How to … install the software you required for BI Academy Hands-Ons Labs on my PC?

Software we use

We are using the following software to run all our hands-ons labs:

  • Microsoft’s Visual Studio Data Tools
  • Dimensional Fact Modeler
  • Microsoft’s PowerBI Desktop
  • Microsoft’s Excel, incl. PowerPivot
  • An SQL editor, such as Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio or DBeaver

There is no database backend installation required because we use our own cloud based SQL Server.

Here is an installation guide.

SQL Server Data Tools in Visual Studio 2017

We are using SSDT in VS 2017, because there is a stand-alone installer.

  • Scroll down and download the English version
  • Install it.
  • Reporting Services are not required.

Dimensional Fact Modeller

Check the installation

  • Start BI Modeler
  • Check, if the menu items show up


Check the installation

  • Start PowerBI
  • Check, if the welcome window shows up

Microsoft Office Excel

Activate Power Pivot

  • File → Options → Add-Ins → Manage COM-AddIns
  • Activate Microsoft Power Pivot for Excel

SQL Management Software

We also need a database front end tool which allows us to send SQL statements to the database.

There are two choices:

  1. SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) from Microsoft. Runs on Windows only and needs 2 GB free disk space. But SSMS is very powerful and you will find it in many companies.
  2. DBeaver, a free tool for a bunch of databases. Runs on any platform (Win, iOS, Unix), needs a few 100 MB free disk space. DBeaver seems to be quite powerful, but we did not really stress this tool.


Solution 1: SQL Server Management Studio

  • Download from here ← as of 10.10.2021
  • Please install the English language version.
  • The installation is quite easy. Just click install and SSMS will do the rest within 5 – 10 min.

After successfull installation, open SSMS, click on ToolsOptionsDesigners and uncheck “prevent saving changes that require table re-creation”. Otherwise, you will not be able to save any database schema changes.


Solution 2: DBeaver

DBeaver is a lightweight database tool. It runs on any plattform.