Power BI Scanner Connector: Install and Configure

Follow these steps to perform the necessary configuration for the Power BI Scanner connector on the Power BI side and in Alation.


Firewall Configuration

Open outbound TCP port 443 on Power BI Scanner server for Rest API communication.

Open inbound TCP port 3128 on Power BI Scanner proxy server.

Authentication Requirements

  • Azure app registration

  • Power BI application registration credentials

I. Power BI Scanner Setup and Authentication

STEP 1: Register an Application in Azure Portal

  1. Navigate to App registrations in Microsoft Azure Portal.

  2. Click New registration:

  1. Provide the following information:

    • A name for the application

    • Select the account type Accounts in this organizational directory only (<Org Name> only - Single tenant)

    • The Power BI URL as Redirect URI - https://api.powerbi.com or https://api.powerbigov.us - for Gov Cloud

  2. Click Register.

  3. On the next screen, note down Application (client) ID and Directory (tenant) ID.

  1. On the left pane, click Certificates & secrets to generate the Client Secret.

  1. Click New client secret under the Client secrets section.

  1. On the popup window, provide the Description for the client secret and click Add.

  1. Note the Client Secret.

STEP 2: Create a Security Group for Power BI Scanner

  1. Navigate to the Groups management section of Azure Portal.

  2. Click New group and enter the following details:

    • Select Security for Group Type.

    • Enter the Group Name and Group Description.

    • Under Members, add the app created in Step 1 as the member of the group.

    • Click Create.


STEP 3: Enable Power BI Scanner Service Admin Settings

For an Azure application to be able to access the Power BI content and APIs, a Power BI admin needs to set Enable service principal access in the Power BI admin portal.

  1. Login to Power BI.

  2. From the Settings menu, select the Admin portal:

  1. Navigate to Tenant Settings > Admin API Settings and perform the following configuration:

    • Enable Allow service principals to use read-only Power BI Admin APIs

    • Choose Specific security groups and select the security group created in Step 2

    • Click Apply to apply the settings

    • Similarly enable the following flags:

      • Enhance admin APIs responses with detailed metadata

      • Enhance admin APIs responses with DAX and mashup expressions


II. Alation Setup and Authentication

STEP 1: Install the Connector


Installation of an OCF connector requires Alation Connector Manager to be installed as a prerequisite.

  1. If this has not been done on your instance, install Alation Connector Manager using the steps in: Install Alation Connector Manager.

  2. Make sure that the OCF connector Zip file that you received from Alation is available on your local machine.

  3. Install the connector on the Connectors Dashboard page: refer to Manage Connector Dashboard.

STEP 2: Create and Configure a New BI Server Source

Add a New BI Server Source

This configuration requires the role of the Server Admin.

  1. Log in to the Alation instance and add a new BI Server source: Apps > Sources > Add > BI Server. The Register a Business Intelligence Server screen will open.

  2. On this screen, from the Select a Business Intelligence Server type list, select the PowerBIScanner connector name.


The connector name appears in this list only after it is installed.

  1. Provide the Title and a Description (optional) for your PowerBI Scanner data source.


Configure the Power BI Scanner Source

Perform the configuration on the Settings page:

  1. Specify Application Settings:




Enable Raw Dump or Replay

The options in this drop list can be used to dump the extracted metadata into files in order to debug extraction issues before ingesting the metadata into Alation. This feature can be used during testing in case there are issues with MDE. It breaks extraction into two steps: first, the extracted metadata is dumped into files and can be viewed; and second, it can be ingested from the files into Alation. It is recommended to keep this feature enabled only if debugging is required.

  • Enable Raw Metadata Dump: Select this option to save extracted metadata into a folder for debugging purposes. The dumped data will be saved in four files (attribute.dump, function.dump, schema.dump, table.dump) in folder opt/alation/site/tmp/ inside Alation shell.

  • Enable Ingestion Replay: Select this option to ingest the metadata from the dump files into Alation.

  • Off: Disable the Raw Metadata Dump or Replay feature. Extracted metadata will be ingested into Alation.

Disable Automatic Lineage Generation

Select the Disable Automatic Lineage Generation checkbox to skip the creation of automatic Lineage after extraction. When automatic Lineage generation is disabled, during extraction Alation does not calculate Lineage data for this BI source.

For more information, see Disable Automatic Lineage Generation.

Disable Permission Enforcement

Leave this checkbox selected.

Permission enforcement is not supported between Power BI Scanner and Alation.

Disable Certification

Leave this checkbox selected.

Certification of BI objects in Power BI Scanner from Alation is not supported.

