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Creating gateways and refreshing reports in Power BI Service
Part eight 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
  7. Manual and scheduled refreshing of data
  8. Refreshing data within the cloud (Azure, OneDrive) (this blog)

This blog is part of a 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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Refreshing data within the cloud (Azure, OneDrive)

If you haven't already read the previous parts of this blog, please do so now, to understand this diagram showing what refreshing involves:

Refresh diagram

You can only refresh data if you can set up a connection to cross the green line between Power BI Service and the folder or database containing your data.

This task is much easier if your data lies on the same side of the green line as your report (that is, if your data is stored in the cloud):

Data stored in the cloud

If your data is in the cloud, it's much easier to refresh it!

I'm only considering data stored in workbooks and text files here (I did say there would be simplifications along the way for the sake of clarity), but refreshing reports using Azure data should be similar to refreshing reports linked to files held in OneDrive (since they're both in the Microsoft Cloud).

Moving data to the cloud

If your data is held in a SQL Server database, you'll have to create an Azure account, but for my example I can just copy the two files I'm using to OneDrive:

OneDrive files

I've copied the two files to my OneDrive storage location.

You then need to check that OneDrive files are being stored on the cloud (that is, that they are being syncrhonised):

Choose OneDrive folders to synchronise

A red mark next to a file or folder shows that it's not being held successfully in the cloud.

In theory your Power BI Service reports should automatically now refresh from the OneDrive files (or Azure database) held in the cloud, although I'm finding this hard to test, and the Microsoft website seems to have conflicting views on the subject! 

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