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Import Act CRM Data into the Power BI Service for Visualizations

Use the CData Cloud Hub to create an OData feed for Act CRM and create 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 the CData Cloud Hub, you get access to Act CRM data for visualizations, dashboards, and more. This article shows how to use the CData Cloud Hub to generate an OData feed for Act CRM, import Act CRM data into Power BI and then create reports on Act CRM data in the Power BI service.

NOTE: You can also use the on-premise data gateway and the SQL interface in Cloud Hub to connect to Act CRM data in real-time (instead of importing the data). Read how in the related Knowledge Base article.

Create a Virtual SQL Database for Act CRM Data

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

  1. Login to Cloud Hub and click Databases.
  2. Select "Act CRM" from Available Data Sources.
  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 Test Database.
  5. Click Privileges -> Add and add the new user (or an existing user) with the appropriate permissions.

Connecting to the Cloud Hub from Power BI

To import and visualize your Act CRM data in the Power BI service, add a Cloud Hub API user, add Act CRM OData endpoints in the Cloud Hub, and create & publish a dataset from Power BI Desktop to the service.

Add a Cloud Hub User

Create a User to connect to Act CRM from Power BI through Cloud Hub.

  1. Click Users -> Add
  2. Configure a User.
  3. Click Save Changes and make note of the Authtoken for the new user.
  4. Click Database and select the Act CRM virtual database.
  5. On the Privileges tab, add the newly created user (with at least SELECT permissions) and click Save Changes.

Add Act CRM OData Endpoints in Cloud Hub

After connecting to Act CRM, create OData Endpoints for the desired table(s).

  1. Click OData -> Tables -> Add Tables.
  2. Select the Act CRM database.
  3. Select the table(s) you wish to work with and click Next.
  4. (Optional) Edit the table definition to select specific fields and more.
  5. Save the settings.

Publish a Dataset from Power BI Desktop

With OData endpoints added to the Cloud Hub, you can create a dataset in Power BI descktop using OData connectivity and publish the dataset to the Power BI service.

  1. Open Power BI, click Get Data -> More, then select OData feed, and click Connect.
  2. Set URL to the Base URL of your Cloud Hub instance (e.g.: https://www.cdatacloud.net/myinstance/api.rsc) and click OK.
  3. Set User name and Password to user name and Authtoken from above.
  4. Select the full Base URL (https://www.cdatacloud.net/myinstance/api.rsc) as the level to apply the settings to/
  5. Select the table(s) to visualize in the Navigator dialog.
  6. Click Load to pull the data into Power BI.
  7. Define any relationships between the selected entities on the Relationships tab.
  8. 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.

SQL 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 SQL data access to 100+ SaaS, Big Data, and NoSQL sources directly from your cloud applications, see the CData Cloud Hub.