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Power BI Designer API

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Marco Russo on 27 Mar 2015 16:20:23

Power BI Designer saves a local PBIX file, which can be a file to export data and data model – in other words, it’s a format that contains a complete semantic model. All the applications that today export data in several formats (CSV, Excel, XML), might provide a richer semantic model exporting a PBIX file.

Many ISV/SI that have OLTP and other applications that stores data in some database, usually struggle to offer a compelling BI story to their customers. The smaller they are, the more they feel this pressure because probably the effort they can put in their custom software is minimal.

Today these ISV/SI integrate their solution with external vendor technologies (QlikView is a common choice here). However, the cost of such a solution for the end user is not always appealing, and for this reason the MS partner ecosystem always look for components (charts and pivot tables) to integrate in their solutions.

Providing them an easy and inexpensive way to produce PBIX files “ready to use” straight from their product/solution would provide several benefits:

- Customers would have something ready to be uploaded to Power BI service

- ISV/SI would be able to provide a BI solution integrated with MS ecosystem

- ISV/SI can implement solutions like “send a PBIX file via mail every week to all the agents including only the data of their prospects/customers” - Today they already do that using the .CUB format, which can be consumed by both Excel and custom applications

- Microsoft would increase the number of Power BI users very quickly - Small ISV/SI would be able to implement such integration very fast

What I propose to do is, in descending order of importance:

1) Support Power BI Designer as a local engine with an API that can be used by anyone and officially support local connections by other programs (starting from Excel)

- The API should provide the ability to create a data model and to populate it with data by just using API, without any manual interaction

- Providing the ability to connect from other clients (today it is possible but not officially supported) would increase the adoption.

2) Document and “open” the PBIX file, so that it can be generated by anyone

- I think that this is easy for the data model, but not for the data.

- But without the data, this model would be not so useful, requiring a manual refresh to be populated.

3) Open source the Power BI Designer

- Not really a priority in my opinion, but if the first two wouldn’t be possible, this one could be ok

Administrator on 21 Oct 2022 02:41:46

Update 10/17: This is now in our upcoming roadmap and we will share more details in the coming months. Mo (Note: this item is similar to the GIT item)

Hi everyone. There are some really interesting ideas in this thread, thanks for your vocal support about it! We'll consider it for the future along with other suggestions and plans. Thanks!

Comments (97)
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Power BI Ideas Admin on 05 Jul 2020 23:59:06

RE: Power BI Designer API

We are strugeling with this for all our technical teams in our company. It looks like this will be a reason for us to move to another bi product, like looker because it does it much simpler for them

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JESUS GONZALEZ on 05 Jul 2020 23:59:02

RE: Power BI Designer API

Please we need it !

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Shawn Watts on 05 Jul 2020 23:58:18

RE: Power BI Designer API

Need to add tons of template measures. Please add this feature!

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Billy Marsh on 05 Jul 2020 23:58:04

RE: Power BI Designer API

Creating multiple measures has become a very time consuming exercise as my model has grown; some way of adding multiple at once would be an absolute lifesaver and be a real silver-bullet for productivity!

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Power BI User on 05 Jul 2020 23:50:11

RE: Power BI Designer API

Under review for four years?

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Alex _ on 05 Jul 2020 23:49:28

RE: Power BI Designer API

The development experience with Power BI data models must be improved, especially in terms of UI speed/responsiveness.
Even simple changes on a relatively small and simple model take too long to apply...
At the very least it's necessary to "be able to toggle whether the measure gets calculated instantly or later (similar to Excel)".

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clorenz on 05 Jul 2020 23:48:12

RE: Power BI Designer API

Under review for 4 years, nice PBI. This would save so much time. Or, at least, be able to toggle whether the measure gets calculated instantly or later (similar to Excel), so it's just a copy paste exercise in the interim

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Power BI User on 05 Jul 2020 23:47:21

RE: Power BI Designer API

We need a scripting pane, to create more than one measure at a time, so arduous if you are creating many measures

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Adam Tappis on 05 Jul 2020 23:46:03

RE: Power BI Designer API

Guys what's the hold up? I need to automate the generation of several hundred reports based on a template and publish them as offline pbix files in the file system. No PowerBI service, no PowerBI server, just standalone files for PowerBI desktop. I assumed such an API should exist but it it would appear that you just wish to force everyone to use the PowerBI Service

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Chance@redlionconsultancy.com on 05 Jul 2020 23:45:21

RE: Power BI Designer API

We really could do with something that allows us to create custom connectors to legacy systems as it would prevent the current need for FTP transfer of flat file extracts, which is error-prone and labour intensive.

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