PowerBI.com integration with on-premises environments

The cloud version provides several features that allow for deeper integration with Microsoft Power BI. Some of these features haven't yet been implemented for on-premises deployments. However, the availability of Entity Store in on-premises deployments lets customers use PowerBI.com to report on and analyze data.

This topic outlines the analytical capabilities that are available in on-premises deployments that run Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations platform update 26 (May 2019) and later.

Feature/capability Cloud On-premises (Platform update 26 or later)
Analytical workspaces Available Not yet implemented

Customers can use the reports that are built on Entity Store together with PowerBI.com.

Pin reports, tiles, and dashboards from PowerBI.com into the client. Available Not yet implemented
Author and distribute Power BI reports that use application data. Available Available

Customers can modify ready-made reports and create new reports by using Entity Store on-premises.

Extract application data into data warehouses. Available Available

Enable Entity Store on-premises

This topic supplements the Set up and deploy on-premises environments (Platform update 12 and later) topic. The section numbers that follow correspond to the section numbers in that topic.

3. Plan your users and service accounts

User account Type Purpose User name
AOS SQL AXDW DB Admin user SQL user The application uses this user to enter information in the AXDW database. This user is optional and must be created only if you want Entity Store support. axdwadmin
AOS SQL AXDW FB Admin user SQL user The application uses this user to enter information in the AXDW database. This user is optional and must be created only if you want Entity Store support. axdwruntimeuser

14. Configure the databases

The steps in this section are optional.

If you want to create a database that can be used for Entity Store, you must first modify the ConfigTemplate.xml file.

  1. Under DbServer – Security, set the generateUser flags for axdwadmin and axdwruntimeuser to True. The scripts that you run in the next step will then create those two users. You will be prompted to set passwords for the users.

  2. Run the following scripts.

    .\Initialize-Database.ps1 -ConfigurationFilePath .\ConfigTemplate.xml -ComponentName EntityStore
    .\Configure-Database.ps1 -ConfigurationFilePath .\ConfigTemplate.xml -ComponentName EntityStore
    

    The Initialize-Database.ps1 script performs the following actions:

    • Create an empty database that is named AXDW. This database is used for Entity Store.
    • Create a new user that is named axdwadmin and that has SQL authentication enabled, and prompt you for the user's password.
    • Create a new user that is named axdwruntimeuser and that has SQL authentication enabled, and prompt you for the user's password.
    • Grant the axdwadmin and axdwruntimeuser users db_owner permissions on the database.

    The Configure-Database.ps1 script performs the following actions:

    • Set the specified database file and log settings.
    • GRANT VIEW SERVER STATE TO axdwadmin.
    • GRANT VIEW SERVER STATE TO axdwruntimeuser.

15. Encrypt credentials

Create a Credentials.json file as shown here. The AosDWAuth category is optional and is used only if Entity Store is enabled.

{
    "AosPrincipal": {
        "AccountPassword": "<encryptedDomainUserPassword>"
    },
    "AosSqlAuth": {
        "SqlUser": "<encryptedSqlUser>",
        "SqlPwd": "<encryptedSqlPassword>"
    },
    "AosDWAuth": {
        "DWUser": "<encryptedDWUser>",
        "DWPwd": "<encryptedDWPassword>",
        "DWRuntimeUser": "<encryptedDWRuntimeUser>",
        "DWRuntimePwd": "<encryptedDWRuntimePassword>"
    }
}

Here is an explanation of the preceding code lines:

  • AccountPassword is the encrypted domain user password for the Application Object Server (AOS) domain user (contoso\axserviceuser).
  • SqlUser is the encrypted SQL user (axdbadmin) that has access to the application database (AXDB). SqlPwd is the encrypted SQL password.
  • DWUser is the encrypted SQL user (axdwadmin) that has access to the Entity Store database (AXDW). DWPwd is the encrypted SQL password that is entered when the Initialize-Database.ps1 script is run.
  • DWRuntimeUser is the encrypted SQL user (axdwruntimeuser) that has access to the Entity Store database (AXDW). DWRuntimePwd is the encrypted SQL password that is entered when the Initialize-Database.ps1 script is run.

More information

Entity Store was enabled in Platform update 26.

Creation of the Entity Store database and users is optional. When you configure a deployment in Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services (LCS), you can leave the Entity Store customizations blank.

If Entity Store should be enabled in an environment, the following tasks must be completed:

  • Create an AXDW database by using the scripts that are described in step 14.

  • Create axdwadmin and axdwruntimeuser users that have appropriate privileges, by using the scripts in that are described step 14. Users are defined in the following files: ConfigTemplate.xml and DatabaseTopologyDefinition.xml.

  • Create a Credentials.json file as described in step 15. User names and passwords should be defined for axdwadmin and axdwruntimeuser as described in step 14, and they should be encrypted.

  • The Entity Store SQL Server name and Entity Store database name must be filled in during deployment in LCS.

    • The database name is created in step 14 and is defined in the DatabaseTopologyDefinition.xml file. The default name is AXDW.
    • The SQL Server name is the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the Microsoft SQL Server or Always on listener. An example of this FQDN is sqlinstance.onprem.contoso.com. It's the server that the AXDW database is created on.

Currently, you can enable Entity Store only during initial deployment. If it must be enabled in an existing environment, that environment must be deleted and then deployed again by using a platform update that supports Entity Store.

Authoring and distributing reports by using Entity Store on-premises

Entity Store is an operational data warehouse that is included. It lets power users and business analysts author reports that use simplified and enriched data. Entity Store contains aggregate measurements, which are simplified star schemas. For more information about how to author reports by using Entity Store, see Create analytical reports by using Power BI Desktop.

Note the following additional steps that are specific to on-premises deployments:

  • For on-premises environments, you don't have to use LCS to deploy Power BI reports to production or sandbox environments. Because admins can point PowerBI.com datasets to specific Entity Store databases in on-premises environments, you don't have to use the functionality that LCS offers. However, you might have to configure the on-premises gateway to enable PowerBI.com to access data on-premises. For more information about the gateway, see Power BI gateway documentation.
  • Although cloud-based application environments support only reports that are authored by using the DirectQuery option, on-premises Entity Store supports both DirectQuery reports and Import mode reports.
  • Analytical workspaces aren't yet implemented in on-premises deployments. Instead of viewing reports in analytical workspaces, you can deploy them to PowerBI.com environments. The reports can then be used by users who have access to PowerBI.com. Your users might require appropriate licenses to access reports on PowerBI.com.

Note

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