Connect to datasets with client applications and tools (Preview)

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Power BI Premium workspaces and datasets support read-only connections from Microsoft and third-party client applications and tools.


This article is intended only to introduce read-only connectivity to Power BI Premium workspaces and datasets. It is not intended to provide in-depth information about programmability, specific tools and applications, architecture, and workspace and dataset management. Subjects described here require a solid understanding of Analysis Services tabular model database architecture and administration.


Power BI Premium uses the XML for Analysis (XMLA) protocol for communications between client applications and the engine that manages your workspaces and datasets. These communications are through what are commonly referred to as XMLA endpoints. XMLA is the same communication protocol used by the Microsoft Analysis Services engine, which under the hood, runs Power BI's semantic modeling, governance, lifecycle, and data management.

The vast majority of client applications and tools do not explicitly communicate with the engine by using XMLA endpoints. Instead, they use client libraries such as MSOLAP, ADOMD, and AMO as an intermediary between the client application and the engine, which communicates exclusively by using XMLA.

Supported tools

These tools support read-only access to Power BI Premium workspaces and datasets:

SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) - Supports DAX, MDX, XMLA, and TraceEvent queries. Requires version 18.0. Download here.

SQL Server Profiler - Included with SSMS 18.0 (Preview), this tool provides tracing and debugging of server events. You can capture and save data about each event to a file or table to analyze later. While officially deprecated for SQL Server, Profiler continues to be included in SSMS and remains supported for Analysis Services and now, Power BI Premium. To learn more, see SQL Server Profiler.

DAX Studio - Open-source, community tool for executing and analyzing DAX queries against Analysis Services. Requires version 2.8.2 or higher. To learn more, see

Excel PivotTables - Click-to-Run version of Office 16.0.11326.10000 or above is required.

Third party - Includes client data visualization applications and tools that can connect to, query, and consume datasets in Power BI Premium. Most tools require the latest versions of MSOLAP client libraries, but some may use ADOMD.

Client libraries

Client libraries are necessary for client applications and tools to connect to Power BI Premium workspaces. The same client libraries used to connect to Analysis Services are also supported in Power BI Premium. Microsoft client applications like Excel, SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), and SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) install all three client libraries and update them along with regular application updates. In some cases, particularly with third-party applications and tools, you may need to install newer versions of the client libraries. Client libraries are updated monthly. To learn more, see Client libraries for connecting to Analysis Services.

Connecting to a Premium workspace

You can connect to workspaces assigned to Premium dedicated capacities. Workspaces assigned to a dedicated capacity have a connection string in URL format.

To get the workspace connection string, in Power BI, in Workspace Settings, on the Premium tab, in Workspace Connection, click Copy.

Workspace connection string

Workspace connections use the following URL format to address a workspace as though it were an Analysis Services server name:
powerbi://[tenant name]/[workspace name]

For example, powerbi:// Workspace


[workspace name] is case sensitive and can include spaces.

To connect in SSMS

In Connect to Server > Server Type, select Analysis Services. In Server name, enter the URL. In Authentication, select Active Directory - Universal with MFA Support, and then in User name, enter your organizational user ID.

When connected, the workspace is shown as an Analysis Services server, and datasets in the workspace are shown as databases.


Initial catalog

Some tools, such as SQL Server Profiler, you may need to specify an Initial Catalog. Specify a dataset (database) in your workspace. In Connect to Server, click Options. In the Connect to Server dialog, on the Connection Properties tab, in Connect to database, enter the dataset name.

Duplicate workspace name

When connecting to a workspace with the same name as another workspace, you may get the following error: Cannot connect to powerbi://[tenant name]/[workspace name].

To get around this error, in addition to the workspace name, specify the ObjectIDGuid, which can be copied from the workspace objectID in the URL. Append the objectID to the connection URL. For example, `powerbi:// Sales - 9d83d204-82a9-4b36-98f2-a40099093830'

Duplicate dataset name

When connecting to a dataset with the same name as another dataset in the same workspace, append the dataset guid to the dataset name. You can get both dataset name and guid when connected to the workspace in SSMS.

Delay in datasets shown

When connecting to a workspace, changes from new, deleted, and renamed datasets can take up to 5 minutes to appear.

Unsupported datasets

The following datasets are not accessible by using XMLA endpoints. These datasets will not appear under the workspace in SSMS or in other tools:

  • Datasets with a Live connection to an Analysis Services models.
  • Datasets with Push data by using the REST API.
  • Excel workbook datasets.

The following datasets are not supported in the Power BI service:

  • Datasets with a Live connection to a Power BI Dataset.

Audit logs

When client applications and tools connect to a workspace, access through XMLA endpoints is logged in the Power BI audit logs under the GetWorkspaces operation. To learn more, see Auditing Power BI.

See also

Analysis Services References
SQL Server Management Studio
SQL Server Analysis Services Tabular Protocol
Dynamic Management Views (DMVs)

More questions? Try asking the Power BI Community