DAX VAR defining named variables in the middle of the measure code


I have been presented here with a bizarre exploitation of VAR function. So far I have encountered VAR in the beginning of the measure, right after the equal sign. See the code below:

Expected Result = SUMX ( VALUES ( Unique_Manager[Manager] ), VAR SumBrand = CALCULATE ( SUM ( Budget_Brand[BudgetBrand] ) ) VAR SumProduct = CALCULATE ( SUM ( Budget_Product[BudgetProduct] ) ) RETURN IF ( ISBLANK ( SumProduct ), SumBrand, SumProduct ) )

Here VAR is nested deeply inside the measure code. Needless to say that this is a fantastic feature of VAR. I have been trying to use that feature in my measures with no luck. For example, this works:

Measure_good = CALCULATE( SUM(table[Amount]) )

While this does not work:

Measure_bad = CALCULATE( VAR inside_measure = SUM(table[Amount]) )

What are the rules for using VAR in this unusual way?


A VAR statement needs a matching RETURN. You can declare several variables after one another, but then you must use a RETURN command to pass the variables back to the main calculation, where the variable can then be used for evaluation in an IF statement or whatever

I have not tested this, but your Measure_bad should be like this (although it doesn't make much sense to use a VAR if all the remainder of the formula returns the variable)

Measure_bad = CALCULATE( VAR inside_measure = SUM(table[Amount]) RETURN inside_measure )

When you use a variable, via a VAR statement, you must always include a RETURN statement to essentially tell DAX you are going to consume those variables and return a value. In your last example, you do not include a RETURN statement and, therefore, you will get an error. In your first example, you have a RETURN statement, thus, no error. In your second example, you are not using variables.


I have found a relevant information in documentation:



An expression passed as an argument to VAR can contain another VAR declaration.

When referencing a variable:


Measures cannot refer to variables defined outside the measure expression, but can refer to functional scope variables defined within the expression.

</li> <li>

Variables can refer to measures.

</li> <li>

Variables can refer to previously defined variables.

</li> <li>

Columns in table variables cannot be referenced via TableName[ColumnName] syntax.

</li> </ul></blockquote>



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