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Import JSON Services into the Power BI Service for Visualizations

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

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

Create a Virtual SQL Database for JSON Services

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

  1. Login to Connect Cloud and click Databases.
  2. Select "JSON" from Available Data Sources.
  3. Enter the necessary authentication properties to connect to JSON.

    See the Getting Started chapter in the data provider documentation to authenticate to your data source: The data provider models JSON APIs as bidirectional database tables and JSON files as read-only views (local files, files stored on popular cloud services, and FTP servers). The major authentication schemes are supported, including HTTP Basic, Digest, NTLM, OAuth, and FTP. See the Getting Started chapter in the data provider documentation for authentication guides.

    After setting the URI and providing any authentication values, set DataModel to more closely match the data representation to the structure of your data.

    The DataModel property is the controlling property over how your data is represented into tables and toggles the following basic configurations.

    • Document (default): Model a top-level, document view of your JSON data. The data provider returns nested elements as aggregates of data.
    • FlattenedDocuments: Implicitly join nested documents and their parents into a single table.
    • Relational: Return individual, related tables from hierarchical data. The tables contain a primary key and a foreign key that links to the parent document.

    See the Modeling JSON Data chapter for more information on configuring the relational representation. You will also find the sample data used in the following examples. The data includes entries for people, the cars they own, and various maintenance services performed on those cars.

  4. Click Test Database.
  5. Click Privileges -> Add and add the new user (or an existing user) with the appropriate permissions.

Connecting to Connect Cloud from Power BI

To import and visualize your JSON services in the Power BI service, add a Connect Cloud API user, add JSON OData endpoints in Connect Cloud, and create & publish a dataset from Power BI Desktop to the service.

Add a Connect Cloud User

Create a User to connect to JSON from Power BI through Connect Cloud.

  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 JSON virtual database.
  5. On the Privileges tab, add the newly created user (with at least SELECT permissions) and click Save Changes.

Add JSON OData Endpoints in Connect Cloud

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

  1. Click OData -> Tables -> Add Tables.
  2. Select the JSON 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 Connect Cloud, 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 Connect Cloud 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 JSON Services 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 JSON Services from Cloud Applications

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

To get SQL data access to 200+ SaaS, Big Data, and NoSQL sources directly from your cloud applications, see the CData Connect Cloud.