Connections in Power BI
Data does not necessarily come in the form of Excel or CSV file, it could be many platforms, where we need to download the data from the web, from SQL server, or any other platform. Most of us maintain our data either in Excel file or CSV file, but beyond this Power BI can fetch the data from multiple sources. In this article, we will show you how Power BI data connection works in detail to fetch data from various sources.
AS we know that we can import the data in power bi or we can make connections in power bi, the data in a connection are accessed via different queries, connections can be a SQL connection from a data set or they can be various other data sources as discussed earlier in the type of data sources.
For the connection of any source of data in Power BI, we need to click on “Get Data” under the “Home” tab. In this list, we can see the most common data sources options but click on the “More” option at the bottom of this drop-down list to explore more options of data sources for Power BI.
- It will open a new window of “Get Data”. In this, we can see a group of Power BI data sources on the left-hand side. “All, File, Database, Power BI, Azure, Online Services, Other”.
Top 6 Data Source Categories for Power BI
Now we will see what are the kind of data connection are available with each category of connection types in Power BI.
#1 – File Category
Under this, we can see only files that are already stored in the computer memory. This category includes “Excel, Text/CSV, XML, JASON, Folder, PDF, and SharePoint Folder”.
#2 – Database Category
This category mainly works on online platforms, it has a wide variety of database connections.
Below is the list of connections available in this category.
- SQL Server Database
- Access Database
- SQL Server Analysis Services Database
- Oracle Database
- IBM DB2 Database
- IBM Informix database (Beta)
- IBM Netezza
- MySQL Database
- PostgreSQL Database
- Sybase Database
- Teradata Database
- SAP HANA Database
- SAP Business Warehouse Application Server
- SAP Business Warehouse Message Server
- Google BigQuery
- AtScale cubes (Beta)
- BI Connector
- Indexima (Beta)
- InterSystems IRIS (Beta)
- Jethro (Beta)
- MarkLogic (Beta)
- Amazon Redshift
#3 – Power Platform
This category of Power BI data connection includes “Power BI Datasets, Power BI data flows, Common data service”.
#4 – Azure Category
This is a cloud services database to fetch the data, Power BI can fetch the data from Azure cloud services as well.
Below are the kind of connections we can see under this category of data connections.
- Azure SQL Database
- Azure SQL Data Warehouse
- Azure Analysis Services database
- Azure Blob Storage
- Azure Table Storage
- Azure Cosmos DB
- Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 (Beta)
- Azure Data Lake Storage Gen1
- Azure HDInsight (HDFS)
- Azure HDInsight Spark
- HDInsight Interactive Query
- Azure Data Explorer (Kusto)
- Azure Cost Management (Beta)
#5 – Online Services Category
This is the needs of the hour category. Under this category, we can fetch the live data and also set the data refresh timings.
Below are the data connections available with Online Services.
- SharePoint Online List
- Microsoft Exchange Online
- Dynamics 365 (online)
- Dynamics NAV
- Dynamics 365 Business Central
- Dynamics 365 Business Central (on-premises)
- Microsoft Azure Consumption Insights (Beta)
- Azure DevOps (Beta)
- Azure DevOps Server (Beta)
- Salesforce Objects
- Salesforce Reports
- Google Analytics
- Adobe Analytics
- appFigures (Beta)
- Data.World – Get Dataset (Beta)
- GitHub (Beta)
- MailChimp (Beta)
- Marketo (Beta)
- Mixpanel (Beta)
- Planview Enterprise One – PRM (Beta)
- Planview Projectplace (Beta)
- QuickBooks Online (Beta)
- SparkPost (Beta)
- Stripe (Beta)
- SweetIQ (Beta)
- Planview Enterprise One – CMT (Beta)
- Twilio (Beta)
- tyGraph (Beta)
- Webtrends (Beta)
- Zendesk (Beta)
- Dynamics 365 Customer Insights (Beta)
- Emigo Data Source (Beta)
- Entersoft Business Suite (Beta)
- Industrial App Store
- Intune Data Warehouse (Beta)
- Microsoft Graph Security (Beta)
- Quick Base
#6 – Other Category
This category provides data connection from other sources like “Web”, R Script, and Python Script etc…
Below are the data connections available with the above option.
- SharePoint List
- OData Feed
- Active Directory
- Microsoft Exchange
- Hadoop File (HDFS)
- R Script
- Python script
- OLE DB
- Information Grid (Beta)
- QubolePresto (Beta)
- Roamler (Beta)
- SurveyMonkey (Beta)
- Tenforce (Smart)List (Beta)
- Workforce Dimensions (Beta)
- Blank Query
- BI360 – Budgeting & Financial Reporting (Beta)
How to Connect Data from the Web?
Now I will show you a simple example of fetching the data from the web using URL. We will extract the world population table from below given URL link.
Step 1: Go to Power BI >>> Get Data >>> Web.
Step 2: Now it will ask you enter the URL from where you need to download the data, copy and paste the above URL and click on Ok.
It will establish a connection and shows multiple tables. You can click on each table and see the preview then you can either select or unselect.
Step 3: Once you are ok with the data, click on “Load” to upload the data to Power BI.
After upload, we can see this table under the “data” section.
Things to Remember
- Not many people use many of the Power BI data source connection platforms except “File Category” options.
- Microsoft continuously working on adding new data connection platforms as and when they release updates.
This has been a guide to Power BI Connections. Here we discuss the top 6 data connection sources include file, Database, Power Platform, Azure, Online Services, and others. You can learn more about Power BI from the following articles –