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Announcing enhanced connectivity for Snowflake

Headshot of article author Ofer Ashkenazi
We are excited to announce the public preview of the enhanced Power BI Snowflake connector!

If you are a Snowflake customer, you’ll be delighted to know that you no longer need an on-premises data gateway to access your data warehouse.  The enhanced connector is available in the Power BI service as well as in Power BI Desktop (as of the December release) and even in the data gateway. There is no need to install it separately. Another improvement we are delivering, is support for Azure Active Directory (AAD) authentication, including support for Single-Sign-On (SSO) in the Power BI service.

The previous functionality of the Snowflake connector is still available with the enhanced connector. You can deploy an on-premises gateway if you want to connect to Snowflake over Azure Private Link. You can also still use database credentials, especially if Snowflake integration with AAD is not available. This ensure seamless backward compatibility with existing Snowflake connections in Power BI.

However, if you want to take advantage of the new connectivity options beyond using it without a gateway, make sure you read the relevant Snowflake documentation and check the requirements with your Snowflake admin. For details on how to configure Snowflake integration with AAD, see the relevant Snowflake documentation (your Snowflake admin needs to follow the instructions on the Creating a Power BI Security Integration section).

The enhanced connector streamlines how Power BI accesses data from Snowflake data warehouses in three ways:

  • Removing the requirement for an on-premises gateway and thus eliminating the friction associated with deploying and managing gateways
  • Providing a new authentication method for Snowflake through AAD. The Snowflake user identities can be synced with AAD to enable data access. This option shows up as “Microsoft Account” on Power BI Desktop (as of the December 2019 release) and “OAuth2” on the Power BI Service
  • Enabling SSO with Power BI though the shared AAD authentication. The connector provides a new sign on experience for users logged into the Power BI service and accessing Snowflake data. With the SSO option enabled in the data source definition for datasets with DirectQuery mode, users opening or refreshing a report are authenticated and authorized seamlessly with their Power BI (AAD) identities to access their Snowflake data without being prompted again for credentials (see screenshot below).

If you find the SSO option (checkbox at the bottom of the screen) unavailable, then contact your Power BI service admin to enable the corresponding tenant setting. The Power BI service admin can find the Snowflake SSO setting under Tenant settings in the Power BI Admin portal. Make sure this setting is toggled from Disabled to Enabled (see screenshot below).

The enhanced Snowflake connector is the result of an on-going collaboration between the Power BI and the Snowflake product teams. Go ahead and take this enhanced connector for a test drive to improve your Snowflake connectivity experience and provide us with feedback if you want to help deliver a high-quality Snowflake connectivity experience in Power BI. We would love to hear from you!

For further details, see the enhanced Snowflake connector documentation for Power BI Desktop , for Power BI Service, and this article on the Snowflake website.