In this post I describe how to implement the classical incremental refresh scenario for the cloud data sources in Power BI Service for Pro accounts. Step by step. It worth to read.
As I wrote
in the previous post, we can implement a semi-incremental refresh for Pro
accounts in Power BI, using just dataflows.
I described has a main lack: although the “historical” dataflow remains
unchanged and will never load data from the source again, the “refreshing”
dataflow will load the whole “fresh” part of data repetitively until you change
the date intervals manually.
there’s small amount of data in the “fresh” part…
some consequential refreshes, it could become significant, and not so fresh.
again split “fresh” it in the two parts – “new historical” and “fresh”, and so
on. But this is only SEMI-incremental
refresh, and, of course, is not a good solution.
that implement a complete, classic incremental update using just dataflows is
But, after some investigations, I found a solution which helps to implement the classical incremental refresh scenario, where the fresh data part remains small and fresh, and historical part become updated without querying a data source.
Here I not only introduce Power BI dataflows and describe the semi-incremental refresh concept, but also show how it works in Power BI Service. Have a fun!
To my surprise, it has almost 1500 views in two days – not so bad 🙂 I understand that this happened because of hype topic, but, well… now I know how to remove some limitations and perform a CLASSICAL incremental refresh for some types of data sources. Blog post follows.
refresh is a high-demand option in Power BI. Microsoft already provided it for
the Premium capacities, but for the Pro accounts it is still in waiting list.
with introduction of dataflows in Power BI Service, an incremental refresh implementation
becomes available for Pro accounts too.
I won’t to
describe dataflows in detail here since there is a lot of blogs and resources
about it (but I’ll provide a few links in the bottom of the post).
need to know now on how to implement an incremental refresh, is that
Dataflow in Power BI Service is a set
of web-based Power Query queries (named as ‘entities’).
Each dataflow could be refreshed manually
or by the its own schedule.
The result of evaluation of a
dataflow’s entities then stored in Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 as tables (more
precisely as CSV files).
Then you can use dataflows (their entities)
as a data sources in your Power BI dataset.
from this point.
What is the
incremental refresh at all? In simple words, it means that in the single data
import action we are refreshing (updating) only the part of data instead of
loading all the data again and again. In the other words, we are dividing data in
two parts (partitions): first part does not need refresh and should remain
untouched, second part must be refreshed to bring in updates and corrections.