Connector extensibility in Power BI

Power BI can connect to data by using existing connectors and generic data sources, like ODBC, OData, OLE DB, Web, CSV, XML, and JSON. Or, developers can enable new data sources with custom data extensions called custom connectors. Some custom connectors are certified and distributed by Microsoft as certified connectors.

To use non-certified custom connectors that you or a third party have developed, you must adjust the Power BI Desktop security settings to allow extensions to load without validation or warning. Because this code can handle credentials, including sending them over HTTP, and ignore privacy levels, you should only use this security setting if you absolutely trust your custom connectors.

Another option is for the developer to sign the connector with a certificate, and provide the information you need to use it without changing your security settings. For more information, see About trusted third-party connectors.

Custom connectors

Non-certified custom connectors can range from small business-critical APIs to large industry-specific services that Microsoft hasn't released a connector for. Many connectors are distributed by vendors. If you need a specific data connector, contact the vendor.

To use a non-certified custom connector, put the connector .pq, .pqx, .m, or .mez file in the [Documents]\Power BI Desktop\Custom Connectors folder. If the folder doesn't exist, create it.

Adjust the data extension security settings as follows:

In Power BI Desktop, select File > Options and settings > Options > Security.

Under Data Extensions, select (Not Recommended) Allow any extension to load without validation or warning. Select OK, and then restart Power BI Desktop.

Allow non-certified custom connectors in Data Extension Security options

The default Power BI Desktop data extension security setting is (Recommended) Only allow Microsoft certified and other trusted third-party extensions to load. With this setting, if there are non-certified custom connectors on your system, the Uncertified Connectors dialog box appears at Power BI Desktop startup, listing the connectors that can't securely load.

Uncertified Connectors dialog box

To resolve the error, you can either change your Data Extensions security setting, or remove the uncertified connectors from your Custom Connectors folder.

Certified connectors

A limited subset of data extensions is considered certified. While Microsoft distributes the connectors, it's not responsible for their performance or continued function. The third-party developer who created the connector is responsible for its maintenance and support.

In Power BI Desktop, certified third-party connectors appear in the list in the Get Data dialog box, along with generic and common connectors. You don't need to adjust security settings to use the certified connectors.

If you would like a custom connector to be certified, ask your vendor to contact dataconnectors@microsoft.com.