Server URI

Enter the server URI used to access Power BI Scanner.

  1. Click Save to save the information you have entered.

  2. Specify Connector Settings:




Power BI Web URL

Specify the URL to access Power BI. The default values are: https://app.powerbi.com and https://app.powerbigov.us - for Gov Cloud


Specify the API URL to access Power BI APIs. The default values are: https://api.powerbi.com/v1.0/myorg/ and https://api.powerbigov.us/v1.0/myorg/ - for Gov Cloud

API URL for Access Token

Specify the API URL to generate the Access Token. The default value is https://login.microsoftonline.com/common/oauth2/token

Power BI Resource URL

Specify the Power BI Resource URL to grant access scope to Power BI APIs. The default values are: https://analysis.windows.net/powerbi/api and https://analysis.usgovcloudapi.net/powerbi/api - for Gov Cloud

Power BI Tenant ID

Specify the Power BI tenant ID.

Power BI Client ID

Specify the Power BI client ID.

Power BI Client Secret

Specify the Power BI client secret.

Proxy URL

Specify the URL to access Power BI via proxy server.

Proxy Port

Specify the proxy port number.

Proxy Username

Specify the proxy server username.

Proxy Password

Specify the proxy server password.

Power BI Workspace Extraction Batch Size

Provide the workspace extraction batch size. Alation supports a maximum of 100 batches per extraction. Reducing this parameter will increase the number of API calls against the Power BI Scanner to fetch the data, but decrease the size of data fetched during each call.

Enable Apps Extraction

Enable this checkbox to extract the apps from Power BI Scanner.

Enable Extraction For Service Principal

Enable the check-box to enable service principal based extraction and listing of projects which the user has access to view.

Pause Extraction if API limit is reached

Enable this checkbox to pause the extraction if the API limit is reached. The extraction will be paused until the API limit is refreshed which will take a maximum of one hour time. If this checkbox is disabled, the extraction will complete if the API limit is reached. The metadata that was extracted before this time will be added to the Catalog. Extraction will not resume when the API limit is refreshed.

  1. Click Save.

  2. Under Test Connection, click Test to validate network connectivity.

  1. Under Extraction Settings, turn on Selective Extraction, if required. Selective extraction settings are used to apply a filter to include or exclude a list of projects.

    6.1 Click Get List of Projects to first fetch the list of projects.

    6.2 The status of the Get Projects action is logged in the** Job History** table at the bottom of the Settings page.

    6.3 Once the folder synchronization is successful, a drop-down list of projects will become enabled. Select one or more projects to apply the filter.

    6.4 Check if you are using the desired filter option. Available filter options are described below:

    Filter Option


    Extract all Projects except

    Extract metadata from all projects except from the Folders selected.

    Extract only these Projects

    Extract metadata from only the selected Projects.

    6.5 Click Run Extraction Now to extract metadata. The status of the extraction action is also logged in the Job History table at the bottom of the page.

  2. If you wish to automatically update the metadata in the Catalog, under Automated and Manual Extraction, turn on Enable Automated Extraction and select the day and time when metadata must be extracted. The metadata extraction will be automatically scheduled to run at the selected day and time.


Refer to Troubleshooting.


  • Lineage for the underlying data source will not be available if the report or dataset is created from a Power BI data flow.

  • Lineage for paginated reports (RDL) is not supported. Paginated reports do not contain the dataset ID required to show lineage between a Power BI dataset and a Power BI paginated report.

  • Lineage between the datasource tables and the dataset is built through parsing the dataset expression which is a Power BI mQuery (Power Query). Alation gets this expression from the getScanResult API. See Expressions Supported by Lineage below for examples of supported expressions.

Migrating Logical Metadata

You can migrate the logical metadata from the Power BI instance connected using the older version of the Power BI connector to the same Power BI instance connected using the Power BI Scanner connector.


Prepare the following to migrate the metadata:

  1. The BI source that is configured with the old Power BI OCF Connector.

  2. The Power BI migration script: create a ticket with Alation Support about receiving the Power BI migration script.

  3. Make sure that the required Power BI Scanner OCF connector has been installed on the Alation server. The installed OCF connector will be displayed on Admin Settings > Server Admin > Manage Connectors page.

  4. Configure the same Power BI instance (as in step 1) as a new BI Server source with the Power BI Scanner connector and run the extraction.


The following information will be migrated from the old Power BI connector to the Power BI Scanner connector:

  • Data source ID - The data source ID will remain the same.

  • Logical metadata such as values of the custom fields, data quality flags, @-mentions in the custom fields, @-mentions in articles, object sets, people sets, pickers, multi-select pickers, the title and description, tags, top users, and fields shared through catalog sets.


