Create an External Report from Microsoft Power BI Cloud

This article details how to build an External Report in Metric Insights that is linked to a Report on your Microsoft Power BI server.


Establish connectivity to Microsoft Power BI Cloud via the respective plugin connection profile.

[6.1.1 new feature] If your External Report Viewer is displaying duplicate Filters based on your BI Tool defaults, your Admin can reset the default behavior to remove the Metric Insights filters from Viewer display.  

1. Create New External Report

Access New > External Report > Microsoft Power BI Cloud

If necessary, you can create a new Report Type, Dimension, Category, or Report Image Trigger on the go by clicking the [+] icon next to the corresponding field.

The New External Report screen opens. Provide the following information:

  1. Give your new External Report a Name
  2. Select the Report Type
    • NOTE: If your Microsoft Power BI application utilizes OAuth, the Microsoft Power BI Cloud External Report must have a specifically defined type. See Configure Report Type for details on the corresponding External Report Type configuration
  3. Place your Report in a relevant Category
  4. Define whether you want the report Image to be uploaded manually or automatically. For Automated Collection, define the following settings:
    • Choose the Report Image Trigger from the drop-down list
    • Select the Plugin Connection Profile you have created for Power BI
  5. Select the Power BI Report from which the image will be collected
  6. [Next: Define Details] to proceed with Report creation

2. Configure External Report

Microsoft Power BI content is embedded via JavaScript using the Power BI Client APIs.

  1. Show Report in: change from default "External Webpage" if you want your Report to be displayed in Viewer
    • You can choose between the "iframe","static image", and "PDF" options
    • To be able to choose the "PDF" option:
      • Make sure that the External Report Type has Allow download image as PDF option enabled
      • Access the External Report's Advanced tab and enable Collect additional files: "PDF"
  2. Apply filters to your Report data by clicking [+Manage Filters]
  3. Configure which objects are displayed in the External Report Viewer through the Microsoft Power BI Cloud Object List
  4. Choose a URL template, based on which the External Report URL will be generated
    • Click [Edit URL] to modify the URL by appending a question mark (?) followed by any filter or parameter settings
    • Click [Test External Report] to test how your  Report will be displayed on External Webpage or in Viewer, depending on  the display option selected in the previous step
  5. Report Image:
    • "Always collect all instances of external report": Collect all images and cache them on a schedule
    • "On Demand: only when needed for distribution": Individual images are only collected when they need to be included in an email
  6. [Save and Collect Image] to generate a Preview Image for the Homepage

Power BI Cloud Plugin collects images by taking screenshots of them in the Chromium browser.

Note: When opting to display your Report as a Static Image, make sure you Collect Image before going to Viewer.

  1. Optionally, click [Setup Image] to configure image size
  2. [Enable and Publish] to be able to go to Viewer

If you are getting the 'org.openqa.selenium.WebDriverException: unknown error: session deleted because of page crash' error while collecting Report image, update your Chromium and Chromedriver on RDP machine to version 88.
For details contact Metric Insights at [email protected].

3. Verify Display in Viewer

Note: If you are encountering the "No user token or token is expired" error message after the External Report image have been collected and opened in the Viewer, please contact your Power BI server administrator to check the Access token and Refresh token lifetime values.

To pre-filter Report Data in the Viewer:

  1. Select the required Filter Value
  2. Click [Apply Filters]
  3. Optionally, save your Filter selections as personalized Bookmarks
  4. Click the download icon to see the available download options for your External Report

Note: To be able to download native PDF of your External Report and display the Report as PDF in Viewer:

  1. Power BI Premium account is required (Premium Per User (PPU) is not supported)
  2. Enable the corresponding parameter in the Data Source
  3. Power BI Report should have PDF capability
    • Contact your Power BI Administrator for details