Connect to Power BI XMLA as an External Data Source using PolyBase

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Power BI XMLA ODBC Driver

The Power BI XMLA ODBC Driver is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live data from Power BI XMLA, directly from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

Access Power BI XMLA data like you would a database - read, write, and update Power BI XMLA FALSE, etc. through a standard ODBC Driver interface.



Use the CData ODBC Driver for Power BI XMLA and PolyBase to create an external data source in SQL Server 2019 with access to live Power BI XMLA data.

PolyBase for SQL Server allows you to query external data by using the same Transact-SQL syntax used to query a database table. When paired with the CData ODBC Driver for Power BI XMLA, you get access to your Power BI XMLA data directly alongside your SQL Server data. This article walks through creating an external data source and external tables to grant access to live Power BI XMLA data using T-SQL queries.

The CData ODBC drivers offer unmatched performance for interacting with live Power BI XMLA data using PolyBase due to optimized data processing built into the driver. When you issue complex SQL queries from SQL Server to Power BI XMLA, the driver pushes down supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to Power BI XMLA and utilizes the embedded SQL engine to process unsupported operations (often SQL functions and JOIN operations) client-side. And with PolyBase, you can also join SQL Server data with Power BI XMLA data, using a single query to pull data from distributed sources.

Connect to Power BI XMLA

If you have not already, first specify connection properties in an ODBC DSN (data source name). This is the last step of the driver installation. You can use the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure ODBC DSNs. To create an external data source in SQL Server using PolyBase, configure a System DSN (CData Power BI XMLA Sys is created automatically).

To connect, set the Url property to a valid PowerBIXMLA workspace. For instance, powerbi://api.powerbi.com/v1.0/myorg/CData.

Click "Test Connection" to ensure that the DSN is connected to Power BI XMLA properly. Navigate to the Tables tab to review the table definitions for Power BI XMLA.

Create an External Data Source for Power BI XMLA Data

After configuring the connection, you need to create a master encryption key and a credential database for the external data source.

Creating a Master Encryption Key

Execute the following SQL command to create a new master key, 'ENCRYPTION,' to encrypt the credentials for the external data source.

CREATE MASTER KEY ENCRYPTION BY PASSWORD = 'password';

Creating a Credential Database

Execute the following SQL command to create credentials for the external data source connected to Power BI XMLA data.

NOTE: Since Power BI XMLA does not require a User or Password to authenticate, you may use whatever values you wish for IDENTITY and SECRET.

CREATE DATABASE SCOPED CREDENTIAL powerbixmla_creds
WITH IDENTITY = 'username', SECRET = 'password';

Create an External Data Source for Power BI XMLA

Execute the following SQL command to create an external data source for Power BI XMLA with PolyBase, using the DSN and credentials configured earlier.

For Power BI XMLA, set SERVERNAME to 'localhost' or '127.0.0.1' and leave PORT empty. PUSHDOWN is set to ON by default, meaning the ODBC Driver can leverage server-side processing for complex queries.

CREATE EXTERNAL DATA SOURCE cdata_powerbixmla_source
WITH ( 
  LOCATION = 'odbc://SERVERNAME[:PORT]',
  CONNECTION_OPTIONS = 'DSN=CData Power BI XMLA Sys',
  -- PUSHDOWN = ON | OFF,
  CREDENTIAL = powerbixmla_creds
);

Create External Tables for Power BI XMLA

After creating the external data source, use CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE statements to link to Power BI XMLA data from your SQL Server instance. The table column definitions must match those exposed by the CData ODBC Driver for Power BI XMLA. You can refer to the Tables tab of the DSN Configuration Wizard to see the table definition.

Sample CREATE TABLE Statement

The statement to create an external table based on a Power BI XMLA Customer would look similar to the following:

CREATE EXTERNAL TABLE Customer(
  Country [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  Education [nvarchar](255) NULL,
  ...
) WITH ( 
  LOCATION='Customer',
  DATA_SOURCE=cdata_powerbixmla_source
);

Having created external tables for Power BI XMLA in your SQL Server instance, you are now able to query local and remote data simultaneously. Thanks to built-in query processing in the CData ODBC Driver, you know that as much query processing as possible is being pushed to Power BI XMLA, freeing up local resources and computing power. Download a free, 30-day trial of the ODBC Driver for Power BI XMLA and start working with live Power BI XMLA data alongside your SQL Server data today.