Visualize Live Paylocity Data in the Power BI Service

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CData Connect



Use CData Connect Cloud to create a virtual SQL Server database for Paylocity data 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 instant access to Paylocity data for visualizations, dashboards, and more. This article shows how to build and publish a dataset from Paylocity data in Power BI and then create reports on Paylocity data in the Power BI service.

CData Connect Cloud provides a pure SQL interface for Paylocity, allowing you to easily build reports from live Paylocity data in Power BI — with no need to replicate the data. As you build visualizations, Power BI generates SQL queries to gather data. Using optimized data processing out of the box, CData Connect Cloud pushes all supported SQL operations (filters, JOINs, etc) directly to Paylocity, leveraging server-side processing to quickly return Paylocity data.

NOTE: You can also import Paylocity data into Power BI through Connect Cloud (instead of using the on-premise gateway). Read how in the related Knowledge Base article.

Create a Virtual SQL Database for Paylocity Data

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 "Paylocity" from Available Data Sources.
  3. Enter the necessary authentication properties to connect to Paylocity.

    Set the following to establish a connection to Paylocity:

    • RSAPublicKey: Set this to the RSA Key associated with your Paylocity, if the RSA Encryption is enabled in the Paylocity account.

      This property is required for executing Insert and Update statements, and it is not required if the feature is disabled.

    • UseSandbox: Set to true if you are using sandbox account.
    • CustomFieldsCategory: Set this to the Customfields category. This is required when IncludeCustomFields is set to true. The default value for this property is PayrollAndHR.
    • Key: The AES symmetric key(base 64 encoded) encrypted with the Paylocity Public Key. It is the key used to encrypt the content.

      Paylocity will decrypt the AES key using RSA decryption.
      It is an optional property if the IV value not provided, The driver will generate a key internally.

    • IV: The AES IV (base 64 encoded) used when encrypting the content. It is an optional property if the Key value not provided, The driver will generate an IV internally.

    Connect Using OAuth Authentication

    You must use OAuth to authenticate with Paylocity. OAuth requires the authenticating user to interact with Paylocity using the browser. For more information, refer to the OAuth section in the Help documentation.

    The Pay Entry API

    The Pay Entry API is completely separate from the rest of the Paylocity API. It uses a separate Client ID and Secret, and must be explicitly requested from Paylocity for access to be granted for an account. The Pay Entry API allows you to automatically submit payroll information for individual employees, and little else. Due to the extremely limited nature of what is offered by the Pay Entry API, we have elected not to give it a separate schema, but it may be enabled via the UsePayEntryAPI connection property.

    Please be aware that when setting UsePayEntryAPI to true, you may only use the CreatePayEntryImportBatch & MergePayEntryImportBatchgtable stored procedures, the InputTimeEntry table, and the OAuth stored procedures. Attempts to use other features of the product will result in an error. You must also store your OAuthAccessToken separately, which often means setting a different OAuthSettingsLocation when using this connection property.

  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 connect to and visualize live Paylocity data in the Power BI service), install the on-premises data gateway, add a data source to the gateway from the Power BI service, and publish a dataset from Power BI Desktop to the service.

Install the On-Premises Data Gateway

The Microsoft on-premises data gateway provides secure data transfer between connected data sources and various cloud-based Microsoft tools and platforms. You can read more about the gateway in the Microsoft documentation.

You can download and install the gateway from the Power BI service:

  1. Log in to PowerBI.com.
  2. Click the Download menu and click Data Gateway.
  3. Follow the instructions for installation, making note of the name of the gateway.

Add Paylocity as a Data Source to the Power BI Service

Once you have installed the data gateway, you add Connect Cloud as a data source to the Power BI service:

  1. Log in to PowerBI.com.
  2. Click the Settings menu and click "Manage gateways."
  3. Click "ADD DATA SOURCE" and configure the connection to Connect Cloud:

    • Set Data Source Name CloudHub_Paylocity.
    • Choose SQL Server as the Data Source Type.
    • Set Server to the address of your Connect Cloud instance (i.e.: myinstance.cdatacloud.net).
    • Set Database to the name of your virtual Paylocity database (i.e.: paylocitydb).
    • Set Authentication Method to Basic.
    • Set Username and Password to Connect Cloud credentials.

Publish a Dataset from Power BI Desktop

With the gateway installed and Connect Cloud added as a datasource to the Power BI service, you can publish a dataset from Power BI Desktop to the service.

  1. Open Power BI, click Get Data -> More, then select SQL Server database, and click Connect.
  2. Set the connection properties and click OK.
    • Set Server to the address of your Connect Cloud instance (i.e.: myinstance.cdatacloud.net).
    • Set Database to the name of your virtual Paylocity database (i.e.: paylocitydb).
    • Set Data Connectivity mode to DirectQuery*.
    * DirectQuery enables live query processing and real-time visualizations of Paylocity data.
  3. In the authentication wizard, select Database, set the User name and Password properties, and click Connect.
  4. Select the table(s) to visualize in the Navigator dialog.
  5. In the Query Editor, you can customize your dataset by filtering, sorting, and summarizing Paylocity columns. Click Edit to open the query editor. Right-click a row to filter the rows. Right-click a column header to perform actions like the following:

    • Change column data types
    • Remove a column
    • Group by columns

    Power BI detects each column's data type from the Paylocity metadata reported by Connect Cloud.

    Power BI records your modifications to the query in the Applied Steps section, adjusting the underlying data retrieval query that is executed to the remote Paylocity data. When you click Close and Apply, Power BI executes the data retrieval query.

    Otherwise, click Load to pull the data into 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 Paylocity 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 Paylocity Data from Cloud Applications

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

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