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SQLBI - Marco Russo

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Change default workspace and deployment server in #Tabular #SSAS #Denali #CTP3

When you install Analysis Services Denali, chances are that you create an instance for Tabular that is not the default instance for Analysis Services. When you try to create a Tabular project, you might get the following error:

You cannot open the BIM file. Reason: The workspace database server ‘localhost’ was not found. Verify that there is an Analysis Services server instance running on ‘localhost’ in VertiPaq mode.
To change the workspace database server for the selected BIM file ‘Model.bim’, in Solution Explorer, select the BIM file ‘Model.bim’ and then in the Properties window, change the workspace database server.

Every time you create a new Tabular project, you have two settings that, by default, point to the default localhost instance (which you might not have at all if, like me, you never install a default instance on your development machine):

  • The Deployment Server, which is defined in the project properties


  • The Workspace Server, which is a property that is included in the BIM file


As you can see, in the previous screenshot I changed these settings to my SSAS Tabular instance (localhost\denali).

If you want to change the default settings for any new project, in order to avoid the error message I previously mentioned, you have to go in the Tools\Option dialog box and in the Analysis Services \ Data Modeling and Analysis Services \ Deployment settings you can set the corresponding default values for Workspace Server and Deployment Server.



I have to learn that this is the first thing to do as soon as I will setup any new development workstation for BISM Tabular.

Published Wednesday, July 20, 2011 10:01 AM by Marco Russo (SQLBI)



Fabrizio Paravisi said:

Thank you very much!!

January 25, 2012 9:06 AM

namrata said:


I would like to know what exactly the Build Action property and the copy to output directory property does?Is there a particular way you should set them?

November 13, 2013 6:27 AM

Marco Russo (SQLBI) said:

The Build action creates an .asdatabase file that you can use with Deployment Wizard to deploy the project on a server changing several parameters (like connection to data sources) without opening Visual Studio.

November 13, 2013 7:43 PM

namrata said:

Thanks Marco.That was very helpful. But what does the copy to output directory property do?? what exactly is the source file that it copies to the output directory??is it the same .asdatabase file that is the source file?? I am fairly new to SSAS Tabular Model.

November 13, 2013 11:42 PM

Marco Russo (SQLBI) said:

There are a few differences in XMLA - the output directory contains what you can deploy as XMLA script, whereas the local BIM file has probably a slightly different format - I never investigated too much in these differences.

November 14, 2013 2:43 AM

namrata said:


November 18, 2013 12:09 AM

shyam said:

Thank you , its really help full.

June 13, 2014 4:15 PM

Naisadha said:

Thanks you. The explanations are really helpful.

October 14, 2014 1:44 AM

Eric Hutton said:

Are there advantages or disadvantages to setting separate instances of SSAS for your workspace and deployment servers when both are resident on a development machine.  

It seems to me that one advantage is it will make it a little cleaner to connect to the proper (deployed) database from Excel.... but does this come at some cost (like double the memory consumption or something?)  

June 4, 2015 4:59 PM

Marco Russo (SQLBI) said:

The only overhead is the cost of the msmdsrv.exe process (which could expand Runtime memory because of different storage engine caches).

July 3, 2015 5:51 PM

Mazhar said:

Hi Marco,

If I create a tabular project on my laptop and want to move same tabular model to on-premise server, is it possible by changing deployment server details?

Please advice me on this issue.

May 16, 2017 10:23 PM

Marco Russo (SQLBI) said:

Yes you have to go in the Project properties (not the Model properties).

May 20, 2017 5:19 AM

Mazhar said:

Thanks Marco.

May 21, 2017 7:48 PM

Thomas Rones said:

How would you change the name of the workspace database itself?

I want to keep the db on the same tabular instance but change the name of the db. If I change it in SSAS, then visual studio won't recognize it.

If the "workspace database" property was not greyed out, then I could match the two (in visual studio and SSAS), but I can't even try that because the workspace database property cannot be edited.

June 30, 2017 9:58 AM

Marco Russo (SQLBI) said:

The workspace database automatically gets the name of the database followed but username and a guid. I don't think you can change it.

July 3, 2017 8:35 AM

Marc Jellinek said:

The workspace name can be changed by:

1.  closing the project

2.  editing the file Model.bim_<name>_.settings

3.  opening the project

December 18, 2017 7:38 AM

Marco Russo (SQLBI) said:

Hi Marc,

thanks for the feedback! I'm not sure why you might want to change the name of the workspace database, but it's good to know it's possible. Thanks!


December 19, 2017 1:19 AM
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About Marco Russo (SQLBI)

Marco Russo is a consultant, writer and trainer specialized in Business Intelligence with Microsoft technologies. He runs the SQLBI.COM website, which is dedicated to distribute resources useful for BI developers, like Integration Services components, Analysis Services models, tools, technical information and so on. Marco is certified as MCT, MCDBA, MCSD.NET, MCSA, MCSE+I.

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