Power BI Connections

Updated on January 2, 2024
Article byJeevan A Y
Edited byAshish Kumar Srivastav
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

Connections in Power BI

Data does not necessarily come in the form of Excel or CSV files. There could be many platforms where we need to download the data from the web, SQL server, or any other platform. Most of us maintain our data in an Excel or CSV file, but Power BI can fetch the data from multiple sources. This article will show how the Power BI data connection can fetch data from various sources.

As we know, we can import the data in Power BI or make connections in Power BI; the data in a connection are accessed via different queries. The connections can be a SQL connection from a data set or 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 listDrop-down ListA drop-down list in excel is a pre-defined list of inputs that allows users to select an option.read more to explore more data sources options for Power BI.

Power BI Connections - More Option
  • 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.”
Get Data Window

Top 6 Data Source Categories for Power BI

Now, we will see what kind of data connections are available with each category of connection type 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,” “JSON,” “Folder,” “PDF,” and “SharePoint Folder.”

File Category

–>> If you want to learn Power BI professionally, then Power BI Basics Course (5+ hours) is the perfect solution. This course will introduce you to a wide range of Power BI concepts like collection of software services, apps, and connectors that work together to turn your unrelated sources of data into coherent, visually immersive, and interactive insights, Creating Reports in Power BI Desktop, Analyze Data with Excel, Graphs & Visualizations, Interactive Dashboards along with some real life examples.

#2 – Database Category

This category mainly works on online platforms. Therefore, it has various database connections.

Database Category

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
  • Impala
  • Google BigQuery
  • Vertica
  • Snowflake
  • Essbase
  • AtScale cubes (Beta)
  • BI Connector
  • Dremio
  • Exasol
  • Indexima (Beta)
  • InterSystems IRIS (Beta)
  • Jethro (Beta)
  • Kyligence
  • MarkLogic (Beta)
  • Amazon Redshift

#3 – Power Platform

This Power BI data connection category includes “Power BI datasets,” “Power BI dataflows,” and “Common Data Service.”

Power Platform

#4 – Azure Category

It is a cloud services database to fetch the data. Power BI can fetch the data from Azure cloud services as well.

Azure

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

It is the need of the hour category. Under this category, we can fetch the live data and set the data refresh timings.

Online Services

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)
  • Facebook
  • GitHub (Beta)
  • MailChimp (Beta)
  • Marketo (Beta)
  • Mixpanel (Beta)
  • Planview Enterprise One – PRM (Beta)
  • Planview Projectplace (Beta)
  • QuickBooks Online (Beta)
  • Smartsheet
  • 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 sources like “Web,” R script, Python Scripts, etc.

Other Category

Below are the data connections available with the above option.

  • Web
  • SharePoint List
  • OData Feed
  • Active Directory
  • Microsoft Exchange
  • Hadoop File (HDFS)
  • Spark
  • R Script
  • Python script
  • ODBC
  • OLE DB
  • Information Grid (Beta)
  • Paxata
  • QubolePresto (Beta)
  • Roamler (Beta)
  • SurveyMonkey (Beta)
  • Tenforce (Smart)List (Beta)
  • Workforce Dimensions (Beta)
  • Blank Query
  • BI360 – Budgeting & Financial Reporting (Beta)
  • Denodo

How to Connect Data from the Web?

Now, we will show you a simple example of fetching the data from the web using a URL. But, first, we will extract the world population table from the URL link.

Source: worldpopulationreview.com

Step 1: Go to Power BI >>> Get Data >>> Web.

Power BI Connections - Connect Data from Web

Step 2: Now, it will ask you to enter the URL from where you need to download the data, copy and paste the above URL and click on “OK.”

Power BI Connections - Enter URL Link

It will establish a connection and show multiple tables. Then, 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 “Load” to upload the data to Power BI.

Power BI Connections - Preview Web Data

After uploading, we can see this table under the “Data” section.

Power BI Connections - Load Data to Power BI

Things to Remember

  • Not many people use many of the Power BI data source connection platforms except for the “File Category” options.
  • Microsoft is continuously working on adding new data connection platforms as and when they release updates.

This article has been a guide to Power BI Connections. Here, we discuss the top 6 data connection sources: file, Database, Power Platform, Azure, Online Services, and others. You can learn more about Power BI from the following articles: –