Welcome to deBUG.to Community where you can ask questions and receive answers from Microsoft MVPs and other experts in our community.
0 like 0 dislike
in Power BI by 15 15 24

What're the main differences between Reference vs Duplicate in Power BI? and When can I use Reference rather than Duplicate with tables and queries in Power Query and Power BI?

Difference between Reference and Duplicate in Power BI

1 Answer

2 like 0 dislike
by 155 174 350
selected by
Best answer

What're the main differences between Reference vs Duplicate in Power BI?

In Power BI, you can use Copy, Reference, and Duplicate to copy tables In Power Query. However, each option has different use and purpose as the following:

1) Reference in Power BI.

  1. Copy the original query without any custom steps.
  2. Only the source step will be available in the reference table.
  3. The reference query mainly depends on the main query.
  4. Any changes in the original query will affect the reference table.
  5. The new applied steps in the original query will be applied to the reference table.
  6. Any custom steps in the reference table will not be applied to the main query.
  7. The Reference query doesn’t require more processing.

2) Duplicate in Power BI

  1. Copy the entire query with all applied steps from the main query.
  2. The new copy will be isolated from the main query that can be changed without affecting the main query.
  3. The Duplicate query requires more processing.
  4. Any changes in the original query will NOT affect the Duplicate query and vice versa.

Learn more at Duplicate vs Reference vs Copy in Power BI.

by 15 15 24
0 0
Great Mohamed, the link made it very clear, thank you!
0 3
You said: "2. Only the source step will be available in the reference table."    This is NOT true!

I have tested it myself. I used a spreadsheet as data source, which produces a list of tables, sheets and DefinedNames. I filtered the Kind column to just the tables, then referenced it in another query. The referencing query also contained just tables - there were no other objects, as there would have been if your point 2 was correct. Please update your post.
by 15 15 24
2 0
I am the question owner, and I can confirm that your comment is not correct at all!!! or you didn't understand what the answer mean!
once you reference a table the applied steps will be reflected but you can't see it in the reference table
It will be only shown in the original table

So "Only the source step will be available in the reference table" is correct and I think you need to update your comment :]

Check also this link to understand the answer! https://devoworx.net/duplicate-vs-reference-query-powerbi/#1-reference-in-power-bi
0 0
Hello. You are right that I didn't understand the answer, because the way it was written was unclear. It didn't make sense to me, as you didn't specify which source you meant--Why would you expect to see anything other than a source step when you reference another query? So, I presumed you meant the source step of the referenced table. I guess I could edit my comment, but then the learning would be lost.
If you don’t ask, the answer is always NO!