New! Speckle PowerBI Connector

Hi @Community

We’ve got an alpha release ready for our new PowerBI connector!

We’d love feedback on what Power BI power users would like to see with this new Speckle connector, which currently only supports the most basic of data import operations: plug in your Speckle stream, branch, or commit URL and watch your commit data come in with Power BI’s built in data filtering functionality.

We’re looking for insights and suggestions on:

  • :mag_right: What Speckle data you’d find most useful
    Currently the connector pulls in data from your most recent commit on the main branch (stream url), the most recent commit on your specified branch (branch url), or the specified commit (commit url). Do you care about geometry information, or is it annoying to have to filter those out? Do you want to see stream statistics? Etc.

  • :running_woman: Interface navigation feedback
    Would additional stream or branch navigation options be useful for typical Speckle → Power BI data import workflows?

Here’s some sample data from a pipe network sent from Civil 3D, imported into Power BI:

See the repo below with instructions on how to run it locally:

Note: chunked data currently is not automatically de-chunked when received, we are aware of this limitation and are working to resolve it!

Drop any comments here, or shoot us a private message for in depth discussions!

7 Likes

Hi @clrkng, this is amazing! I can think of loads of use cases for this :star_struck:
I was just curious, how feasible or realistic is it for Speckle to support a PowerBI vector graphics viewer component, much like what Tracer has developed?

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I have tried connecting a Speckle stream to Power BI, but I can’t figure out if the URL I’m trying to import is invalid, or if I need a different type of access token, but I get this error:Screenshot 2021-09-10 092518

When I type Edit, it just shows me the URL I have typed in:

Welcome @bcall ! For now, the connector authentication only works with public streams - let me know if you’re still getting that error after toggling your stream to public!

Thanks @Guus ! I suspect it would be quite a bit of work (read: maybe feasible but not currently realistic) to make a custom interactive 3D visual in Power BI. As far as I’m aware, that could require translating speckle geometry to 3d lines via R scripts in Power BI, or perhaps a hack using geometry display meshes.

It would be an amazing feature however, @AlanRynne may have some thoughts on this and whether or not it would be worth a shot!

Hi @clrkng , thank you for the warm welcome!

I switched my stream to public, but still get the same error.Screenshot 2021-09-10 104927

So, do you mean to say that there is no way to connect to private streams? Or is that just if I am using an authenticator?

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Should be fixed now! Released a new version on Github :slightly_smiling_face:

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Good day. I have same problem with my connection.

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Hey @PolMax, could you send me the stream/commit/object url you are trying to load in PowerBI?

Thank you!

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@PolMax You’ll have to set the stream to public or add me as a collaborator!

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Hi @clrkng

I’m having issues retrieving branches in the PowerBI connector.

It doesn’t seem to like any branch URL i provide

However when I select specific commits, it works fine:

these are public:

branches I’m trying:

specific commit that works:

Got any ideas to help?

Hi @Joe_Landers ! Unfortunately the PowerBI connector doesn’t currently support branch urls - this is because there is no easy way to handle branch names with special characters or emojis in Power Query M (the language the connector is built with). Is this a big issue for you?

It’s not a major issue.

It would be useful to connect to the branch (which auto uses the latest commit). That way we can just refresh the PBI query and it will grab the latest data.

This will save time, rather than having to query a new commit, then transform the data each and every time the data changes.

Currently I’m just testing it out, so my transforms are limited.

I’m hoping to use Speckle to carry the geometry and results data for things like piles, retaining walls etc. and will use PBI to slice data. Thereby reducing the amount of files (like csvs and json) that we need to use. and just connect to Speckle streams for data results and visualisations.

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That’s a good shout, we’ll brainstorm some workarounds and see if there’s another way to achieve this without having to work with branch names :slight_smile:

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Hi there!
Really excited on this new tool. I have linked up a stream of mine to PowerBI but am only getting in a limited amount of data (57 rows of data from a model with 700+) elements. Any basic ideas where I may be going wrong?

Stream Link

Thanks for the help in advance.
-HW

2 Likes

Hey @hayden-wright!

Welcome to the community! Feel free to Introduce yourself 🙆 if you feel like it :slight_smile:

Thank you for reporting this! I’ve been working on some fixes in PowerBI this week so I’ll have a peek to see what could be happening here.

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Good news, @AlanRynne found a hacky hack to generate a fake url since the Uri parser only decodes the query. We should be able to support branches now!

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Thanks Alan! Appreciate the assistance

Hey @hayden-wright! I just merged in this PR that should fix the problem you were having of missing items in the result table.

We’re now doing pagination on the queries, so it does take a bit more time to load (powerquery will fetch each “page” one by one before returning the entire result table)

We’ll look into speeding things up in the near future, but meanwhile you’ll be getting this in the next release! I’ll ping you here when its out!

1 Like