The Second Edition Of “The Definitive Guide To DAX” Is Out!

If you’re a Power BI fan there are three possible answers to the question “Did you know that the second edition of The Definitive Guide To DAX has just been published?”:

Answer#1: Yup, I’ve already got my copy!

If this is your answer there’s no need to read any further.

Answer #2: What’s “The Definitive Guide To DAX”?

If, on the other hand, you’re new to Power BI and this is what you’re thinking then I should explain that “The Definitive Guide To DAX” is a book by Marco Russo and Alberto Ferrari and is what its title suggests it is – the sum total of human knowledge about the DAX calculation and query language used by Power BI, written by the two people who know most about it outside the development team. Marco and Alberto are friends of mine but I don’t think anyone can accuse me of bias when I say that it’s a book that every Power BI developer needs to own, so go out and buy it! If you use Power BI you need to learn DAX and while this book may not be a simple step-by-step tutorial it has in it somewhere answers to just about every question you’ll ever ask about DAX – and, more importantly, the answers it has are as correct and as up-to-date as they possibly can be. I can tell you that it’s proved invaluable to me in my work at least twice in the last week alone.

Answer #3: Yes, I saw that but I already have the first edition – is it worth buying this one too?

This is a slightly more difficult question to answer, but I’m still going to recommend that you buy the second edition. As Marco says in his announcement blog post, a lot of the existing content has been updated and rewritten and a lot of new content has been added. If you care about following all the latest DAX best practices and you don’t want the new hire in your department to mock you because you’ve never heard of DAX Studio, you need to buy this new edition.

[Note: I didn’t get a free copy of this book for review (yet?) but I have an O’Reilly Online Learning account which means I could read it as soon as it was published]

PS I know someone needs to write the “Definitive Guide to M” but it’s not going to be me, at least not right now.

9 responses

  1. Hi Chris,

    “I can tell you that it’s proved invaluable to me in my work at least twice in the last week alone.”

    it would be interesting to know the page numbers of the pages that came to your rescue. I do appreciate that you can’t reveal the exact scenarios in which those pages came into play; however, it would be intriguing to study those pages, if you aspire to reach the DAX-level of a member of the CAT team. Little strokes fell great oaks, you know.

    Best regards.

  2. Hi Chris,

    I totally agree about the need for a definitive guide to M. At least if Microsoft are continuing investing in Power BI Dataflows an/or moving the Dataflows premium capabilities platform from PBI Premium to Azure Data Factory. Having the PBI Premium analytics platform being loaded by ETL workloads is not a perfect solution

    To prove the intention of having M as the ETL/ELT language of choice, I would love to see a Microsoft official M version of the example databases AdventureWorks and/or WideWordImporters OLTP/OLAP SSIS package, and preferable also some other more structured examples that mimics a traditional DW

  3. Oddly, I seem unable to get hold of a copy. Amazon keeps delaying – now 17 January 2020, and other retailers don’t have copies. Does anyone know why?

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