SAP HANA connector in Power BI is available in two modes – Multidimensional and Relational. Let’s look at the Pros and Cons of both these modes.
Pros of Multidimensional Mode:
- Performance is good.
- Can connect to multiple data sources in Import mode.
- Parent child hierarchy is supported.
- SSL is supported.
Cons of Multidimensional Mode:
- Composite modeling is not supported in Direct Query mode – which means more than one HANA view cannot be used as the data source in Direct Query mode.
- Cannot add calculated columns in Direct Query mode.
Pros of Relational Mode:
- Performance is good when connecting to simple HANA views with few columns and joins.
- Can add calculated columns in Direct Query mode.
- Composite modeling is supported.
Cons of Relational Mode:
- Performance is not optimal when using larger, complex HANA views.
- Parent child hierarchy is not supported.
- SSL is not supported.
- Non-additive measures do not work as expected (as explained here).
Overall performance using multidimensional mode is much better than relational mode.
Although Multidimensional mode has a few drawbacks, new features and enhancements are focused on multidimensional mode. So, my recommendation is to use multidimensional mode.