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Regular Visitor

Unfamiliar icon on relationship lines in Model View

One of my clients encountered this the other day, and I confess I've never seen this before. When they create a relationship between a DirectQuery table and an Imported table, they're getting a funny-looking "parentheses" symbol on the connector line, like this:



No idea why. I'd be grateful for any insight anyone would care to offer. Thanks!

Super User
Super User

New Member

Speaking for myself, my scenario is that when I add additional data source to an existing dataset with one of the queries that is over 1 million lines, the relationship would not work completely, it's over the capacity.

Regular Visitor

For the sake of additional context if anyone else hits on this topic, here’s a forum post about the same funny icons where a MS person says there’s no mention of it in the documentation, “which also shows that it’s probably not important”…

Super User
Super User

This indicates a limited relationship.


The Microsoft Documentation describes it here:


It's also worth checking out Alberto Ferarri's article here:



Prior post:

@AlexisOlson, thanks so much for replying! I have a question about this, though: when I first saw this example, that was the exact thought I had -- that it represented a limited relationship. But, I haven't been able to find any documentation that mentions this visual representation, nor have I been able to reproduce the effect by adding a limited relationship to a model using the most recent build of Power BI Desktop. Do you know when this functionality was added? Does anything else need to be true for it to appear in the Model View?


Thanks again!

I think it's fairly recent (within the last 6 months?).


I learned about it from the Mastering Tabular video course by the SQLBI guys. The 'Limited relationships' video is apparently one of the free preview videos in this course, so you may want to check it out. I don't know more about it than they cover or what can be gleaned from the other links I provided.

They do not really give much content for FREE.. Only the outline and sales pitch. Bare bones. Outline is very strategic and impressive though 😉

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