Power Pivot

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Microsoft Power Pivot
Developer(s) Microsoft
Stable release
Microsoft SQL Server 2012 - Power Pivot for Microsoft Excel 2010 - Service Pack 2 / June 10, 2014 (2014-06-10)
Operating system Microsoft Windows
Type OLAP, Data Mining, Business Intelligence
License Microsoft EULA
Website http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=43348

Power Pivot is a feature of Microsoft Excel. It is available as an add-in in Excel 2010 and 2013, and is included natively in Excel 2016. PowerPivot extends a local instance of Microsoft Analysis Services Tabular that is embedded directly into an Excel Workbook. This allows a user to build a ROLAP model in PowerPivot, and use pivot tables to explore the model once it is built. This allows Excel to act as a Self-Service BI platform, implementing professional expression languages to query the model and calculate advanced measures.

PowerPivot primarily uses DAX (Data Analysis Expressions) as its expression language, although the model can be queried via MDX in a row set expression. DAX expressions allow a user to create measures based on the data model, which can summarize and aggregate millions of rows of table data in seconds. DAX expressions resolve to T-SQL queries in the Formula and Storage Engines that drive the data model, abstracting the more verbose and tedious work of writing formal queries to excel-like formula expressions.

PowerPivot uses the SSAS Vertipaq compression engine to hold the data model in memory on the client computer. Practically, this means that PowerPivot is acting as an Analysis Services Server instance on the local workstation. As a result, larger data models may not be compatible with the 32-bit version of Excel.

Prior to the release of Power Pivot, Microsoft relied heavily on SQL Server Analysis Services as the engine for its Business Intelligence suite. PowerPivot complements the SQL Server core BI components under the vision of one Business Intelligence Semantic Model (BISM), which aims to integrate on-disk multidimensional analytics previously known as Unified Dimensional Model (UDM), with a more flexible, in-memory "tabular" model.

As a self-service BI product, Power Pivot is intended to allow users with no specialized BI or analytics training to develop data models and calculations, sharing them either directly or through SharePoint document libraries.

M Formula language[edit]

A feature in Power Pivot's Get & Transform (formally known as Power Query) includes a new formula language called M. It is a mashup query language designed to build queries that mashup data. It is similar to F-Sharp. And according to Microsoft, it "is a mostly pure, higher-order, dynamically typed, partially lazy, functional language."[1]

Product history and naming[edit]

PowerPivot first appeared around May 2010 as part of the SQL Server 2008 R2 product line. It included "PowerPivot for Excel" and "PowerPivot for SharePoint"[2] While the product was associated with SQL Server, the add-in for Excel could be used independent of any server, and with various types of data sources. SQL Server 2012 contained the add-in PowerPivot for Microsoft Excel 2010, this was also made available as a free download for Microsoft Excel 2010.[3] Sometime after that, the PowerPivot followed its own release cadence, separate from SQL Server. As part of the July 8, 2013, announcement of the new Power BI suite of self-service tools, Microsoft renamed PowerPivot as "Power Pivot" (note the spacing in the name) in order to match the naming convention of other tools in the suite.[4] In Excel 2013, Power Pivot is only available for certain versions of Office.[5] In Excel 2016, it is included natively in the application in the data tab on the ribbon. A Power Pivot feature named Power Query, in Excel 2010 and 2013, was renamed to Get & Transform in Excel 2016.

See also[edit]