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Which data modelling framework should you use?

How to determine which data modelling framework to use in your project

There are currently 3 main data model frameworks available in power BI enterprise solution namely Import, DirectQuery and Composite model. What should you consider in choosing the appropriate framework for your project?

Here are some general guidance:

1. Import Model Framework (IMF) - it is recommended to choose this option whenever possible as it offers the most options, design flexibility, and delivers fast performance. To get the most of this framework, be sure to apply data reduction techniques.

2. DirectQuery Model Framework (DMF) - Choose this model when your data source stores large volumes of data and/ or your reports needs to deliver near real-time data.

3. Composite Model Framework (CMF) - Choose this model to:

  • Boost the query performance of a DirectQuery model

  • Deliver near real-time query results from an import model

  • Extend a Power BI dataset (or AAS model) with additional data.

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Whichever framework you choose to implement in your project, it is important to plan carefully. In Power BI Desktop, it’s always possible to convert a DirectQuery table to an import table. But it's not possible to convert an import table to a DirectQuery table.

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