Creating gateways and refreshing reports in Power BI Service
Part six of an eight-part series of blogs

Naturally you want the reports that you publish to Power BI Service to be up to date, but the rules are fiendishly complex. This blog explains when and how to create the two types of gateway, and how to ensure your reports refresh.

  1. Getting Power BI Service reports to refresh
  2. How Power BI connections work
  3. How connections work for Direct Query
  4. Setting up a personal gateway to allow data to refresh
  5. Creating an on-premises data gateway for everyone to use
  6. Gateway requirements, limitations and troubleshooting (this blog)
  7. Manual and scheduled refreshing of data
  8. Refreshing data within the cloud (Azure, OneDrive)

This blog is part of a much longer series, which together comprise a full online training course in Power BI Service.  You can see get details of our classsrom Power BI training courses here.

Posted by Andy Brown on 03 July 2017

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Gateway requirements, limitations and troubleshooting

For the sake of completeness, here is a list of the rules that gateways follow, with sources for each rule so you can check the facts yourself.  I've also included some troubleshooting ideas.

Note that the personal gateway used to be called Power BI Gateway - Personal.  This has been retired, and is now called On-premises data gateway (personal mode) instead.

When you need a gateway

Here's a list of the most common data sources that you can use in Power BI Desktop, together with when you need a gateway for each (source here):

Dataset uploaded from Gateway needed?
Any data source obtained using Get Data in Power BI Desktop, apart from ... Yes
... Hadoop (HDFS) and MIcrosoft Exchange Refresh not supported
Any Excel workbook containing data obtained through Power Query or PowerPivot Yes
Azure or OneDrive No
A webpage or other online data source No
Contact packs from online data sources No

You can see a full list of how different data source types are supported here.

Hardware and software required

To set up a gateway you need the following (source here):

Area Requirement
Operating system Must be 64-bit Windows version 7 or later (or 64-bit Windows Server 2008 R2 or later)
Computer status Must be turned on and not asleep (this seems obvious to me!).  You can not install a gateway on a domain controller.
Computer Recommended to have 8 core CPU and 8 gb of memory, and Windows 2012 R2 or later.  The gateway doesn't need to be on the same computer as the data source; it just needs to be able to connect to it.

Number of gateways

The maximum number of gateways that you can have are (source here):

Type of gateway Maximum number allowed on a computer
Personal 1
Enterprise 1

You can have a personal and an enterprise gateway on the same computer.

Uninstalling gateways

While writing this blog, I often saw an error message saying that I couldn't install a gateway because the service was already running.  You can uninstall the gateway program through the standard Windows control panel:

The gateway programs

I've got both types of gateway running on my machine, but want to uninstall the personal one so I can reinstall it.

This worked for me!

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