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Build Power BI Reports in Azure Synapse Analytics

With Azure Synapse Analytics you can create Power BI reports. Both technologies are integrated into the same workspace experience. 

Today, we are going to demonstrate how it’s possible to create Power BI reports in Azure Synapse Analytics Workspace in order to decrease the time that it takes to get actionable insights. 

Add Power BI linked service in Azure Synapse Analytics 

Azure Synapse Analytics connects to your Power BI workspaces when you create a linked service. You need to specify which workspace you want to connect to Azure Synapse Analytics. 

In Azure Synapse Analytics, we can create a linked service using the following options: 

Home page 

When you open your Azure Synapse Analytics workspace, you will find the option to create a linked service. 

Create Linked Service on Azure Synapse Analytics

Manage Hub 

Manage Hub and Linked Services

Configure Power BI Linked Service 

Configure Power BI Linked Service

You can see the linked service in the list: 

Linked Services and Power BI

You can fnd the Power BI section in your Develop Hub. 

Power BI section in Develop Hub

Any report available in the workspace is accessible from Azure Synapse Analytics. 

Power BI report accessible from Azure Synapse Analytics

Create Power BI dataset 

In Azure Synapse Analytics, you get read-only access to the datasets in your Power BI workspace. You will need to create datasets by using Power BI Desktop or Power BI service. 

You can also create reports inside Azure Synapse Analytics. 

Azure Synapse Analytics allows you to download the Power BI Data Source file (.pbids extension) with the connection to your SQL pools configured. 

Create Power BI dataset

You can download the Power BI Data Source file by clicking on New Power BI dataset. 

Download Power BI data source

Select the SQL pool that you want to use for your Power BI Report. In my upcoming posts, we will discuss the cost benefits of using the two technologies together. 

Select the SQL pool for Power BI Report

Finally, download the Power BI file. 

Download the Power BI file

When you open the Power BI file, you will see that the connection is already configured. This is the main benefit of using Power BI Data Source files. You can just select the connection method (Direct Query or Import) and the tables from the SQL pool that you want to use for the report. 

Connect power BI reports

Then, you can work directly in Power BI Desktop if you’d like to modify the Power BI dataset by adding relationships and measures. When your Power BI dataset is ready, you can easily publish it to the same workspace where you connected the Power BI linked service in Azure Synapse Analytics. 

Power BI desktop to modify dataset

Build Power BI Reports in Azure Synapse Analytics 

Once you publish the Power BI dataset, you are ready to build reports in Azure Synapse Analytics workspaces. 

Select your Power BI dataset and create a report or use the Develop Hub options to create it. 

Select Power BI data set to create report
Power BI datasets Azure Synapse Analytics

You will see a new Power BI Report in the workspace. 

Power BI report in the workspace
Power Bi report

Next, save the report and rename it. 

Publish report to Power BI service
Save your Power BI Report

Consume Power BI Report 

After you save the report, it will be available in Azure Synapse Analytics and your Power BI workspace in Power BI Service. 

Azure Synapse Analytics 

Azure Synapse Analytics

Power BI Service 

Power BI service
Power Bi datasets


Integrating Power BI into any product is always a good idea, but with Azure Synapse Analytics the time it takes to reach actionable insights decreases significantly. It’s great to see how the two technologies come together. Such an integration has a lot of potential. 

What’s Next?

Up next I will cover the cost benefits of using Power BI and Azure Synapse Analytics together. 

Check out these other blog posts

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