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cogsie Frequent Visitor
Frequent Visitor

Security concern when creating first custom visual

I am trying to create my first custom visual based on this BI tutorial: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/developer/custom-visual-develop-tutorial

 

I installed all the software as instructed, but then when I try to test out the custom visual (step 6 under "Testing the Custom Visual") it didn't display right.  I dug into the problem and it looks like the url that it needs to connect to (https://localhost:8090/webpack-dev-server/) returns a 404 error.  I checked with the IT department at my work and they said it is because opening port 8090 creates a security risk.  Is there any workaround for this? 

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Accepted Solutions
dm-p Senior Member
Senior Member

Re: Security concern when creating first custom visual

Hi @cogsie,

The 'happy path' for developing a custom visual is that your local development environment needs to connect to the Power BI Service through a local port on your machine, and via a certificate, as this is where the developer visual is hosted. I wrote a short post about it (or at least everything I know so far) and this may help further your understanding.

Your IT team aren't incorrect in that opening a port that they typically don't support does potentially increase the attack surface. The local server that the SDK runs requires a secure connection between your machine and Power BI to actually do anything, but if you are keen to proceed then you may need to get them to assess the situation for any potential vulnerabilities (assuming that they are prepared to).

If this is not something that can be accomodated, the only real alternative using your current office 365 account would be to either:

  • You can package the visual into a .pbiviz by running pbiviz package and manually loading into Power BI Desktop. There's a small section in the above post about this - it is... cumbersome as an approach.
  • Check if your IT department are amenable to you setting up a development environment on your own machine and permit you to log into Power BI from there.
  • Use Charticulator to build your custom visual - not suitable if you want to learn and experiment with the SDK but if you're just looking to create a specific type of visual this may be another solution.

You could also try cross-posting this question in to the Custom Visuals Development Discussion forum, as the development team monitor that one and may be able to advise further.

Good luck!

Daniel

View solution in original post

1 REPLY 1
dm-p Senior Member
Senior Member

Re: Security concern when creating first custom visual

Hi @cogsie,

The 'happy path' for developing a custom visual is that your local development environment needs to connect to the Power BI Service through a local port on your machine, and via a certificate, as this is where the developer visual is hosted. I wrote a short post about it (or at least everything I know so far) and this may help further your understanding.

Your IT team aren't incorrect in that opening a port that they typically don't support does potentially increase the attack surface. The local server that the SDK runs requires a secure connection between your machine and Power BI to actually do anything, but if you are keen to proceed then you may need to get them to assess the situation for any potential vulnerabilities (assuming that they are prepared to).

If this is not something that can be accomodated, the only real alternative using your current office 365 account would be to either:

  • You can package the visual into a .pbiviz by running pbiviz package and manually loading into Power BI Desktop. There's a small section in the above post about this - it is... cumbersome as an approach.
  • Check if your IT department are amenable to you setting up a development environment on your own machine and permit you to log into Power BI from there.
  • Use Charticulator to build your custom visual - not suitable if you want to learn and experiment with the SDK but if you're just looking to create a specific type of visual this may be another solution.

You could also try cross-posting this question in to the Custom Visuals Development Discussion forum, as the development team monitor that one and may be able to advise further.

Good luck!

Daniel

View solution in original post

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