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Member
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎04-27-2016
Accepted Solution

Using a REST API as a data source

[ Edited ]

I'd like to be able to connect to a Blackbaud REST API to pull data from that system and use it in a Power BI Desktop report: http://on-api.developer.blackbaud.com/getting-started/

 

That said, I don't have experience using REST APIs.

 

Is that's possible, either for a live data connection or for a scheduled refresh? If it's not possible in Power BI Desktop, would it be possible if I managed the report on the Power BI Service?

 

Further, if that's possible, could someone give me a quick and dirty of how to accomplish that and perhaps point to toward the materials I need to read to figure out how to do it? Part of my misunderstanding here is how the Blackbaud and Power BI REST APIs interact (if at all).

 

I have an E5 license that allows me access to Power BI Pro features.


Accepted Solutions
Moderator
Posts: 3,051
Registered: ‎03-06-2016

Re: Using a REST API as a data source

[ Edited ]

@caseyh

 

I don't know the Blackbaud REST API in your case and it is not in the list of suppported "Online Service".

 

But according to the content in the link that the API reponses in JSON, you can get the data by using "Get Data"-->"Other"-->"Web". And then extend JSON to a table in query editor.

 

eg. http://jsonplaceholder.typicode.com/posts/1/comments

You can replace it with a link like "http://[school].myschoolapp.com/api/academics/department/?t=[token returned from previous step]" in your link.

Capture.PNG

 

In the query editor,

Capture.PNG

 

Capture.PNG

Done

Capture.PNG

 

Regarding refreshing, you can publish it to Power BI Service and schedule refresh.

View solution in original post


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Moderator
Posts: 3,051
Registered: ‎03-06-2016

Re: Using a REST API as a data source

[ Edited ]

@caseyh

 

I don't know the Blackbaud REST API in your case and it is not in the list of suppported "Online Service".

 

But according to the content in the link that the API reponses in JSON, you can get the data by using "Get Data"-->"Other"-->"Web". And then extend JSON to a table in query editor.

 

eg. http://jsonplaceholder.typicode.com/posts/1/comments

You can replace it with a link like "http://[school].myschoolapp.com/api/academics/department/?t=[token returned from previous step]" in your link.

Capture.PNG

 

In the query editor,

Capture.PNG

 

Capture.PNG

Done

Capture.PNG

 

Regarding refreshing, you can publish it to Power BI Service and schedule refresh.

Member
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎04-27-2016

Re: Using a REST API as a data source

Excellent. This is just what I was hoping to hear. Thank you for your excellent answer.

Member
Posts: 101
Registered: ‎12-14-2015

Re: Using a REST API as a data source

@Eric_Zhang i was looking at using a 3rd party api provider as a data source which is not one of your native PBI connectors (or online Service SaaS connectors as you cal them) so i followed this post with interest.

Obviosuly just a simple api call using http is the answer. Thanks.

 

I was just reading the API deveoloper doc of the provider and it states

 

"All access to the API occurs over an TLS-encrypted secure channel, so your API client must support TLS. To ensure data privacy, unencrypted HTTP is not supported."

 

Does the PBI client satisfy TLS ?

 

Thnaks for your timely feedback.

David

 

 

 

Moderator
Posts: 3,051
Registered: ‎03-06-2016

Re: Using a REST API as a data source


@DavidMoss wrote:

@Eric_Zhang i was looking at using a 3rd party api provider as a data source which is not one of your native PBI connectors (or online Service SaaS connectors as you cal them) so i followed this post with interest.

Obviosuly just a simple api call using http is the answer. Thanks.

 

I was just reading the API deveoloper doc of the provider and it states

 

"All access to the API occurs over an TLS-encrypted secure channel, so your API client must support TLS. To ensure data privacy, unencrypted HTTP is not supported."

 

Does the PBI client satisfy TLS ?

 

Thnaks for your timely feedback.

David 


I have no idea about that. Just try and test.

Regular Visitor
Posts: 26
Registered: ‎10-07-2016

Re: Using a REST API as a data source

Hello Casey,

 

Were you able to successfully link Power BI to one of Blackbauds applications? My organization uses Financial Edge and have been tinkering with Power BI. Currently we are just dumping data into excel sheets and loading them into Power BI.

 

Thanks,

Member
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎04-27-2016

Re: Using a REST API as a data source

@rsimcoe, no luck connecting through Power BI yet.

 

I was able to get access to the SKY API beta and have played around with test calls with their developer tools. It looks very promising and exicting.

 

Though things are working inside the test sandbox on the SKY developer website, I haven't yet gotten a connection to work within Power BI Desktop. I suspect I'm just not authenticating correctly, but I have tried all sorts of credential combinations with no luck yet. I'll keep poking at it, and hopefully enlist a developer friend of mine for advice, and will post back when/if I figure out the magic formula.

New Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎04-10-2017

Re: Using a REST API as a data source

If/when you are succesful at connecting to Blackbaud REST API - I would be very interested in the settings needed.  I can't seem to get the authorization to work and have been told by Blackbaud that this is not available yet.

Member
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎04-27-2016

Re: Using a REST API as a data source

I certainly will.

Frequent Visitor
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎04-17-2017

Re: Using a REST API as a data source

@caseyh Were you ever able to get PBI connected to SKY API?