Slides of “PUGML06–#PowerBI Tips & Tricks from the Trenches”

The slides for my presentation “#PowerBI Tips & Tricks from the Trenches” at #DataBISummit today are available for download here.

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Thanks!

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Convert a Power BI Desktop report from Import to Live Query

Recently I came across this great blog post from Dustin Ryan on how to convert a Power BI Desktop File from Import to Live:

https://sqldusty.com/2018/01/30/converting-a-power-bi-desktop-file-from-import-to-live-query/#comments

But I’ve been using another technique that is very simple and don’t require any external tools, you just need to execute 5 simple steps in Power BI Desktop:

1. Open the PBIX with Power BI Desktop

2. Open the “Query Editor”, select all the Queries and click on “Delete”:

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3. Click on “Close & Apply”:

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And you will end up with something like this:

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4. Now click on “Get-Data” and “Analysis Services”:

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5. Write down the Analysis Services (or Azure Analysis Services) server address, Database Name and click on the option “Connect Live”:

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And that’s it!

If your Analysis Services model has the same fields and measures the report will work just fine and now your PBIX is converted from “Import” to “Live”:

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Power BI Custom Visual–Filter by List

Do you ever got this request from a customer:

“Is it possible to filter a Power BI report with a list of 100+ items? Do I need to pick one by one on a slicer?”

We do and because of that DevScope team built a custom visual to ease that pain: “Filter by List

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This visual is very simplistic but also very powerful and very simple to use:

  • Add the visual
  • Select a field
  • Paste/Write a collection of items
  • Filter, the custom visual will filter the report page with all the items that “match”

See this video to learn more:

Export Power BI Desktop data to CSV Files

A few months ago I published a PowerShell module called PowerBIETL that allows you to export all your Power BI Desktop file data to a SQL Server database:

https://ruiromanoblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/21/use-power-bi-desktop-as-an-etl-tool/

Just updated the module to support export to CSV Files:


Install-Module PowerBIETL

Import-Module PowerBIETL

Export-PBIDesktopToCSV -pbiDesktopWindowName "*PBI Window Name*" -outputPath ".\Output"

After running the powershell code above you will end up with a CSV file for every table on your Power BI Desktop file:

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Thanks to Rui Quintino for the draft code and Josh Close for creating the amazing CSVHelper!

Automatically Export PBIX’s using #PowerBIPS

Ever wanted to export all your Power BI reports from a workspace and save a copy without manually going to each one and select the “Download report” option:

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My team at DevScope just updated the PowerBIPS powershell module with a simple cmdlet to do just that:

Export-PBIReport –destinationFolder “<local folder>”

With an easy PowerShell script you can download all the reports from your PowerBI workspaces (ex: Backups?):



Install-Module PowerBIPS

# Get the Auth Token

$authToken = Get-PBIAuthToken 

# Define the Workspace you want to download the reports from - Optional, by default downloads from personal workspace

Set-PBIGroup -authToken $authToken -name "Demos - PBIFromTrenches" -Verbose

# Downloads the reports to a destination folder

Export-PBIReport -authToken $authToken -destinationFolder "C:\Temp\PBIReports" -Verbose

Export Power BI Desktop data to SQL Server

Did you ever faced a scenario were you needed to load a collection of CSV/Text files into SQL Server tables?

What solution did you choose?

  • TSQL BULK INSERT?
  • SSIS Package (generated from SSMS Tasks->Import Data or manual)
  • PowerShell “Import-CSV”

And what if the SQL Server destination tables must be typed (numeric, date, text columns,…) and the CSV file has formatting issues (ex: text columns without quotes, datetimes not in ISO format) and you need to transform the columns into the desired types?

A much quicker solution to transform CSV files into the desired shape is using a PowerBI Desktop query (or PowerQuery), for example in seconds I can:

  • Load the CSV
  • Replace a value from all the columns (in this case “NULL” from a real null)
  • Auto detect the datatypes

PBIDesktopQuery

Now to load these queries into a SQL Server database, it’s very easy thanks to DevScope powershell module “PowerBIETL” (also available at PowerShellGallery):


Install-Module PowerBIETL
Import-Module PowerBIETL

Export-PBIDesktopToSQL -pbiDesktopWindowName "*sample*" -sqlConnStr "Data Source=.\SQL2014; Initial Catalog=DestinationDB; Integrated Security=SSPI" -sqlSchema "stg" -verbose

The cmdlet “Export-PBIDesktopToSQL” will take care of:

  1. Connects to the PBI Desktop and read the tables
  2. Automatically create the tables on the SQL Database (if they do not exist)
    • Thanks to DevScope “SQLHelper” powershell module and “Invoke-SQLBulkCopy” cmdlet
  3. Bulk copy the data from PBI Desktop into the SQL Table

The cmdlet has 4 parameters:

  • -PBIDesktopWindowName (mandatory)
    • A wildcard to find the PowerBI Desktop window
  • -Tables (optional, defaults to all the tables)
    • Array of tables to import
  • -SQLConnStr (mandatory)
    • Connection to a SQL Server database
  • -SQLSchema (optional, defaults to “dbo”)
    • The schema under the tables will be created

As a result all the tables from the PBI Desktop file will get copied into the SQL Server database:

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Off course this will only work to those “one-time-only” or manual scenarios, but I assure you that is much quicker than using a SQL Integration Services package Winking smile

Power BI Desktop Trace Logs Analyser

In this post I will show you how to analyse Power BI Desktop diagnostic trace files in a more visual way than notepad Smile

First you need to collect some diagnostics by enabling tracing on Power BI Desktop, go to: File –> Options –> Diagnostics –> Enable Tracingimage

If you click on “Open Traces folder”:

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It will open the trace folder with all the trace logs:

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PS – Trace log are only generated after you test your power bi report, do some refresh and interactions first to create the trace logs

Now to analyse these logs you could off course open them in notepad:

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But is not very easy to read, so what better way to process and visualize this huge amount of text data??? Power BI off course!!!

So I created a Power BI Desktop to process and visualize the trace logs, that will allow you to quickly visualize things like:

  • Errors
  • Duration of queries
  • Performance issues
  • etc

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Instructions of usage:

  • Download and open the Power BI Desktop file
  • “Edit Queries” and change the variable “VAR_LogFolder” to point to the trace logs folder:

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  • Refresh the Report

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