In this post I cover everything you need to know about the Power Pivot 2013 Update (December 2014), how to get, and what can go wrong.
As you may have heard, Microsoft has released a number of patches that improve the stability of Power Pivot, Power View and Power Map for Excel 2013. Yippee – not before time!! The big thing reported in this release is they have improved the way “Auto Refresh” works when you are updating the data model. The new release means that refresh only happens when you exit the Power Pivot window by pressing “save” or the “excel” icon in the top left hand corner of the Power Pivot Window – as it should be.
The most visible benefit I have seen is the issue when you change something in the data model and then a number of your Measures break. What used to happen was you were sitting in PowerPivot – waiting – and meanwhile Excel had thrown an error message and is waiting for your to click OK.
If you broke more than one measure at a time, you would have to click OK over and over again until you reached the last error message. Then as you went to fix the problem, the same thing happened again – with multiple errors being thrown over and over – until the last error was fixed. This bug is now fixed.
It is an Excel 2013 Update Only.
Firstly, I can confirm that this is a Power Pivot 2013 update only. There is no update for 2010. The main issue I mentioned above – where Excel 2013 auto refreshes each time you touch the data model is a problem that only applies to Excel 2013 anyway.
How to get the update – O365 vs Off the Shelf Software
1. O365 Update
If you have O365 and you have auto updates enabled, you will get the update automatically (no surprises there). If you don’t want to wait for your “turn”, you can trigger an immediate update by opening Excel, and then clicking on FileAccountOffice UpdatesUpdate Now.
2. Off the Shelf Software
Go to the release announcement on the Microsoft Power BI blog and you will see a list of 4 knowledge base articles that collectively contain all the updates needed to make this work.
If you jump to the chase down the bottom of the page you will see the following information
If you have off the shelf software, you will need all 4 of these patches to make the upgrade work. If you have O365, then the first 3 will not even install on your computer – you don’t need them. The first of these links does not have a download link to the download (it just has instructions so ignore that one). The last 3 links all have download links to all 4 patches, so go there first. This link here is the link to one of them that has all the download info you need).
To check what is already installed, check Control Panel on your PC. Go to Control PanelAll Control Panel ItemsWindows UpdateView update history. Note, KB2920734 was already installed on my PC on 12/12.
What isn’t fixed
There are a few things that have not been fixed.
- The issue between Power Query and Power Pivot where you make a change in Power Query to your table structure, and you get an error saying you need to remove the table from the data model and then reload it. I am reliably informed by people in the know that this problem has the highest priority with the Power Query team, but it is not fixed yet.
- Some users have reported that the O365 Update has broken previously working Power View reports. Given O365 updates are automatic, I guess this will need to be fixed with some priority.
What do you think of the update? How has it made your Power Pivot experience better or worse?
If you want a comprehensive lesson on how to use Power Query, checkout my training course here https://exceleratorbi.com.au/power-query-online-training/