We are happy to announce that Custom and Certified Connectors in Power BI are now generally available!
Custom and Certified Connectors
After delivering the Power BI Custom Connectors SDK, our incredible community has developed hundreds of connectors. Some of these were developed by vendors, some by consultants, and some by third parties who were passionate enough about Power BI to write connectors for specific data sources. It’s been an incredible success, and we’re happy to announce it is no longer a preview feature!
Custom Connectors for Power BI are modules that extend Power BI’s capabilities to connect to data sources not covered by what’s shipped with the product. We’ve seen these used to connect to databases, web services, and even specific private data sets (such as census data).
As this feature is no longer in preview, connectors are now fully supported in Power BI Desktop, the On Premise Data Gateway (Personal and Enterprise), and Power BI Service (via the Gateway). We support both refresh of data through import as well as direct query for those connectors that support it. We also have now have a dedicated Power Query section on Microsoft Docs, with all the information you might need to develop a Custom Connector, alongside our existing M Language Reference.
Alongside this, we are announcing our ‘Certified Connector’ program. A certified connector is:
- Built by the developer
- Evaluated by Microsoft
- Distributed by Microsoft
- Maintained by the developer
- Supported by the developer
This program will allow owners of data sources to deliver connectors seamlessly via Get Data in Power BI, making it easy for you to take advantage of the capabilities of Power BI and the breadth of our audience.
Connector support is provided by the connector owner, with assistance to the connector owner from Microsoft. If you’re a vendor interested in certifying your connector, reach out to us via this form. More information about requirements can be found here.
We encourage the community to use custom connectors to enable bringing all their data into Power BI, not just from sources we already support. Many vendors have reached out to work with us already, and more information about some of the connectors we’ve already certified are below.
What does this mean?
Custom Connectors are now Generally Available and every Power BI user is encouraged to leverage them - whether that is building new connectors or leveraging connectors built by others. This includes Certified connectors that are distributed seamlessly, as well as using other Custom Connectors built by 3rd parties.
We have new security settings under ‘Security’ in ‘Options’. If you’d like to know more about the security levels, please read the documentation page here. You’ll note that there are two security levels currently—one for ‘custom connectors’ and one for ‘certified connectors’. Because we go through all certified connectors to make sure they’re safe, we’re willing to distribute them at the higher level of security.
However, to ensure your security, modules not certified by Microsoft will not load without changing security settings.
We are aware that there are lots of connectors don’t fall into the certified path, as mentioned above. Sometimes, however, you may trust a vendor to provide you a connector that (for whatever reason) isn’t easily certifiable. It could be a data back-end they don’t own, it might be a specific data set, or it might be a private database technology not generally available on the market. There are lots of reasons, and we will do our best to support this use-case.
Certified Connectors in October Release
As mentioned above, we’ve worked with a number of vendors already on the Certified Connector program. Below is a blurb about each of them. Some of these connectors (Exasol, JethroData, and TeamDesk) were introduced under the feature switch a few months ago—check them out! The others are brand new with the October release of Power BI. All statements below, aside from learn more links, are taken from the ISV.
The Denodo Platform provides all the benefits of data virtualization including the ability to provide real-time access to integrated data across an organization’s diverse data sources, without replicating any data. The Denodo Platform offers the broadest access to structured and unstructured data residing in enterprise, big data, and cloud sources in both batch and real time, exceeding the performance needs of data-intensive organizations.
To learn more about Denodo, please visit https://www.denodo.com/en
Dremio is a data-as-a-service platform that empowers users to discover, curate, accelerate, and share any data at any time, regardless of location, volume, or structure.
To learn more about Dremio, please visit https://dremio.com
EXASOL is a high-performance, in-memory, MPP database specifically designed for analytics. From business-critical data applications to advanced analytics, EXASOL helps you analyze large volumes of data in real-time, helping you to accelerate your BI and reporting, and to turn data into value. With EXASOL, you can benefit from real-time analytics in order to improve operational efficiencies, drive business growth, improve customer acquisition rates and deliver excellent customer service.
To learn more about Exasol, please visit https://www.exasol.com
Kyligence provides a leading intelligent OLAP platform powered by Apache Kylin to enable interactive big data analytics with high concurrency from on-premises to the cloud. Deployed on Azure HDInsight, Kyligence helps you matching the dynamic computing and analytics requirements, reducing the operation cost and accelerating business analytics on the cloud. Kyligence is now available on Azure Marketplace.
Kyligence is Power BI partner and Azure ISV partner. To learn more about Kyligence, please visit http://kyligence.io/
Jethro is designed specifically for the unique needs of interactive enterprise Business Intelligence (BI) on Big Data. It is a transparent middle tier that requires no change to the BI apps or the underlying data. Jethro employs full indexing, auto cubes and a sophisticated optimizer to address the full range of BI queries. As it is self-driving, Jethro requires no maintenance or tuning, which eliminates costly manual administration.
To learn more about Jethro, please visit https://jethro.io
Paxata is a visually-dynamic, intuitive solution that enables business analysts to rapidly ingest, profile, and curate multiple raw datasets into consumable information in a self-service manner, greatly accelerating development of actionable business insights. In addition to empowering business analysts and SMEs, Paxata also provides a rich set of workload automation and embeddable data preparation capabilities to operationalize and deliver data preparation as a service within other applications.
To learn more about Paxata, please visit https://www.paxata.com
TeamDesk is an online database system that is developed to facilitate working with data, organize and store information that you use in your routine work.
Using TeamDesk anyone can build his/her own business management solution for any business process or choose a predefined database and your team-members will be happy to use it.
To learn more about TeamDesk, please visit https://www.teamdesk.net
Custom and Certified connectors for Power BI are now generally available! We encourage the community to use them and experiment with them, and we would love for vendors to reach out to us about certifying their connector. Information on the certification process can be found here, and you can nominate your connector for certification here.