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Power BI Pro Tip: Troubleshooting Power BI Data Refresh

With Power BI you can create an Excel sheet based on your data and then get it refreshed so your report always has the latest information.

If you run into trouble with this, here is how to troubleshoot the data refresh.

  1. Firstly, make sure you use Power Pivot to connect to your data source and not Power Query as refresh with Power Query is currently not supported.
  2. When making the connection to your data source, just use a regular data connection to the SQL Server source and not through an OData feed.
  3. In Power Pivot, make sure to use the same data provider as your data source has been configured to use in the Power BI Admin Portal (i.e. Native SQL or OLEDB) and enter the server and database name exactly the same as the data source has been configured in your Power BI Admin panel. With “exactly” I mean also casing: so myServer is something else than MyServer. So the server and database name needs to be identical, including casing.
  4. Finish your workbook and upload it.
  5. Make sure the Database Management Gateway is running. Do this by checking the status in the Power BI Admin Portal and check under Data Management Gateways.
  6. Next in the Power BI Admin Portal, check that the data sources have correct settings for server name and database name. Also check that the credentials entered here have permissions to the data sources on the server and have been re-entered after the last time the DMG has been registered. There is no harm in re-entering them just to be sure. Also check that the connection provider here matches the one used in Power Pivot and again the server and database name need to be exactly the same as in your Power Pivot connection settings (see item #3 above).
  7. In the Power BI Admin Portal, check that the user you will be using to schedule the refresh has permissions to do so on every data source you would like to refresh. Do this by opening the settings for the data source in the Power BI Admin Portal and making sure the user is listed under ‘users and groups’.
  8. Plan the refresh on the file. When the schedule hits, your schedule should start and finish successfully.


Power BI Pro Tip: Troubleshooting Data Management Gateway stability

If your Data Management Gateway crashes a lot, just make sure you have .NET framework version 4.5.1 or later installed. 4.5.1. introduced fixes that the Data Management Gateway needs.

If you install it and reboot the server your DMG should be running much more smoothly.

Setup and register a Data Management Gateway for Power BI

In this post we will have a look at how to install, setup and register a Data Management Gateway for Power BI. It involves installing software on a server which will function as the gateway as well as configuration through the Power BI Admin Center. Once set up you can use the gateway to publish on-premises sources for use through Power BI.

  1. To create and register a Data Management Gateway follow these steps:
    1. In the Power BI Admin Center, click gateways and click ‘new gateway’.
    2. Specify a name for the gateway and an optional description. Then, select ‘Store the credentials securely in the cloud’ to store credentials in the gateway rather than on the machine where the gateway is installed. Storing credentials in the cloud enables you to restore the gateway to another machine if the original one is lost. Click ‘Next’.
    3. Click ‘Create’ to create the gateway. Then we need to copy the Gateway Key for later use. Click ‘Download’ to download the Data Management Gateway software. Install the software on your machine and start the Gateway Setup wizard.
    4. In the wizard paste the Gateway key you copied. Finally go to the Power BI Admin Center and click ‘Finish’. Your gateway should now be listed as ‘Online’.
    5. Switch back to your setup wizard and choose whether you want to use an existing certificate or a Power BI generated certificate to protect the credentials. Click ‘Next’. On the specify endpoint access page specify if you want to use HTTP or HTTPs and make configuration settings accordingly. Click ‘Next’ and ‘Finish’ to close the wizard. Make sure the gateway name matches the name in the Admin Center and that is shows as Registered and Started.

That’s it! You have now successfully installed and registered a Data Magement Gateway for Power BI. Next up is creating sources. I’ll discuss in a future post how to create an OData feed through the Power BI Admin Center.

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