Connect Power BI to SQL Server

Let us see the step by step approach to connect Power BI to SQL Server Database. In addition to this Connect Power BI to SQL Server, how to use SQL Queries against the data present in SQL Tables with an example.

Step by Step approach to Connect Power BI to SQL Server

If you haven’t started the Power BI Desktop yet, Double click on the Power BI desktop to open. Once it is open, it looks like the below screenshot. Please click on the Get Data hyperlink

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If you are in the Power BI visualization page, under the Home tab, click the Get Data option and select the SQL Server, as we showed below. Or select More options.

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We are selecting More options to show you the following window. Use this window to select your desired Data source. Here, we are discussing hot to Connect Power BI to SQL Server. So, let me select the SQL Server Database Option.

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Connect Power BI to SQL Server

The following are the list of available fields to fill to connect Power BI to SQL Server Database

  • Server: Please provide the SQL Server Instance name. If you installed SQL with default instance, then the instance name is the computer name or localhost.
  • Database: This is optional. If you want to use a custom SQL query then it is required.
  • Data Connectivity Mode: Please select whether you want to import or Direct query.
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Clicking the Advanced option show you the advanced properties.

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You can write your own SQL query to extract data from the specified Database. To do this, write your query inside the SQL Statement box

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Custom Query that we used in the above Connect Power BI to SQL Server screenshot is:

-- Connecting Power BI to SQL Server
SELECT Geo.EnglishCountryRegionName AS Country, 
       Geo.StateProvinceName AS State, 
       SUM(Fact.SalesAmount) AS Sales, 
       SUM(Fact.TaxAmt) AS Tax, 
       COUNT(Fact.OrderQuantity) AS Orders
FROM FactResellerSales AS Fact
  INNER JOIN
     DimSalesTerritory ON 
        Fact.SalesTerritoryKey = DimSalesTerritory.SalesTerritoryKey 
  INNER JOIN
     DimGeography AS Geo ON 
        DimSalesTerritory.SalesTerritoryKey = Geo.SalesTerritoryKey
GROUP BY Geo.EnglishCountryRegionName, Geo.StateProvinceName
HAVING COUNT(Fact.OrderQuantity) > 60000

If you want to use this data, then click Load. For now, let me click the cancel button because I want to select multiple tables.

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NOTE: Don’t worry above the Query, Just understand the procedure. However, If you want to learn, please refer to our SQL Server Tutorial

Let me use the local instance, and click OK

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For now, we are using the current local windows credentials. If you don’t have the permission to access SQL Server, then use other person windows credential by selecting Use alternative credentials.

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In real-time, we only use SQL Server Database credentials. For this, select the database and enter the username and password provided by the Admin person.

For now, I am using the current windows credentials

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Under the Display options, it lists out the Databases that are available for that Instance. In this example, We are selecting the AdventureWorksDW2017 database.

You can download this database from Microsoft official Download Center or GitHub for free.

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Expanding the Database folder display the available Tables and Views. Selecting the table shows the Data Preview.

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From the below screenshot, you can see that we are selecting the required tables. Remember, if you are confused to select tables, then select one Measure table (Orders, or Sales) and click Select Related Tables button.

  • Load: This will load data from selected tables to Power BI. As I know that the data is clean, let me click the Load button
  • Edit: Click this button to alter the columns, or to cleanse the data
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Please wait until the load is complete

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Now you can see the Tables that we selected from the SQL Server database under the Fields section.

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Expand any table to see the columns (fields) inside that table.

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TIP: This is the Dataset that we are going to use in most of the Power BI tutorial.