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Import FTP Data into the Power BI Service for Visualizations

Use the CData Cloud Hub to create an OData feed for FTP 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 FTP data for visualizations, dashboards, and more. This article shows how to use the CData Cloud Hub to generate an OData feed for FTP, import FTP data into Power BI and then create reports on FTP 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 FTP data in real-time (instead of importing the data). Read how in the related Knowledge Base article.

Create a Virtual SQL Database for FTP 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 "FTP" from Available Data Sources.
  3. Enter the necessary authentication properties to connect to FTP.

    To connect to FTP or SFTP servers, specify at least RemoteHost and FileProtocol. Specify the port with RemotePort.

    Set User and Password to perform Basic authentication. Set SSHAuthMode to use SSH authentication. See the Getting Started section of the data provider help documentation for more information on authenticating via SSH.

    Set SSLMode and SSLServerCert to secure connections with SSL.

    The data provider lists the tables based on the available folders in your FTP server. Set the following connection properties to control the relational view of the file system:

    • RemotePath: Set this to the current working directory.
    • TableDepth: Set this to control the depth of folders to list as views.
    • FileRetrievalDepth: Set this to retrieve and list files recursively from the root table.

    Stored Procedures are available to download files, upload files, and send protocol commands. See the Data Model chapter of the FTP data provider documentation for more information.

  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 FTP data in the Power BI service, add a Cloud Hub API user, add FTP 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 FTP 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 FTP virtual database.
  5. On the Privileges tab, add the newly created user (with at least SELECT permissions) and click Save Changes.

Add FTP OData Endpoints in Cloud Hub

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

  1. Click OData -> Tables -> Add Tables.
  2. Select the FTP 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 FTP 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 FTP Data from Cloud Applications

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

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