Status Check: Power BI dataflows and ADLSg2

In the last few weeks I’ve seen a spike in questions related to the integration of Power BI dataflows and Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2. Here’s a quick “status check” on the current state of this feature to get the answers out for as many people as possible.

  • Power BI dataflows are generally available (GA) for capabilities that use the built-in Power BI-managed storage.
  • Power BI dataflows integration with Azure is currently in preview – this includes the “Bring your own storage account” capabilities where you can configure Power BI to use your ADLSg2 storage account for dataflows storage, instead of using the built-in Power BI-managed storage.
  • During preview, there are several known limitations:
    • Only a single ADLSg2 storage account can be configured for a Power BI tenant.
    • The storage account, once configured, cannot be changed.
    • The setup process to connect Power BI with ADLSg2 is somewhat lengthy and step-intensive.
    • To grant users other than the owner of the dataflow access to the dataflow in Power BI, you must grant them permissions to access the workspace in Power BI and grant them access to the CDM folder in ADLSg2.

These limitations will be addressed when this capability hits GA, but you should definitely be aware of them in the meantime. (You may also want to take a look at this MBAS session for an overview of the roadmap for the rest of this calendar year.)

I’ve seen customers take different approaches:

  1. Some customers delay their integration of Power BI and ADLSg2, and are waiting for these limitations to be removed before they move forward.
  2. Some customers adopt within the constraints of the preview, and choose a workload or set of workloads where the current limitations are acceptable.
  3. Some customers set up a demo tenant of Power BI and use it to test and validate the ADLSg2 integration while deciding on option 1 or option 2.

I hope this helps. If you or your customers have any questions on this topic that aren’t answered here, please let me know!


[1] And they’re all documented. Nothing in this blog post is new, but hopefully it will help to have this summary online and sharable.

5 thoughts on “Status Check: Power BI dataflows and ADLSg2

  1. Pingback: Power BI dataflows update, new viewer role, slicer filters and more... (July 1, 2019) | Guy in a Cube

  2. Pär Adeen

    Are you shore this is just a preview limitation: “Only a single ADLSg2 storage account can be configured for a Power BI tenant”. I had a premier ticket to Microsoft to answer this question (for now and in the near feature), and the answer was: “only one will be possible”

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      1. Pär Adeen

        Ok, I will re-ask Microsoft again then. This is a copy of the answe I got just a month ago.

        I’ve confirmed that you can only use one ADLS Gen 2 storage account to enable and use Dataflows per each Power BI tenant. Is there any particular reason why your tenant wants to use additional instances? Maybe in your use case only 1 is needed. If multiple would fit your use case better than I would be glad to relay this to our Product Group and help you open up an Idea on our Community forum.

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  3. After re-checking with my source, I gladly agree with your statement: “I’m sure as I can be for something that hasn’t already shipped”. Thanks Matthew for letting us know

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