REST API Power BI Integration: 2 Easy Methods

on BI Tool, Data Integration, Power BI, REST API • October 8th, 2021 • Write for Hevo

Power BI is a Business Intelligence (BI) tool offered by Microsoft that provides you with real-time high-level analytics, extensive modeling, and custom development. It has led the charge in making business analysis more efficient through services that are intuitive, interactive, and easy to use. REST API is defined as a Software Architectural Style built to guide the development and design of the architecture for the World Wide Web. REST APIs define a set of constraints for how the architecture of a distributed system should behave. 

This blog talks about the different methods you can use to establish REST API Power BI Integration. It also gives a brief introduction to the concept of REST API & Power BI and the benefits of integrating the two. 

Table of Contents

What is a REST API?

REST APIs provide a flexible, lightweight way of integrating applications. REST APIs allow you to search for some items, and then the results will be returned from the service you initiated the request from. A REST API has the following components:

  • The Headers: Headers refer to the authentication mode and the content types.
  • The Method: There are various methods you can use to call a REST API, the most common ones being POST and GET. The GET method is used to gather information while the POST method can be used to send information to the resources on the web.
  • The Endpoint: The Endpoint is defined as the URL of the resource to which you are going to place the requests. For instance, https://api.powerbi.com/v1.0/myorg/.
  • The Data or Body: This refers to the textual data in the form of JSON, which needs to be sent to the resource.

To securely access the Power BI REST API, you will first have to request an embed token using which you can call the APIs and execute your functions. In the first method, you will be looking at how to authorize an application and call the APIs through Postman. Postman is a free tool that allows you to make POST or GET calls to various URLs which are then saved in a collection.

Here are a few REST design principles that are integral for the smooth functioning of a REST API:

  • Client-Server Decoupling: In REST API design, Server and Client applications must be completely independent of each other. The only information available to the client-side should be the URI of the requested resource. Similarly, a server application shouldn’t change the client application other than passing it to the requested data through HTTP.
  • Statelessness: REST APIs are Stateless. This means that each request should contain all the information required to process the It. This can also mean that REST APIs don’t require any server-side sessions. Server applications aren’t permitted to store any data related to the client request.
  • Cacheability: Whenever possible, resources should be Cacheable on the Server or Client-side. Server responses should also contain information about whether caching is allowed for the delivered resource. You should aim for improving performance on the client side while increasing scalability on the server-side.
  • Uniform Interface: All API requests for the same resource should look the same, irrespective of where the request comes from. The REST API should ensure that the same piece of data, like the email address or name of a user, belongs to only one Uniform Resource Identifier (URI). Resources shouldn’t be too huge but should contain every piece of information that the client may need.
  • Layered System Architecture: In REST APIs the responses and calls go through different layers. You shouldn’t assume that the Client and Server applications connect directly to each other. There may be various intermediaries involved in the communication loop. Therefore, REST APIs need to be designed so that neither the server nor the client can tell whether it communicates with an intermediary or an end application. 

What is Power BI?

REST API Power BI: Power BI Logo
Image Source

Power BI helps create a data-driven culture in the workplace, providing self-service analytics at the enterprise scale for every employee of your organization. Power BI is a suite consisting of several components that house intuitive features for Data Visualizations, Dashboarding, and Reporting to name a few. Here are a few key benefits of Power BI that make it an indispensable tool in the workplace:

  • Great Accessibility: Power BI provides you with advanced accessibility with its ability to run through remote apps on several Internet platforms and devices like iOS, Android, and Windows to name a few. 
  • Key Functionalities: Power BI provides drag-and-drop functionality that lets you generate customized reports swiftly. It also provides the option of digging further into the data visualizations to help understand the data better. The usage of Natural Language Queries means that the users don’t have to spend time trying to learn a complex query language.
  • Embeddable Attributes: It provides users the ability to embed Business Intelligence and Analytics seamlessly. You can build fully customized reports and dashboards to better suit your business use cases and data requirements. 
  • Connectivity: Power BI supports several data sources, for instance, the Financial data collected from your company’s ERP or the Sales data from the CRM. By providing access to Azure Cloud, On-premise, and third-party data sources, you can create new datasets from a wider range of disparate sources.  

