BISM Normalizer


BISM Normalizer manages Analysis Services tabular models.

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Visual Studio
2013, 2012, 2010
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by Jon Capezzuto | March 15 2014

This is a brilliant utility! You just saved me hours of manual, tedious changes to merge two cubes. And you found several changes that I would have overlooked. Microsoft should buy this from you to include in the base product. Thanks for making this available!

Christian Wade March 17 2014
| Edit |

Thank you for the feedback Jon! Much appreciated!

by MartinLamZoosk | March 04 2014

i don't write reviews usually.. but this is AMAZING!!! we've developed scripts to do automatic partitions on our tabular cubes, so redeploying changes from the SSDT project is a NO NO, as it erases my existing partitions all the time.

Using BISM normalizer gives me the confident to make metadata / structural changes to our server, without worrying that it would accidentally overwrite other stuff, such as my auto created partitions, and I can review the xmla scripts before I run it.

i seriously won't know what to do if it were not for bism normalizers

p.s. also i was just cursing my life when i couldn't get the BIDS helper actions deployed to my prod (and I don't want to do deploy from SSDT), come here, and found out that the new version now supports it! amazing!


Christian Wade March 06 2014
| Edit |

Thanks for the feedback Martin! Much appreciated!

by bayFX | October 08 2012

Nice and Unique Tool for the BISM Developers.
Thanks Christian.

