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Announcing General Availability (GA) of the Power BI connector for Databricks

Headshot of article author Kay Unkroth

We are excited to announce General Availability (GA) of the Power BI connector for Databricks, including the ability to connect to Databricks without an on-premises data gateway as well as support for Azure Active Directory (AAD) authentication and SSO in DirectQuery mode in the Power BI service.

Now you can efficiently, in more secure manner, consume data directly from Databricks via Power BI. With this native integration of Power BI with Azure Databricks, end users can create reports and dashboards by themselves without having to depend upon IT staff or database administrators. Business Analysts can create the report in Power BI Desktop with Databricks as the data source and publish to Power BI service for end users such as business executives to consume the report, all in a secure and seamless manner, via Azure AD authentication.

The Databricks connector enables seamless Power BI connectivity through the following key capabilities:

  • Support for Import and DirectQuery mode. Import is fast and rich, but not always suitable, as Databricks deals with data at cloud scale.
  • No need for an on-premises gateway. Thus eliminating the friction associated with deploying and managing gateways.
  • Authentication through AAD. User identities are the same between Power BI and Azure Databricks.
  • SSO-based on AAD authentication. With SSO enabled in the data source definition, users opening or refreshing a report in DirectQuery mode are authenticated and authorized seamlessly with their Power BI (AAD) identities to access Databricks.
  • Secure Access to Azure Data Lake Storage scenario with Power BI – With Azure AD authentication and identity passthrough, users can see only data in Power BI that they have been granted permissions to.

The following screenshot shows a Call Detail Record (CDR) Power BI report that works with over 1 billion rows of data in a Databricks data source configured for SSO.

The Power BI connector for Databricks is the result of an on-going collaboration between the Power BI and Azure Databricks product teams and Databricks Inc. For further details, see the Databricks connector documentation for Power BI Desktop, for Power BI Service, and related articles on the Databricks website.