is executed, generates a log file. This log file was not always entirely complete. I further enhanced the logging to easier debug in case of undesirable errors.
New output format
An often received question was if there is any way to easily add additional context to the documentation, other than what has been generated. Although every Power Query step and every DAX object in your Tabular Object Model (Measures, Columns and Tables) do have a description field, not everyone is taking advantage of it. Probably manually enhancing the documentation is easier.
Therefore I decided to work on a new output format of the tool. Now the tool will prompt you and ask whether you want to export documentation to a new Power BI report or a Excel format. This menu is a new option that I included in v1.2.0. The whole approach of reading Dynamic Management Views is not changed, I simply used the Power Query, Pivot and View functionalities from Excel to generate a very similar report. Obviously it looks less fancy than a Power BI report, but easier to enrich with textual comments.
For this specific new output format, I would like to thank Paulien van Eijk, who helped me in setting this up and making it all work in Excel. Massive thank you! I owe you a (Power) beer 🙂
Get started with the new version by getting it from my GitHub repository.
Known limitations & future enhancements
Of course, there are always things to improve! Below a short list of things that I want to improve in the future. I have setup two small lists with items that I want to work on.
Short term planned enhancements:
- Adding insights in Row Level Security roles and expressions.
- Adding insights in Perspectives in the Tabular Model.
- Excel Template file does not automatically download if it is not found during runtime. This requires another enhancement to the script.
- Support for live connections such as published Power BI datasets and Analysis Services
- Easy next-next-finish installer (for now you can best use Business Ops Installer)
I hope you enjoy the new version of the model documenter! Keep an eye out on the Model Documenter webpage and the GitHub repository for all future updates!
In the unfortunate situation that you bump into an issue, kindly first check the FAQ. If that doesn’t help you, please leave a comment below or open an issue on GitHub. Thanks!