I believe the options I have for pulling data sources is 1) connection only, 2) load to data model or 3) load to spreadsheet.

2) and 3) seem obivous but when I load connection only, are my scripts being executed on my laptop via excel or is it being performed from the server? I want to create some left outer merge on rather large set of data and wanted to see if I can use server resources than my laptop.

I noticed that when embedding SQL language within R, it seems to have the server run the engine and not do it on my laptop.


Connection only means that the data is not loaded onto your computer.

When you query a SQL Server data source, you can set up joins by creating "connection only" queries, that you then merge with the main query. The Power Query definition is translated into a native SQL query that can be executed by the source database server. This is called "query folding" and ensures the most efficient SQL code is used to execute the query. On the server, of course.

If query folding cannot be used, for example when two different data connections are used, the data will be loaded to your machine and processed row by row.

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