The Power BI Scanner API keeps getting better

Power BI includes capabilities to enable users to understand the content they own, and how different items relate to each other. Sometimes you may need a custom “big picture” view that built-in features don’t deliver, and this is where the Scanner API comes in.

No, not this kind of scanner

The Power BI Scanner API is a subset of the broader Power BI Admin API. It’s designed to be a scalable, asynchronous tool for administrators to extract metadata for the contents of their Power BI tenant[1]. For an introduction to the Scanner API, check out this blog post from when it was introduced in December 2020.

The Power BI team has been updating the Scanner API since it was released. This week they announced some significant new capabilities added to the API, so administrators can get richer and more complete metadata, including:

  • Scheduled refresh settings for datasets, dataflows, and datamarts – this will make it easier for administrators to review their refresh schedules and identify problems and hotspots that may have undesired effects.
  • Additional RDL data source properties – this will make it easier for administrators to understand paginated reports and the data sources they use.
  • Additional “sub-artifact” metadata for datasets – this will make it easier for administrators to understand table- and query-level configuration including row-level security and parameters.

There’s more to it than these highlights – check out the announcement blog post here:

The Scanner API is a vital tool for any organization that wants to deeply understand how Power BI is being used, with a goal of enabling and guiding adoption and building a data culture. These updates represent an incremental but meaningful evolution of the tool. If you’re already using the Scanner API, you may want to look at how to include this new metadata in your scenario. If you’re not yet using the Scanner API, maybe now is the time to begin…

[1] One of the key scenarios enabled by the Scanner API is integration with Microsoft Purview and third party data catalog tools like Collibra. When these tools “scan” Power BI to populate their catalogs, they’re calling this API.

One thought on “The Power BI Scanner API keeps getting better

  1. Pingback: Power BI Scanner API Updates – Curated SQL

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