Microsoft Integration Made Easier with Alation's New Power BI Scanner Connector

By Saurabh Jain

Published on July 26, 2022

Splashes of green, blue, and red colors mixed together

Driving a data culture is now a lot more — well, driven — thanks to the latest of Alation’s 100+ connectors: Power BI Scanner, which unifies self-service and enterprise analytics and allows users to find answers fast with industry-leading AI.

What Is the Significance of the Alation & Power BI Partnership?

This connector is an improved version of our previous Power BI connector, which used a combination of Power BI APIs and PBX files.

Dependence on PBX files impacts connector performance and presents security vulnerabilities, so when we developed the new connector we removed that dependency and used a completely API-based implementation. This means the new connector will deliver better performance, increased security, and a consistent user experience.

Highlights of the new connector include:

  • Compatibility with Alation version 2021.3 and above

  • Support for Power BI on Azure and catalogs: workspaces, apps, reports, dashboards, tiles, datasets, dataset fields

  • A user experience similar to Power BI console: users can start navigating the catalog objects by browsing a list of apps, workspaces, or datasets

  • Full lineage support for Power BI objects (datasets, reports, tiles, dashboards)

  • Limited lineage support for Power BI datasets and data sources

MySQL tables to Power BI Dataset Lineage

What Are the Benefits of the New Connector?

Naturally, faster processing will benefit Power BI admin, leaving more resources available for business activities that won’t impact Power BI performance.

Next, the connector delivers a more consistent user experience. With the previous PBIX file-based implementation, there was both a lack of clarity and limit on which metadata is available. Because the new connector is an API-based implementation, this is no longer an issue.

Finally, the new connector requires a small learning curve and minimal onboarding because those already familiar with the Power BI UI will have no trouble navigating the Alation UI.

With Microsoft’s interactive data visualization software product named a Leader (for the 15th straight year) in the 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms, we’re very excited for the ways our connector will help Power BI users analyze data and share insights.

Curious to learn more about Alation connectors? Get more details here.

  • What Is the Significance of the Alation & Power BI Partnership?
  • What Are the Benefits of the New Connector?
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