Alternatives to out-of-box connectivity in Power BI Desktop

While Power BI Desktop offers out-of-box connectivity to over 150 data sources, there may be cases where a user wants to connect to a data source for which no out-of-box connector is available.

Connectivity through generic interfaces

It may be possible to connect to certain data sources without a built-in out-of-box connector by using generic interface connectors.

For example, the ODBC connector can connect to services with ODBC interfaces, and the Web connector can connect to services with REST API interfaces.

Using available Power BI out-of-box generic interface connectors to connect through interfaces that the end data source supports allows users to connect to many more data sources on the internet than there are specific out-of-box connectors for.

Learn more about connectivity through generic interfaces here.

Connectivity through a custom connector

The Power Query SDK allows users to create custom connectors to unblock connectivity scenarios to Power BI Desktop. Users can create and distribute custom connectors to end services and data sources they can authenticate to.

Community members and organizations may also share custom connectors that they've created. While Microsoft doesn't offer any support, ownership, or guarantees for these custom connectors, users may be able to use them for their scenarios. The Power BI Partner Program also includes many partners which can build custom connectors. Learn more about the program or find a partner here: Contact a Power BI Partner.

Users that own an end service or data source can create a custom connector and may be eligible to certify the connector to have it made available publicly out-of-box within Power BI Desktop.

Request the data source owner to build and certify a connector

As only the data source owner or an approved third party can build and certify a custom connector for any service, end users are encouraged to share the demand for a connector directly with the data source owner to encourage investment into creating and certifying one.

Request in Power BI Ideas forum

In addition to directly engaging the data source owner, users should also create or vote on ideas in the Power BI Ideas Forum to demonstrate the need and demand for a connector. This feedback may also help encourage the data source owner to invest into a certified connector available for users out-of-box in Power BI Desktop.