Perform the following steps to migrate the metadata:

  1. Copy the migration script that you received from Alation to the /tmp directory on the Alation host. If you use the example below, replace <ssh-user> with your username.

scp copy_powerbi_logical_data_to_scanner.py <ssh-user>@{alation-instance-ip}:/tmp
  1. Use SSH to connect to the Alation host.

  2. Enter the Alation shell:

sudo /etc/init.d/alation shell
  1. Stage the migration scripts in the .. code-block:: Bash one_off_scripts directory.

sudo cp /tmp/<Migration_Script>.py /opt/alation/alation/opt/alation/django/rosemeta/one_off_scripts
  1. Change user to alation:

sudo su alation
  1. Navigate to the .. code-block:: Bash one_off_scripts directory.

cd opt/alation/django/rosemeta/one_off_scripts/
  1. Find the SourceID of the connector. The SourceID of the datasource can be viewed in the browser URL when you view the datasource catalog page. In the below example, the SOURCE_ID would be 9.



  1. Run the migration script with the below command.

python <Migration_Script>.py -s <Old Power BI Connector_SourceID> -t <New Power BI Scanner Connector_SourceID>
  1. Exit the shell:

  1. The migration status will not be stored in logs and will be displayed in the console only during the migration process.

Expressions Supported by Lineage

Lineage between tables and the dataset will work only if the expression is in the formats given below:

Database Name

Connection Type

Sample Expression

Azure Databricks


"let\n    Source = Databricks.Contents(\"adb-8651250466505288.8.azuredatabricks.net\", \"sql/protocolv1/o/8651250466505288/
0622-214404-awash362\", [Database=null, BatchSize=null]),\n    SPARK_Database = Source{[Name=\"SPARK\",Kind=\"Database\"]}
[Data],\n    default_Schema = SPARK_Database{[Name=\"default\",Kind=\"Schema\"]}[Data],\n    diamonds_Table = default_Schema
{[Name=\"diamonds\",Kind=\"Table\"]}[Data]\nin\n    diamonds_Table";

SQL Server


"let\n    Source = Sql.Databases(\"ifac-sqlsrv.ceeyrlqdpprr.us-west-2.rds.amazonaws.com\"),\n    Sales = Source{[Name=\"Sales\
"]}[Data],\n    dbo_Customer_Orders = Sales{[Schema=\"dbo\",Item=\"Customer_Orders\"]}[Data]\nin\n    dbo_Customer_Orders";


"let\n    Source = Sql.Database(\"ifac-sqlsrv.ceeyrlqdpprr.us-west-2.rds.amazonaws.com\", \"pubs\", [Query=\"select * from
jobs\"])\nin\n    Source";

"let\n    Source = Sql.Database(\"synapse-edw-d.sql.azuresynapse.net\", \"edwsyndsql\", [Query=\"SeLeCt#(lf)    s.f_name,#(lf)
    t.f_name#(lf)from #(lf)    tmp.src_test s#(lf)inner JOIN  #(lf)    tmp.tgt_test t#(lf)ON  #(lf)    s.f_name = t.f_name\"])
\nin\n    Source";

"let\n    Source = Sql.Database(\"synapse-edw-d.sql.azuresynapse.net\", \"edwsyndsql\", [Query=\"select#(lf)    s.f_name,#(lf)
    t.f_name#(lf)from #(lf)    tmp.src_test s#(lf)inner JOIN  #(lf)    tmp.tgt_test t#(lf)ON  #(lf)    s.f_name = t.f_name\"])
\nin\n    Source";

"let\n    Source = Sql.Database(\"\", \"test_database\", [Query=\"select * from \"\"test_profilling_main.
arcs.test\"\".\"\"arcstable\"\"\"])\nin\n    Source";

MySQL/Azure Synapse/ Azure SQL DB


"let\n    Source = MySQL.Database(\"ifac-mysql.ceeyrlqdpprr.us-west-2.rds.amazonaws.com:3306\", \"employees\",
[ReturnSingleDatabase=true]),\n    employees_departments = Source{[Schema=\"employees\",Item=\"departments\"]}[Data]\nin\n


"let\n    Source = MySQL.Database(\"ifac-mysql.ceeyrlqdpprr.us-west-2.rds.amazonaws.com:3306\", \"crm\",
[ReturnSingleDatabase=true, Query=\"select c.customerNumber , c.customername, c.city, c.country from customers c , orders o
where c.customernumber=o.customernumber\"])\nin\n    Source";



