Unlike Multidimensional projects, Tabular projects in SQL 2012 do not support translations. This feature gap makes Tabular models less user-friendly when the users are international since the field list in Excel PivotTables and Power View is not in their native language.
Another common scenario where this BI Developer Extensions feature helps is the following. Imagine you are a developer building a Tabular model for users who speak Hebrew natively. It may be easier to code the model with English table and column names so that your DAX would be more readable. But then you want to show your model to users with Hebrew table and column names. This BI Developer Extensions feature would let you code in English but display to users in their native language.
Warning: While translations of metadata work in Tabular models, they are not officially supported by Microsoft. If you encounter a bug in how Tabular handles translations and open a support case, Microsoft may not provide support.
BI Developer Extensions provides a UI for editing translations on metadata (not on data). The following objects can be translated:
Note: Only metadata is translated (i.e. column names) not the data (i.e. values in the rows in tables) since Tabular models do not support translating data like Multidimensional models do.
To launch this feature, right click on the .bim file and choose Tabular Translations Editor…
That launches the UI for editing translations. The first thing to do is to click the Add Language button to add your first translation language:
This screen contains the following columns:
To remove a translation language completely, you can right click on the column header for a language:
If you mouse over a column showing a language name, a tooltip will appear telling you the LCID for that language. You can use this value as the LocaleIdentifier connection string property, as will be shown below in the RSDS example:
Once you have filled in translations, the dialog will look something like the following:
Once translated, if a user with the right language settings on their computer browses your Tabular model in Excel, the field list will display in their native language:
When building a PivotTable, notice that the field names retain the translations, but the data continues to show in the language of the data (in this case English all the time):
Currently Power View (from SQL 2012 RTM version) always passes in LocaleIdentifier=127 to Analysis Services which causes the field list to display in the default language. In order to have Power View show a field list in a translated language, create an RSDS file by going to the document library, opening the Documents tab, dropping down the New Document menu, and choosing Report Data Source. (If this content type is not in the dropdown, then get your SharePoint administrator to add that content type to the document library.)
Then setup the RSDS and include the LocaleIdentifier connection string parameter. (Note, as shown above, mousing over the column header showing the translation language name will show you a tooltip with the proper LocaleIdentifier number.)
To create a new Power View report, pull down the context menu on the RSDS file and choose Create Power View Report:
Power View will then display the translated field list:
The Power View ribbon itself has been properly internationalized by Microsoft. If you install the Language Pack for the languages of your choice and install them, then the SharePoint user menu will let you change languages:
Once the SharePoint display language is changed, the Power View ribbon should display in that display language the next time you launch it:
Note that some changes like reordering levels or setting format strings will wipe out the translations. BI Developer Extensions backs up the display folders in an annotation on the database. That way, the Tabular Pre-Build feature can prompt you to fix this setting.
Translations are not supported on Tabular KPIs currently due to a bug in Analysis Services.
After changing translations, BI Developer Extensions may prompt you for the credentials to a data source which is using stored credentials if you have not already entered those credentials during this SSDT editing session. This prompt ensures that data source credentials in the workspace database do not get wiped out as translations are applied.