Connect to data using generic interfaces in Power BI Desktop

You can connect to a multitude of different data sources in Power BI Desktop, using built-in data connectors that range from Access databases to Zendesk resources, as shown in the Get Data window. You can also connect to all sorts of other data sources, which even further expands your connectivity options, by using the generic interfaces (such as ODBC or REST APIs) built into Power BI Desktop.

Power BI Desktop data interfaces

Power BI Desktop includes an ever-growing collection of data connectors that are built to connect to a specific data source. For example, the SharePoint List data connector provides specific fields and supporting information during the connection sequence that are designed for SharePoint Lists, which is the case with other data sources found in the window that appears when you select Get Data > More... (shown in the previous image).

In addition, Power BI Desktop lets you connect to data sources that aren't specifically identified in the Get Data lists, by using one of the following generic data interfaces:

  • ODBC
  • OLE DB
  • OData
  • REST APIs
  • R Scripts

By providing the appropriate parameters in the connection windows that these generic interfaces provide, the world of data sources you can access and use in Power BI Desktop grows significantly.

In the following sections, you can find lists of data sources that can be accessed by these generic interfaces.

Can't find the data source you wanted to use with Power BI Desktop? Please let us know so we can add it to our list of ideas and requests.

Data sources accessible through ODBC

The ODBC connector in Power BI Desktop lets you import data from any third-party ODBC driver simply by specifying a Data Source Name (DSN) or a connection string. As an option, you can also specify a SQL statement to execute against the ODBC driver.

The following list details a few examples of data sources to which Power BI Desktop can connect by using the generic ODBC interface.

Power BI Desktop generic connector External data source Link for more information
ODBC Cassandra Cassandra ODBC driver
ODBC Couchbase DB Couchbase and Power BI
ODBC DynamoDB DynamoDB ODBC driver
ODBC Google BigQuery BigQuery ODBC driver
ODBC Hbase Hbase ODBC driver
ODBC Hive Hive ODBC driver
ODBC IBM Netezza IBM Netezza information
ODBC Presto Presto ODBC driver
ODBC Project Online Project Online article
ODBC Progress OpenEdge Progress OpenEdge ODBC driver blog post

Data sources accessible through OLE DB

The OLE DB connector in Power BI Desktop lets you import data from any third-party OLE DB driver simply by specifying a connection string. As an option, you can also specify a SQL statement to execute against the OLE DB driver.

The following list details a few examples of the data sources to which Power BI Desktop can connect by using the generic OLE DB interface.

Power BI Desktop generic connector External data source Link for more information
OLE DB SAS OLE DB SAS provider for OLE DB
OLE DB Sybase OLE DB Sybase provider for OLE DB

Data sources accessible through OData

The OData connector in Power BI Desktop lets you import data from any OData URL simply by typing in or pasting the OData URL. You can add multiple URL parts by typing or pasting those links in the text boxes provided in the OData Feed window.

The following list details a few examples of the data sources to which Power BI Desktop can connect by using the generic OData interface.

Power BI Desktop generic connector External data source Link for more information
OData Coming soon Check back soon for OData data sources

Data sources accessible through REST APIs

You can connect to data sources using the REST APIs and thereby use data from all sorts of data sources that support REST.

The following list details a few examples of the data sources to which Power BI Desktop can connect by using the generic REST APIs interface.

Power BI Desktop generic connector External data source Link for more information
REST APIs Couchbase DB Couchbase REST API information

Data sources accessible through R Script

You can use R scripts to access data sources, and use that data in Power BI Desktop.

The following list details a few examples of the data sources to which Power BI Desktop can connect by using the generic R scripts interface.

Power BI Desktop generic connector External data source Link for more information
R Script SAS Files R script guidance from CRAN
R Script SPSS Files R script guidance from CRAN
R Script R Statistical Files R script guidance from CRAN

Next steps

´╗┐There are all sorts of data sources you can connect to using Power BI Desktop. For more information on data sources, check out the following resources: