Using PowerBI Premium Tabular for TimeXtender Legacy instead of AAS

  • 27 January 2023
  • 13 replies

There's loads of documentation about AAS and PowerBI Premium tabular models being mostly identical in use. Currently we are using 2 expensive AAS servers to host our development and testing semantic models. Transferring these 2 environments to a PPU environment within PowerBI would save allot of money. 

Within the current version of TimeXtender there is a separate option to select a Premium Tabular model instead of AAS. This is something the legacy version does not have. But why would TimeXtender need to know the difference. In working with either Premium or AAS their XMLA connection is exactly the same. Setting a migration from AAS to Premium and then simply exchanging the links within the environment properties seems like a simple enough plan. As i found in the following link the important part would be having an updated library to do this data transfer.

Other than this i don't see why this wouldn't simply work, but I'll admit I'm relatively new to TimeXtender so there might be something that I'm missing. Support requested i ask my question here since they thought it wasn't possible, but couldn't give an explanation as to why.

To me i don't see a reason why this wouldn't work. All i know is that within the Premium model i need to connect with Microsoft authentication. this too wouldn't be a problem. The only thing to pay attention to is making sure I don't add any premium features to my PBIX file so i can connect it back up to the production AAS whenever transferring between environments. 

If anyone could provide insight I would really appreciate it!


Best answer by Trine Stuhr 30 January 2023, 13:34

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13 replies

Userlevel 1

Hi LuukNTS,


This is an excellent question.

On the Tabular endpoint you need a server and a database as well as authentication. Whereas on the XMLA this is a SaaS solution meaning you only need to provide the URL to the server with authentication. To add to this there are different versions of the deployment target on the Tabular (although TX provide an automatic selection option).  

So the information needed to utilize these two endpoint are different and therefore TimeXtender has two different options use. And yes, the XMLA is only available in new release.


And this is an excellent blog post on why/how you would want to migrate to Premium here:  It includes some more valuable links in the post.

Hope this helps,



Hi LuukNTS,

just an additional comment to the above (if it isn’t already clear), we are not developing new features for the legacy/20.10 version of TimeXtender, so that’s also why Power BI premium is only part of the new version.

Hi @Trine Stuhr 

Discussing this with people within my team this would be an actual usecase for us to think about upgrading from the legacy version of TimeXtender to a recent version where this is working. I can't find anything about the differences, the upgrading process or functionality that would break in our datafactory at this moment. Could you direct me to any documentation regarding this subject?


Userlevel 5
Badge +7

Hi @LuukNTS ,

in future there will be tooling to upgrade an implementation from 20.10.x to the new release (as far as I am aware). At the moment there is no way to do this.


You can deploy to PPC from 20.10.x , there are just some manual steps to be taken in Tabular Editor post-deploy. While both AAS and PPC use XMLA as an interface, they are not entirely the same system. The migration options for PPC are also quite new as Microsoft has a rapid development process for Power BI.


Userlevel 5
Badge +5

Hi @LuukNTS 

We do not have an option to upgrade from v20 to v21 yet. So for now it is better to start as new.

I would keep what you have now in v20 and keep that as it it until we have an upgrade feature.

To use XMLA you can create a v21 freemium account (1 ODX, 1 Data Source, 1 MDW & 1 SSL) and learn how to use it before this is released.


Hi, LuukNTS


We are currently working on a migration tool that will help all existing customers in the upgrading process. The migration tool is top priority right now, so keep an eye out. We will inform about it in the community as soon as it is ready. 

You can check out the release notes of the 21 version here Product Updates, that should give you a good overview of the newest functionalities. And you can start with this first release, that also includes a video  Welcome to the new cloud-enabled version of TimeXtender! | Community


Did not see that rory.smith and Thomas Lind already provided answers to your questions LuukNTS

But an additional comment to the above answer from Thomas, you can create the free account via our webpage TimeXtender.


Hope you got all the answers you were looking for 

Userlevel 2

Is v21 the same thing you call “Next Gen” elsewhere? Which is actually numbered 60xx or 61xx? That is a bit confusing :)

I would be very interested in the migration tool you are working on. We are still using Business Units instead of the ODX and would like to upgrade to the latest version, mostly because of the XMLA endpoint. But migrating would probably be a lot of work.


Yes sorry RLB, it is the same, but should only be referred to as Next Gen as the umbrella, and then the individual release numbers (60xx-). We will keep you informed in terms of the migration tool. If you would like to, you can upgrade from BU to the ODX manually in your current version. I have attached a guide on how to do it

Userlevel 5
Badge +7

Hi @Trine Stuhr,


I think a good tip for the manual migration documentation is to use the View Uneven Mappings option once you have both BU and ODX mappings for each table to identify whether all fields are properly mapped to the ODX. Once there are no uneven mappings left, you can safely remove the BU mapping.

Userlevel 2

Thank you very much Trine and Rory.

Userlevel 2

Hi RLB, 

I'll elaborate slightly on Rory's comment that you can push PBI Premium datasets from legacy TimeXtender. Tabular Editor is not required.The process is as follows:

  1. Create an AAS endpoint (for our purposes, it is not neccesary for TX to see PPC and AAS as different) and use the following settings:
    • Server name is your PBI workspace where you want to publish the dataset, e.g. powerbi://[...]
    • Database: feel free to choose any name, this will be the name of the dataset in the PBI service
    • Deployment target: automatic
    • Server login: Authentication login
    • You will need to register an application and use Server username: application id & Server password: client secret. 
    • User: Use Service account
    • Process model offline is not supported
  2. Create and deploy your PBI dataset
  3. Log into PBI service and the workspace you want, find your dataset and click ‘Schedule Refresh’
  4. Click ‘Take Over’ and enter the data source credentials which are appropriate for accessing MDW

From now on, each time you deploy the dataset, all you have to do is login to PBI service and click ‘Take Over’ to reset the credentials to MDW to the ones saved in your own PBI account. 

Note that the last two steps are always necessary, even in the new release of TX. This is because PBI Service saves data source credentials to user accounts logged into the service. Credentials cannot be saved to an application id login.

Please remember that this is not an officially supported feature and Microsoft may break the ability to do this with updates to the PBI service in the future. We are using it as a stopgap until we are ready for the new release. 

Kind regards,

Andrew - E-mergo

Userlevel 3
Badge +1

While there are some pro’s and con’s, at one of my customers we’ve been using TX 20.10.X to deploy to XMLA for about two years.

I created a how-to in the Learn & Share section. 

Please feel free to leave any comments or experiences.