Changing workspace database name in SSAS 2012 Tabular

A word of caution. Before you try to implement any steps mentioned in this entry, I would like to point out that it is not recommend. Moreover, I do not take any responsibility if this causes any issues in your project. 

A tabular model workspace database is created automatically when you create a new  SQL Server Tabular Project in SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT). By default it is created on local SSAS Tabular server but you can choose a different server as well. The workspace database name consist of the project name, user name ,GUID and frankly it looks quite gibberish.  For example look at the screenshot of my SSMS on my test virtual machine. Yikes!! Now imagine this on a server with 10 concurrent users, each with 10 projects and you will get the idea.

So I was wondering if I can somehow rename them. You know something pretty. And as it turn out, I can. So here are the steps.

1. Starts SSTD (obviously!!) and create a new Analysis Services Tabular Project. At this point I would also recommend that you rename the default ‘Model.bim’ to something more meaningful to your project.

2. Right click on bim file and click properties.

3. Apart from all the other properties, you will find Workspace Database property in the bottom portion. The description of the properties is here. If you open SSMS and connect to SSAS Tabular instance, you should find a database with the same name as this property value. As you would notice, Workspace Database cannot be changed. It is read-only and that’s the one we want to change.

4. Now right click on project ,click Open Folder in Windows Explorer and close SSDT.

5. In windows explorer, there would be *.settings file. The format of this file seems to be ModelName.bim_username.settings. It might be hidden so change the folder settings to show hidden files.

6Open this file in notepad. It is an xml although everything will come on one line. I would also recommend that you don’t try to format the file.

7. Now look for <DatabaseName> </DatabaseName> tag. The value between this tag is name of the database. Change this value to something more meaningful, save and close notepad.

8. Open the project/solution in SSDT. Check the properties of bim file. The value of property Workspace Database would be what you set in Step 7.

9. You can also open SSMS and verify this.

Neat, isn’t it??

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9 comments

  1. Very helpful, but there’s a detail missing at step 4.
    Before closing the Data Tools, make sure to set “Workspace Retention” to “Delete Workspace”, in order to delete the already created analysis services db from disk.

  2. When I try to open the project comes up with a Error Message “An error occurred while opening the model on the workspace database. Reason: The ‘Database’ with ‘ID’ = ‘Loss Prevention’ doesn’t exist in the collection.”

    In My Case Loss Prevention is the New Name I have Chosen. I

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