"let\n    Source = Oracle.Database(\"ifac-orcl.ceeyrlqdpprr.us-west-2.rds.amazonaws.com:1521/orcl\", [
HierarchicalNavigation=true]),\n    IFAC_ADMIN = Source{[Schema=\"IFAC_ADMIN\"]}[Data],\n    ORDER_ITEMS1 = IFAC_ADMIN{[Name=\
"ORDER_ITEMS\"]}[Data]\nin\n    ORDER_ITEMS1";



"let\n    Source = PostgreSQL.Database(\"ifac-pgsql.ceeyrlqdpprr.us-west-2.rds.amazonaws.com:5432\", \"postgres\"),\n
public_events = Source{[Schema=\"public\",Item=\"events\"]}[Data]\nin\n    public_events";



"let\n    Source = AmazonRedshift.Database(\"redshift-cluster-1.csjsqfswsudr.us-east-1.redshift.amazonaws.com:5439\", \"dev\",
[BatchSize=null]),\n    public = Source{[Name=\"public\"]}[Data],\n    category1 = public{[Name=\"category\"]}[Data]\nin\n



"let\n    Source = Snowflake.Databases(\"alation_partner.us-east-1.snowflakecomputing.com\", \"LOAD_WH\", [Role=null,
CreateNavigationProperties=null, ConnectionTimeout=null, CommandTimeout=null]),\n    TABSFDC_Database =
Source{[Name=\"TABSFDC\",Kind=\"Database\"]}[Data],\n    PUBLIC_Schema = TABSFDC_Database{[Name=\"PUBLIC\",Kind=\"Schema\"]}
[Data],\n    ACCOUNT_Table = PUBLIC_Schema{[Name=\"ACCOUNT\",Kind=\"Table\"]}[Data]\nin\n    ACCOUNT_Table";

Non-Quoted Strings:

"let\n    Source = Snowflake.Databases(DS_CONN,DW_CONN,[Role=DS_ROLE]),\n    ANALYTICS_DB_Database = Source{[Name=DB_CONN,Kind
=\"Database\"]}[Data],\n    INSIGHT_REPORT_Schema = ANALYTICS_DB_Database{[Name=DSCH_CONN,Kind=\"Schema\"]}[Data],\n
\"]}[Data],\n    #\"Removed Other Columns\" = Table.SelectColumns(CUSTOMER_DIM_G_AGREEMENT_DIM_G_VW_View,{\"CustomerKey\",
\"CustomerCd\", \"CustomerDesc\", \"MasterAgreementDesc\"})\nin\n    #\"Removed Other Columns\""


"let\n    Source = Value.NativeQuery(Snowflake.Databases(\"hg51401.snowflakecomputing.com\",\"RESTAURANTS\"){[Name=\"FIVETRAN\
"]}[Data], \"select * from fivetran.restaurants_global_postsales.sc_new_monthly_churn\", null, [EnableFolding=true])\nin\n

Google BigQuery


Extraction from a Table:

"let\n   Source = GoogleBigQuery.Database(),    #\"eng-scene-228201\" = Source{[Name=\"eng-scene-228201\"]}[Data],
HR_Data_Schema = #\"eng-scene-228201\"{[Name=\"HR_Data\",Kind=\"Schema\"]}[Data],   HR_Recruiting_Table = HR_Data_Schema{

Extraction From a View:

“let\n  Source =
GoogleBigQuery.Database(), #\"test-alation-database-1\" = Source{[Name=\"test-alation-database-1\"]}[Data], profiling_Schema =
#\"test-alation-database-1\"{[Name=\"profiling\",Kind=\"Schema\"]}[Data],\n   gbq_profile_View = profiling_Schema{[Name=
in\n  gbq_profile_View”;

GBQ has default hostname - www.googleapis.com


"let\n    Source = Value.NativeQuery(Snowflake.Databases(\"hg51401.snowflakecomputing.com\",\"RESTAURANTS\"){[Name=\"FIVETRAN\
"]}[Data], \"select * from fivetran.restaurants_global_postsales.sc_new_monthly_churn\", null, [EnableFolding=true])\nin\n



"let\n    Source = Teradata.Database(\"\", [HierarchicalNavigation=true]),\n    test_query_ingestion =
Source{[Schema=\"test_query_ingestion\"]}[Data],\n    test2 = test_query_ingestion{[Name=\"test1\"]}[Data]\nin\n    test2";


"let\n    Source = Teradata.Database(\"\", [HierarchicalNavigation=true, Query=\"SELECT * from test_query_ingestion.
test1 t1 left join test_query_ingestion.test2 t2 on 1=1\"])\nin\n    Source";