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  • BISM Normalizer expired
    5 Posts | Last post July 15, 2014
    • Hi Christian
      My copy of BISM normaliser has expired, the message tells me the last day is 2014-06-30, I’ve uninstalled and downloaded the most recent version but I’m still getting that error, the version I Am running is 1.3.13. Is there a later version?
    • Hi Michael,
      Version 1.3.13 should run till end of 2014. Please check the Visual Studio About box. It will have an item for BISM Normalizer (at bottom of list of installed extensions) that shows the version number. If that doesn't work, we can keep investigating.
    • Hi Christian
      The version when I look in the about is I've installed an uninstalled a few times, but let me throw in a reboot quick and see what happens.
    • All sorted
      The update had been happening against a different version of visual studio. Thanks again for your help and really useful product
    • Sounds good - glad you got it sorted
  • Potential bug which cleared out the data in production :(
    3 Posts | Last post July 03, 2014
    • So in the project, we had a few partition for the fact to start out.  After it's in production, we have a separate process to dynamically create new partition daily and process that only (due to large amount of data daily).  
      Historically, using BISM, and not select "include partition" in comparison servers us extremely well when we try to deploy minor changes to cube, such as attribute name change, new attribute in existing dimension, etc.
      However, when we need to add new dimension, thus new relationship between the fact and a few new table/dimension, it doesn't work anymore.  
      Even with ignoring partition, when I deploy the new dimension to production, BISM normalizer would still wipe away all the dynamically created partitions in fact table, thus basically erasing months of data.   :(  Luckily we took a backup beforehand 
      We had a couple workaround in mind, but would be really great if it still retains the dynamic partitions even when we are deploying new dimensions.  
    • Hi Martin,
      Thanks for the question.
      BISM Normalizer retains partitions only if the table action is "Skip".  An "Update" action performs a full update from the source definition (including partitions).  Technically, an Update replaces the target table definition with a clone from the source.  Same applies to other "first-class" objects - i.e. that have their own node in the differences grid.  Partitions do not, because they are part of table definitions.
      The "include partitions in table definitions" checkbox in the Options dialog affects only the comparison process, not the update process.
      When I have previously had to make changes to existing tables that have partitions managed by the ETL ("dynamic partitions"), I have allowed for the time to fully rebuild and reprocess partitions.  Changes such as adding a new column require all partitions to be reprocessed anyway before it is usable.
    • One more thing, if you are saying that a new definition of the dimension table wipes out the fact table (different table) without any structural changes to the fact table, then that should not happen - unless again, the fact table definition changes - like adding a new column (e.g. foreign key column to the new dim table).
      If you are saying the fact table has an action item of Skip and still it's partitions are being wiped out, then please e-mail me on for further offline investigation.
  • error: no room is avalible to display rows
    4 Posts | Last post March 07, 2014
    • Hi Christian
      Great solution, loving the support for BIDS helper tabular objects but I have come across an error. I added an action to my solution then tried to deploy it but an error message "No room is available to display rows" appears when I validate selection. I have removed the action as well as reinstalled BISM Normalizer but the error still appears. Do you know may have caused this
    • Hi Michael,
      Thank you for the feedback, and sorry to hear you are getting an error.
      I would love to recreate the error and fix it.  Might you be able to e-mail me the project files at ?
    • Hi Christian
      The problem seems to be with the Analysis services tabular instance itself as we picked up other errors. Thanks for the quick reply though. 
    • You're welcome!
  • Doesnt Compare Translations/Hierarchies/Display Folder created by BIDS Helper
    3 Posts | Last post February 17, 2014
    • Hi dear Christian,
      First of all I wanna thanks for you developed this wonderful tool.
      We are using the BIDS Helper for creating Translations, Display Folders, Actions and other good things in Tabular models like Multidimensional OLAP cubes.
      But when we create above items with BIDS Helper in a model1, BISM Normalizer doesn't compare and commit changes to model2 about the translations,actions, etc. added to the bism file by BIDS Helper.
      Could please add this features compare and commit functionality to BISM Normalizer.
      you can find detailed information BIDS Helper (
    • Thank you for the feedback.  I will certainly look to support the extra BIDS Helper features in BISM Normalizer.  I can’t commit to a timeframe right now, but I have put it on my todo list.
    • Hello again. Version 1.3.11 of BISM Normalizer supports BIDS Helper created objects like translations, display folders and actions.
  • Possible feature?
    2 Posts | Last post January 06, 2014
    • Hi Christian, 
         We have been using BISM Normalizer to generate change scripts used during a release. However, we have to manually change the connection string in the script. It would be nice to have an option to preserve the target's connection strings. 
      Thanks again and Happy Birthday (to BISM Normalizer) 
    • Hi Chad,
      You should be able to Skip the difference for the connection string in the differences grid (by default it should have "Different Definitions" status and an Update action item - which can be changed to a Skip action item).
      Does this work for you?  Or are you generating a single script for multiple environments that each have different connection strings?
  • Minor Bug Fix
    3 Posts | Last post December 19, 2013
    • Hello,
      First of all thank you Christian for this amazing Extension.
      I seem to have found a minor bug in the Normalizer. When you change a specific column format (example: Date column format) the normalizer does not detect any model changes and does not deploy.
      Can you confirm this and possibly make a fix for it?
      Thank you :)
    • Hi Luis,
      Thank you for the feedback.
      You are right that it does not currently include column formats in column definitions (and therefore does not detect changes in format).  It does include the datatype, but not the format.
      I do plan to add the format to column (and measure) definitions, but I probably won't get the time till January or February 2014.
      I will post on my blog when I get this done.
    • Hi Luis,
      The new version 1.3.10 includes column formats in table definitions, so it will consider formats when performing comparisons.
      Try it out and let me know if it works for you.
  • Perspectives not synching
    4 Posts | Last post November 25, 2013
    • thanks for the great tool. it does however seem that it does not sync Perspectives? I ran it a couple times but in the end had to deploy using Deployment Wizard, and then only did Excel pick up the new perspective.
    • Hi - yes it does work for perspectives.  You need to click on the options button in the connections dialog (where you specify source/target databases/projects) and ensure the perspective options are selected.  This should work fine and you should see the perspectives listed in the differences grid.  Let me know if you have issues.
    • ah, "options"... 
      thanks Christian, all good.
    • You're welcome
  • Unable to read settings file
    2 Posts | Last post October 17, 2013
    • Hi Christian, 
      We have been using the app for a while now and suddenly we getting a message on one of our models saying: "Could not read workspace setting file..." We have tried opening and closing the model and even visual studio, but still receive the message. I can even deploy the model without issue. 
    • Hi Chad,
      Can you try creating a new settings file? To do this, create a copy of the whole project folder, show hidden files, delete the settings file(s), reopen the project and the bim file in Visual Studio. Alberto Ferrari does it here (for a different reason):  
      If this works, can you send me an e-mail at telling me filenames of both the old and new settings files?
  • Naming convention for projects for BISM
    3 Posts | Last post September 27, 2013
    • Hi Christian, 
      we are trying out a merge of 2 projects, but the compare wont work as it thinks that the ID of the database contains special characters.  I have confirmed that the database ID in the asdatabase file doesn't contain any of the blacklisted characters, it only contains  underscores.  
      Can you help? 
    • Hi Dan,
      I would like to reproduce this problem.  Any chance I could get a copy of the project files?  Alternatively (if sensitive models), is it possible to recreate in dummy projects?
      If you want to take this offline, or e-mail me a copy of the files, my e-mail address is
    • As discussed offline, fixed in version  This was caused by a bug in the previous version - it was not handling KPIs with special characters in the name.
  • Remote addin folder issues
    1 Posts | Last post September 27, 2013
    • A few of you have had issues with the installation machine pointing at a remote addin folder.  Here are some workarounds.
      1. If you can run the installer, set it to a local addin folder. If necessary, you can configure the local Addin folder in Visual Studio options.
      2. If you cannot run the installer at all because it "could not access the remote network location", send me an e-mail at and I can send you the files to manually place in a local addin folder.
      3. As discovered by Jonas Edsman, after manually copying the files if you still get error 80131515 when Visual Studio tries to load even from a local addin folder, then set "<loadFromRemoteSources enabled="true"/>" in devenv.exe.config
      Thanks for the tip Jonas!
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