We are excited to announce that we have just released the July update for the On-premises data gateway. Here are some of the things that we would like to highlight with this month’s release:
- Public preview for custom data connectors support in the Enterprise gateway
- Requests distribution across all gateways in a gateway cluster
- Support for Kerberos-based Single Sign-On for Spark in Power BI Service
- A diagnostic test to check if your gateway can access the correct ports it needs to function properly
- The on-premises data gateway now includes the July version of the mashup engine
You can download the July release (build number: 14.16.6768.3) from the link below and continue reading for more details about each enhancement.
Custom data connectors support in the Enterprise gateway
Data Connectors for Power BI enable users to connect to and access data from an application, service, or data source. For some time now, you have been able to develop custom connectors and use them in Power BI Desktop. You can find more details on how to develop and use custom data connectors here.
In April, we announced the support for custom connectors in the personal gateway. This month we are excited to announce that the enterprise gateways now support custom data connectors as well.
Here is a quick guide on how to enable and use this new capability
When you install the July version of the on-premises data gateway, you’ll see a new “Connectors” tab in the configurator with an option to choose a folder to load the custom connectors from. Make sure you pick a folder that can be accessed by the user running the gateway service (which is “NT SERVICE\PBIEgwService” by default). The gateway will automatically load the custom connector files located in that folder and you should see them in the list of the data connectors.
In the gateway settings page in the Power BI service, you will see a new option when you select the gateway cluster to allow using custom connectors with this cluster. Make sure all gateways in the cluster are updated to the latest July release for this option to be available. Now select that option to enable using custom connectors with this cluster.
When this option is enabled, you will now see your custom connectors as available data sources that you can create under this gateway cluster. Once a data source is created for your new custom connector, you can now refresh Power BI reports using that custom connector in the Power BI service.
A few important things to note
- Make sure the folder you create is accessible to the background gateway service. Typically, folders under your user’s Windows folder or system folders won’t be accessible. The gateway configurator will show a message if the folder is not accessible.
- Custom connectors with OAuth authentication are not yet supported in this release. The OAuth support will be coming soon via a service update.
- Custom connectors using Direct Query are also not supported yet. This support should arrive with a later update.
Distribute requests traffic across all gateways in a cluster
You can choose to allow traffic to be distributed across all gateways in a cluster. In the Manage gateways page in the Power BI service, when you click on a gateway cluster in the list on the left navigation tree, you can enable the option to "Distribute requests across all active gateways in this cluster"
Support for Kerberos-based Single Sign-On for Spark in Power BI Service
In this month's release, we're adding Kerberos-based Single Sign-On support for the Spark connector. This allows end-user's identity to be mapped to underlying Spark users when consuming a DirectQuery-based report on top of Spark in the Power BI Service. You can find more details about single sign on support using Kerberos here.
Network Ports Test
The network ports test is a tool to check if your gateway can access the correct ports for all remote servers that are required by your gateway for transferring data. If the network ports test fails to connect to any of the ports, your gateway may experience network issues. If you are currently experiencing network issues with your gateway, run a network ports test to ensure that you have the optimal network environment.
Start a new test
To run a new network ports test, in the On-premises data gateway user interface, select Diagnostics, and then select the Start new test link near the bottom of the page, as shown in the following image. To start a new network ports test, you must be signed into the On-premises data gateway user interface
When executing the network ports test, your gateway will retrieve a list of ports and servers from Azure Service Bus and then it will attempt to connect to all the servers and ports. When the Start new test link reappears, the network ports test has finished executing.
A summary of the test can be seen below the Start new test link as Recent test results. The two results are Completed (Succeeded) and Completed (Failed, see last test results). If the test succeeded, then your gateway successfully connected to all the required ports. If the test failed, then your network environment may be blocking these required ports and servers.
To view the results of the last completed test, select the Open last completed test results link, as seen below. The test results will open in Windows’ default text editor.
The test results list all the servers, ports, and IP addresses that are required by your gateway. If the test results display Closed for any ports as shown below, ensure that your network environment is not blocking the connection. You may need to contact your network administrator to open the required ports.
Updated version of the mashup engine
Last but not least, this gateway update includes the same version of the Mashup engine as the Power BI Desktop update released earlier this month. This will ensure that the reports that you publish to the Power BI Service and refresh via the gateway will go through the same query execution logic/runtime as in the latest Power BI Desktop version. Note that there are some Beta connectors that are still not supported outside of Power BI Desktop. Please refer to specific connector documentation for more details or contact us if you have any questions.
That’s all for this month’s gateway update. We hope that you find these enhancements useful and continue sending us feedback for what new capabilities you’d like to see in the future.