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Import Act CRM Data into the Power BI Service for Visualizations



Use CData Connect Cloud to connect to Act CRM and provide access to live Act CRM data for custom reports in the Power BI Service.

Power BI transforms your company's data into rich visuals for you to collect and organize so you can focus on what matters to you. When paired with CData Connect Cloud, you get access to Act CRM data for visualizations, dashboards, and more. This article shows how to connect to Act CRM in CData Connect Cloud, publish a dataset from Power BI Desktop to the Power BI Service and then create reports on Act CRM data in the Power BI service.

Configure Act CRM Connectivity for Power BI Service

Connectivity to Act CRM from Power BI Service is made possible through CData Connect Cloud. To work with Act CRM data from Power BI Service, we start by creating and configuring a Act CRM connection.

(Optional) Add a New Connect Cloud User

As needed, create Users to connect to Act CRM through Connect Cloud.

  1. Navigate to the Users page and click Invite Users
  2. Enter the new user's email address and click Send to invite the user
  3. You can review and edit users from the Users page

Connect to Act CRM from Connect Cloud

CData Connect Cloud uses a straightforward, point-and-click interface to connect to data sources.

  1. Log into Connect Cloud, click Connections and click Add Connection
  2. Select "Act CRM" from the Add Connection panel
  3. Enter the necessary authentication properties to connect to Act CRM.

    The User and Password properties, under the Authentication section, must be set to valid Act! user credentials. In addition to the authentication values, see the following:

    • Connecting to Act! Premium

      In addition to the authentication values, the URL to Act! is also required; for example https://eup1-iis-04.eu.hosted.act.com/.

      Additionally, you must specify the ActDatabase you will connect to. This is found by going to the About Act! Premium menu of your account, at the top right of the page, in the ? menu. Use the Database Name in the window that appears.

    • Connecting to Act! Premium Cloud

      To connect to your Act! Premium Cloud account, you also need to specify the ActCloudName property. This property is found in the URL address of the Cloud account; for example https://eup1-iis-04.eu.hosted.act.com/ActCloudName/.

    Note that retrieving ActCRM metadata can be expensive. It is advised that you set the CacheMetadata property to store the metadata locally.

  4. Click Create & Test
  5. Navigate to the Permissions tab in the Add Act CRM Connection page and update the User-based permissions.

With the connection configured, you are ready to connect to Act CRM data from the Power BI service.

Publish a Dataset from Power BI Desktop

Once you connect to Act CRM in Connect Cloud, you can create a dataset in Power BI desktop and publish the dataset to the Power BI service.

  1. Open Power BI Desktop and click Get Data -> Online Services -> CData Connect Cloud and click "Connect"
  2. Click "Sign in" and authenticate with your CData Connect Cloud account
  3. After signing in, click "Connect"
  4. Select tables in the Navigator dialog
  5. Click Load to establish the connection to your Act CRM data from Power BI

  6. Define any relationships between the selected entities on the Relationships tab.
  7. Click Publish (from the Home menu) and select a Workspace.

Build Reports and Dashboards on Act CRM Data in the Power BI Service

Now that you have published a dataset to the Power BI service, you can create new reports and dashboards based on the published data:

  1. Log in to PowerBI.com.
  2. Click Workspaces and select a workspace.
  3. Click Create and select Report.
  4. Select the published dataset for the report.
  5. Choose fields and visualizations to add to your report.

Live Access to Act CRM Data from Cloud Applications

Now you have a direct connection to live Act CRM data from the Power BI service. You can create more data sources and new visualizations, build reports, and more — all without replicating Act CRM data.

To get live data access to 100+ SaaS, Big Data, and NoSQL sources directly from your cloud applications, sign up for a free trial of CData Connect Cloud.