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Power BI Designer API

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Marco Russo's profile image

Marco Russo on 2015-03-27 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 10/21/2022 2:41:46 AM

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) Merged Idea (4)
Vote 3
Leopold Pöchinger's profile image

Leopold Pöchinger on 2020-01-21 22:59:14

Power BI

Access .pbix File with .NET library

It would be grateful if it would be possible to read and write to a .pbix file with a .NET library. So it is possible to add or modify connections, DataTables and to modify the model. I am a programmer and so it would be possible to programmaticly change and modify a pbix-File

Vote 5
Power BI User's profile image

Power BI User on 2015-05-28 03:22:02

Power BI

Allow developer to prgrammatically build a powerpivot model

I'd like to build the model programmatically, or at least from a precreated template.

Vote 3
's profile image

on 2018-02-07 23:05:05

Power BI

Automate the creation of Power BI .pbix file with one template

Hi Team, We are using Tableau desktop and tableau server for one of my application. In tableau there is an option to create a workbook or reports automatically i.e. if we develop one workbook and save it in XML format , we can use the same design for multiple databases by changing the database n...

Vote 9
PLK's profile image

PLK on 2018-12-10 22:03:44

Power BI

Enterprise support for datasource management in PowerBI files

We have a problem currently with the fact that .pbix files are very different from any other SSRS reporting artefact in terms of enterprise readiness for deployments. We have a full-featured deployment system that can deploy entire trees of reporting artefacts along with replacing datasource defi...