Ways to Set up REST API Power BI Integration

Method 1: Using Power BI Developer Portal for REST API Power BI Integration

This method involves using the Power BI Developer portal to establish REST API Power BI Integration seamlessly. This is a 5-step process.

Method 2: Using Hevo Data for REST API Power BI Integration

Hevo is a No-code Data Pipeline. It will automatically establish a REST API Power BI connection without writing any line of code. Hevo comes with a graphical interface that allows you to configure your source and load data in real-time. Hevo is fully managed and completely automates the process of not only loading data from your desired source but also enriching the data and transforming it into an analysis-ready form without having to write a single line of code.

Hevo’s pre-built integration with REST APIs and 100+ Other Data Sources (Including 40+ Free Data Sources) will take full charge of the data transfer process, allowing you to focus on key business activities. Transfer Data from various sources to your target destination for Free!

Get Started with Hevo for Free

Understanding the Methods Used for REST API Power BI Integration

Here are the methods you can use to establish REST API Power BI connection seamlessly:

Method 1: Using Power BI Developer Portal for REST API Power BI Integration

Here are the steps involved in setting up Power BI REST API Data Source connection:

Step 1: Register an Application for Power BI

REST API Power BI: Sign In to the Portal
Image Source
  • Once you’ve signed in with your account credentials, you’ll see your name appear under Step 1. Click on the Next button to continue the process of REST API Power BI Integration.
REST API Power BI: Register Your Application for Power BI
Image Source
  • Next, you need to register the application. Give an Application Name for the app and choose an application type. There are two kinds of applications- Server-side and Native. This method will shed light on the Server-side web application. Enter a Redirect URL and Home Page URL, as mentioned below:
REST API Power BI: Enter URL
Image Source
  • If you scroll down, you can see that there are various API access permissions that you need to define your app with for the REST API Power BI Integration. Since you are going to read the resources, give the basic read access required for reading the datasets, reports, workspaces, and dashboards in the account. Click on the Register button when done with this step of REST API Power BI Integration.
REST API Power BI: Register Button and Read only APIs
Image Source
  • Once you’ve clicked on Register, the app will be created and you will get an Application Secret and an Application Key. Copy them both to a secure location since you will be needing this in your next steps while calling the Power BI REST API.
REST API Power BI: Registered Window
Image Source

Step 2: Authorize User

  • The next step in REST API Power BI Integration is to authorize the user to the application. You need to use the Application ID and retrieve the Access Token for this. You will be utilizing this Access Token in the next step to call the other APIs.
  • To authorize the user, you need to allow the user to sign in to the app and retrieve the token. But first, you need to prepare the sign-in URL. It accepts parameters like Scope, State, ResponseMode, ClientID, ResponseType, and RedirectURI.
  • Paste the URL in the browser and hit enter. You can see a dialog box that displays the user consent required by the application to allow the required permissions. Click on Accept to continue the REST API Power BI Integration process.
REST API Power BI: Authorize User
Image Source
  • Once the user is authorized, the user will be redirected to the Redirect URI mentioned in the API request. Usually, this request has a code in it that can be used as the authorization method for securely calling APIs. But since you don’t have any web application running on your web host, you will receive an error code like below. In the Requested URL section, there is some text after the word code. Copy it and store it securely somewhere for the REST API Power BI Integration process.
REST API Power BI: Requested URL
Image Source

Step 3: Generate Access Token

  • Once you’ve obtained the code, generate the Access Token. To generate the Access Token, you need to call an endpoint using the POST method with specific information that will return the Access Token. In the Resource URL, pass the following fields as the body of the request. You can use Postman to call the endpoint for the REST API Power BI Integration process.
  • Scope
  • Code
  • ClientID
  • ClientSecret
  • GrantScope
  • RedirectURL
REST API Power BI: Call Endpoint
Image Source
  • When you call the aforementioned endpoint, the results are returned as follows. The access_token is the value that you need to use while calling the Power BI REST API. Copy and store the value of the Access Token in a secure location.
REST API Power BI: Returned Results
Image Source

