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Import REST Data into the Power BI Service for Visualizations

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

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

    See the Getting Started chapter in the data provider documentation to authenticate to your data source: The data provider models REST APIs as bidirectional database tables and XML/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 Format to "XML" or "JSON" and 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 REST 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 REST 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 the Cloud Hub from Power BI

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

Add REST OData Endpoints in Cloud Hub

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

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

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

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