Download Power BI Reports from Power BI Service

Download report from Power BI Service

A new cool feature added to Power BI Service is the ability to download Power BI reports from Power BI Service. This feature is highly demanded and it’s available from November 2016. I was really excited when I noticed that and I had to try it straight away. I was in a bus back to home on Friday, but, I couldn’t wait until I get home and test this cool feature. So I created a personal hotspot and started testing it in the bus. To make the level of my excitement clearer, I should reveal a secret. I get motion sick in the bus very quickly. It gets worth when I read something, even reading a text on my mobile. Man, it’s really horrible feeling. Knowing that I’ll potentially get sick, I turned on my tablet (a Windows 10 tablet of course) to test this new cool feature. So I logged into my Power BI Service account, I opened a report, clicked File menu and this is what I got

Inactive Download report from Power BI Service

But, why?

Two possibilities jumped into my head immediately:

  • The dataset of this particular report is not supported at the moment
  • The “Download report” feature is NOT supported in my area

So I opened Power BI Desktop and created a report on top of an Excel file very quickly, then I published it to the service and voila! It worked. So it is also available in my area.


Download report from Power BI Service

But, what was wrong with the previous report though? The dataset?

I checked the report’s dataset, it was on-premises SQL Server. Could it be a problem?

I created another Power BI report in Power BI Desktop on top of adventure works on SQL Server 2016. I published the model and interestingly the download report feature was still active. So how on earth I shouldn’t be able to download that report?

Well, I was in the bus, wobble about and I was feeling that the motion sickness symptom is coming for me and there were a bunch of “whys” in my head.

So I had to experiment some other datasets as well. I tested the following datasets:

  1. CSV files
  2. Folder
  3. SQL Server Direct Query
  4. SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) Multidimensional (Connect Live)
  5. SQL Server Analysis Services Tabular
  6. From Web
  7. Azure SQL Database
  8. Azure SQL Data Warehouse

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Azure SQL Data Warehouse and Power BI

Azure SQL Data Warehouse and Power BI

Without a doubt cloud computing is going to change the future of data analytics and data visualisation very significantly. Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse recently released for public preview. Combining Power BI as a powerful data visualisation tool with Azure SQL Data Warehouse will give the users the ability to see data insights of their data stored in Azure Data Warehouse very easily. In this post I explain how to install Azure SQL Data Warehouse and the the way it works with Power BI. Before going any further I’d like to have a look at the Azure SQL Data Warehouse very briefly.

What Is Azure SQL Data Warehouse?

Based on Microsoft documentation a SQL Data Warehouse is

Azure SQL Data Warehouse is an enterprise-class distributed database capable of processing petabyte volumes of relational and non-relational data.

Azure SQL Data Warehouse supports stored procedures, user-defined functions, indexes and collations. It uses columnstore index technology which significantly improves query performance as well as getting you up to 5 times compression in compare with traditional row based indexing.

I leave it to you learn more about Azure SQL Data Warehouse. But, it is important to keep in mind that there are some features like primary keys and foreign keys that are NOT supported in Azure SQL Data Warehouse which affect the way we use Power BI as a data visualisation tool over Azure SQL Data Warehouse. Without primary keys and foreign keys there is no physical relationships between the tables so Power BI service cannot detect any relationships by itself. There is a workaround for this that we can create some SQL views in Azure side to make it work. This can be an expensive solution. The other way is to load the data warehouse into a Power BI Desktop model which can detect the relationships automatically.

Now you know a bit bout Azure SQL Data Warehouse let’s get back to the subject and talk more about Power BI and Azure SQL Data Warehouse.

First things first. You need to have a Microsoft Azure subscription. If you don’t already have it you can use it for a one month trial here. You’ll also get $250 credit. But, remember that if you succeed the $250 in less than a month then you’ll need to pay for it if you want to use it longer.

Install Azure SQL Data Warehouse

After you get your Azure subscription, login to your account and you should see a dashboard like this

Install Azure SQL Data Warehouse

I’m not going to explain the above dashboard as it is out of scope of this article.

  • Click New

Install Azure SQL Data Warehouse 01

  • Click “Data + Storage” then click “SQL Data Ware House”

Install Azure SQL Data Warehouse 02

  • Enter a name for your database
  • Select a performance value

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Power BI and Dynamics CRM

Dynamics CRM and Power BI

Microsoft is building lots of cloud based technologies these days and Microsoft Dynamics CRM is not an exception. With a powerful data visualisation tool like Power BI Microsoft took a great step to integrate Dynamics CRM and Power BI which means you can easily connect from Power BI website and Power BI Desktop to a cloud based Microsoft Dynamics CRM instance. In this article I express a step-by-step tutorial to be able to connect to connect to Dynamics CRM from Power BI website as well as Power BI Desktop.


  • You can only connect to Dynamics CRM Online (Cloud based Dynamics CRM) from both Power BI Desktop and Power BI website. If you have an older version on-premises Dynamics CRM and you’re willing to create visualisations on Power BI then you need to connect to the CRM database on SQL Server instance just like any other SQL Server databases.
  • You need to have a valid OData URL for a Dynamics CRM Online instance and an administrator must enable the OData endpoint in the CRM site settings. To find the OData endpoint address:
    • After browsing your CRM Online in a browser click “Customizations” from “Settings”

Dynamics CRM OData for Power BI

  • Click “Developer Resources”

Dynamics CRM OData for Power BI 2

  • Scroll down and then you can see OData URL under “Organization Data Service”

Dynamics CRM OData for Power BI 3

  • You should connect to Dynamics CRM Online using the same user account as your Power BI website. So if you have a different Power BI account then unfortunately you need to create a new account in Power BI which is identical to your CRM account.
  • Your browser’s popup blocker should be disabled or you should exclude from your popup blocker.
  • As Microsoft Dynamics CRM is integrated with Power BI you need to have Office 365 subscription. If you don’t have Dynamics CRM Online and Office 365 subscription, but, you’re willing to learn how Power BI and Dynamics CRM Online work together you can sign up for a 30-day trial of Microsoft Dynamics CRM here. There is also a trial guide for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and Office 365 here.
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    Drill Action in Power BI

    Two days ago Microsoft added  some new exciting features to Power BI with the new Power BI Weekly Service Update. The more exciting one is Drill action in Power BI reports. So from now on we’re able to add a number of fields we’d like to have on the reports with a drill path. That means the users can navigate from a level to another. In this short article I show you how to implement a drill action in Power BI. In the “Data Visualisation with Power BI Desktop” I explained how to implement and publish a complete visualisation in Power BI Desktop. In this post I’m going to use the sample we published to the Power BI website as a sample. So if you are not familiar with how to create data visualisations in Power BI Desktop I encourage you to have a look at this.

    Adding Drill Action to Sales by Product Category – Column Chart:

    • Login to your Power BI account
    • Open a report that you want to add a drill action to (as a sample I’m using Adventure Works Reseller Sales which I published previously)
    • Click “Edit Report”Drill Action in Power BI 01Select “Sales by Product Category” chart
    • From “Fields” pane expand “Products”
    • Drag and drop Product to Axis right behind the Product CategoryDrill Action in Power BI 02Now you can see the Drill Down Level icon (image) on the chartDrill Action in Power BI 03 Continue reading “Drill Action in Power BI”