Step 4: List of Reports

  • Call the Power BI REST API and fetch the details as you need. Suppose, you’re trying to get a list of all the reports in your personal workspace. The endpoint to fetch the list of reports is https://api.powerbi.com/v1.0/myorg/reports.
  • To call this endpoint, you need to pass the Access Token as an authorization method in the header of the GET request. You can look at the figure below and generate your GET request:
REST API Power BI: Generate GET Request
Image Source

Step 5: List of Datasets

REST API Power BI: List of Datasets
Image Source

Method 2: Using Hevo for REST API Power BI Integration

REST API Power BI: Hevo Logo
Image Source

Hevo is a No-code Data Pipeline. It supports pre-built data integrations from 100+ data sources such as REST APIs and Power BI. Hevo offers a fully managed solution for your fully automated Data Pipeline to set up REST API Power BI integration and will let you directly stream data to Power BI from a REST API. It will automate your data flow in minutes without writing any line of code. Its fault-tolerant architecture makes sure that your data is secure and consistent. Hevo provides you with a truly efficient and fully automated solution to manage data in real-time and always have analysis-ready data at Power BI.

Now you can transfer data from REST API to your target BI tool like Power BI for Free using Hevo!

Sign up here for a 14-Day Free Trial!

Hevo focuses on three simple steps to get you started

  • Connect: Connect Hevo with REST API and various other data sources by simply logging in with your credentials/providing the correct end-point.
  • Integrate: Consolidate your customer data from several sources in Hevo’s Fully- Managed Google BigQuery-based Data Warehouse and automatically transform it into an analysis-ready form.
  • Visualize: Connect Hevo with Power BI and easily visualize your unified payments and sales data to gain better insights.

As can be seen, you are simply required to enter the corresponding credentials to implement this Fully Automated Data Pipeline for REST API Power BI Integration without using any code.

The detailed documentation of the functionality offered can be found here.

Let’s look at some salient features of Hevo

  • Fully Managed: It requires no management and maintenance as Hevo is a fully automated platform.
  • Real-Time: Hevo offers real-time data migration. So, your data is always ready for analysis.
  • Schema Management: Hevo can automatically detect the schema of the incoming data and maps it to the destination schema.
  • 100% Complete & Accurate Data Transfer: Hevo’s robust infrastructure ensures reliable data transfer with zero data loss.
  • Scalable Infrastructure: Hevo has in-built integrations for 100+ sources such as REST APIs and Power BI that can help you scale your data infrastructure as required.
  • Live Monitoring: Advanced monitoring gives you a one-stop view to watch all the activities that occur within pipelines.
  • Live Support: Hevo team is available round the clock to extend exceptional support to its customers through chat, email, and support calls.
  • Transformations: Hevo provides preload transformations through Python code. It also allows you to run transformation code for each event in the Data Pipelines you set up. You need to edit the event object’s properties received in the transform method as a parameter to carry out the transformation. Hevo also offers drag and drop transformations like Date and Control Functions, JSON, and Event Manipulation to name a few. These can be configured and tested before putting them to use.
  • Connectors: Hevo supports 100+ integrations to SaaS platforms, files, databases, analytics, and BI tools. It supports various destinations including Amazon Redshift, Snowflake Data Warehouses; Amazon S3 Data Lakes; and MySQL, SQL Server, TokuDB, DynamoDB, PostgreSQL databases to name a few.  

Explore more about Hevo by signing up for a 14-day free trial today.

Conclusion

This blog talks about Power BI Rest API Examples and the different methods you can use to establish Power BI Web API Connection: using Power BI Developer Portal and a No-code Data Pipeline, Hevo Data. It also gives a brief introduction to Power BI and REST API before delving into the methods used for REST API Power BI Integration.

Hevo provides a No-code Data Pipeline that allows accurate and real-time replication of data from 100+ sources of data such as REST APIs straight to your desired destination/BI Tool such as Power BI.  

Visit our Website to Explore Hevo

Give Hevo a try and Sign Up up for a 14-day free trial today!You can also have a look at the unbeatable pricing that will help you choose the right plan for your business needs. 

You can now transfer data from sources like REST API to your target destination like Power BI for Free using Hevo!

No-code Data Pipeline for Power BI