If you look carefully, you can see my roots showing. No, not my hair – you can see my old job showing. When I came to work on the Analysis Services team, we had to design an “environmentally friendly” Visual Studio package in a hurry using the Visual Studio extensibility framework, same as everybody else. You know who else did this? Workflow. I leveraged my experience (re: reused old designs and specs from my old friends) and you can see chunks of this in the tabular designer.

For example, to change your font in the tabular designer? Change the environment font. Same method as described in my previous article, also have to restart VS for changes to apply. Now, the DAX formula editor is not the hostable editor, it’s a component built in to the tabular designer, so unlike the hostable editor it uses the environment font. That’s the only difference.

And keyboard shortcuts? Just like the Workflow Designer, which has all its keyboard shortcuts in its own context (in its case, WorkflowDesigner.*), the tabular designer has all of its keyboard shortcuts in its own context (AnalysisServices.*). Just like everybody else in VS, you can remap all the keyboard shortcuts using the Tools->Options dialog. The default keyboard shortcuts in the tabular designer are pretty much the same shortcuts as PowerPivot, except that F5 follows VS rules and “starts debugging” (which in our case, builds and deploys).

Finally, toggling between View Code and View Designer. Just like in Workflow, you’re not supposed to be hand editing the underling code (Analysis Services has XMLA, Workflow has XAML, it only took a few months to stop making typos). But just like in Workflow, some people like to look at XML. And just like in Workflow, you can use F7 to switch to code view. (Shift+F7 doesn’t work, much to my chagrin.)

But of course, there are differences. Unlike Workflow, when you change to a high contrast mode color scheme in the tabular designer, the changes take effect right away. So they did teach this old dog one new trick.


Blog Post by: Cathy Dumas - MSFT