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kevhav Member
Member

Download report with Power BI Service live connection?

Say I publish a dataset to the Power BI Service. Then, in the Power BI Service, I create a new report based on that dataset.

 

Now, say I open that report in the Power BI Service, and then click "File" --> "Download report (Preview)...download a .pbix copy"

 

I would like for the data source of the .pbix file that I downloaded to be a Power BI Service live connection, to the dataset on the Power BI Service. Like described here and here.

 

Is that possible, now? Is there a way to download the report with a live connection to the dataset on the Power BI Service?

 

It seems like "no" -- the .pbix file that I download always includes a copy of the original dataset. With all of the data (when using "Import" mode), and all of the dataset's original queries. No live connection to the dataset on the Service.

 

If we can't do it now, is this in the works? Is there anything on the Ideas site? I couldn't find anything there. If not, I could create the idea.

 

Now that we have Power BI Service live connections, this just seems like the natural/intuitive thing that "Download report" should do. Doesn't it?

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
als987 Occasional Visitor
Occasional Visitor

Re: Download report with Power BI Service live connection?

Hi,

 

I came across this post as I had the same problem myself, and have found a fairly straightforward solution to it.

 

I found this blog post here about SQL Server live query, but I tried it and the same can be applied for Power BI service dataset as well:

 

https://ruiromanoblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/01/convert-a-power-bi-desktop-report-from-import-to-live...

 

Essentially you need to:

 

1. Download the PBIX file (which will be a full PBIX file with a copy of the dataset)

2. Open Query Editor and delete absolutely everything, then close and apply. Expect to see errors in all of your visuals, but don't worry.

3. Choose Get Data and connect to the desired PBI service dataset. (Make sure that there aren't any tables left or PBI will say that there is an existing dataset - even though I had deleted all queries in the Query Editor I still had one parameter table left which I had to delete from the Tables view.)

 

If all goes well your visuals will all work correctly and you will be connected to your PBI service dataset. 

6 REPLIES 6
v-huizhn-msft Super Contributor
Super Contributor

Re: Download report with Power BI Service live connection?

Hi @kevhav,

If you connect a dataset using import mode, it would be import model when you download the .PBIX copy. While If you connect a dataset using Direct query mode, it would be Direct query when you download the .PBIX copy. The model of .PBIX copy depends on the original model before publishing it to service. 

Until now, there is no way to download the report with a live connection to the dataset on the Power BI Service. You can create a idea here. The product team will consider it if more people need the requirement.

Best Regards,
Angelia

Lorentzt Frequent Visitor
Frequent Visitor

Re: Download report with Power BI Service live connection?

I have a similar problem. I have 3 diferent reports based on the same data and each is duplicated many times.

 

As it is now i have to create them from scratch if i want to create templates for usage from the Power BI Desktop. So if you create a sugestion point me in the correct direction and ill support it.

als987 Occasional Visitor
Occasional Visitor

Re: Download report with Power BI Service live connection?

Hi,

 

I came across this post as I had the same problem myself, and have found a fairly straightforward solution to it.

 

I found this blog post here about SQL Server live query, but I tried it and the same can be applied for Power BI service dataset as well:

 

https://ruiromanoblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/01/convert-a-power-bi-desktop-report-from-import-to-live...

 

Essentially you need to:

 

1. Download the PBIX file (which will be a full PBIX file with a copy of the dataset)

2. Open Query Editor and delete absolutely everything, then close and apply. Expect to see errors in all of your visuals, but don't worry.

3. Choose Get Data and connect to the desired PBI service dataset. (Make sure that there aren't any tables left or PBI will say that there is an existing dataset - even though I had deleted all queries in the Query Editor I still had one parameter table left which I had to delete from the Tables view.)

 

If all goes well your visuals will all work correctly and you will be connected to your PBI service dataset. 

kevhav Member
Member

Re: Download report with Power BI Service live connection?

OMG, @als987, that works. Thanks so much -- that solves a painful problem I have had.

PaulBFelix Regular Visitor
Regular Visitor

Re: Download report with Power BI Service live connection?

Until recently, I was able to download a report from the service with a live connection to the service dataset.  Something has changed recently.  Now the report downloads with the full dataset regardelss if it is downloaded from the report area or the dataset area.  The work around is to delete the queries & connect to the live dataset after downloading the pbix which does work, but it is a pain.  Hopefully this will be fixed soon.  The documentation referenced above describes the following behavior which is no longer working.

 

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/connecting-to-datasets-in-the-power-bi-service-from-desktop...

 

Tips & Tricks

When you download a report that is live connected to a dataset on the service, it will remain live connected when you open it in Desktop. This means you have read-only access to the model. -- NOT WORKING

 

What if you need to make changes to the original dataset? In your list of datasets for any workspace, you'll see the Download .pbix option in the context menu under the “…”.  --WORKS, BUT DOES NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEM DESCRIBED IN THIS POST

kevhav Member
Member

Re: Download report with Power BI Service live connection?

Hi @v-huizhn-msft and @PaulBFelix,

 

I did some testing a few weeks ago, and here is what I found:

 

When exporting a .pbix copy of a report from the Power BI Service, there are two possibilities for what the .pbix will consist of:

  • The report and a copy of the entire dataset, with all of the data…
  • …Or, just the report definition, with a "live connection" to the dataset in the Power BI Service, as described here.

 

There are essentially three ways to create a new report in a workspace, using an existing dataset that has been published to the Power BI Service:

  1. In Power BI Desktop, set up a .pbix file with a "live connection" to the dataset in the Power BI Service (either from a new .pbix file, or from an existing .pbix file that already has the "live connection"), and click "Publish"
  2. In the Power BI Service, in a Web browser, navigate to the workspace dataset and click "+ Create" button, then select "Report" (or, go to the dataset and click the little "Create report" icon)
  3. In the Power BI Service, in a Web browser, open an existing report and click File à Save as, and save it with a different report name

 

The key thing is: option (1) is the only one that enables exporting the file as a small .pbix file, with the "live connection" to the dataset.

 

Surprisingly, option (3) does not work, even if the original report being copied was published using option (1)! Any time option (2) or (3) was used, exporting from the Power BI Service always results in downloading the entire dataset.

 

This "exporting" behavior is kind of strange, I think. Not intuitive. I think options (a) and (b) and (c) should all result in exporting just the small .pbix file, with the Power BI service live connection. The reports should always be separated from the data, when using a published dataset.

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