Pushing data to the cloud with the Power BI API (Part 1)

Want to push data directly to the cloud using the Power BI API but not sure where to start? Our handy guide will help you get the basics under your belt.

Power BI can connect to a wide variety of systems to collect data to drive reports and dashboards. But what if we want to consolidate data from multiple locations, such as a large number of dynamically created SharePoint lists, into a single dataset?

You might be tempted to first consolidate this data into a location such as Azure SQL, before connecting to that SQL database from Power BI. However, this isn’t actually necessary, as we can use Power BI’s own API to create a dataset into which we can push data directly, removing the need for a separate database.

This blog post outlines the steps involved in using the Power BI API to manage data. These are:

Continue reading this post…Pushing data to the cloud with the Power BI API (Part 1)

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Securing access to Azure blobs

An introduction to how Azure’s Shared Access Signatures let web apps share the load of downloading large files.

I recently found a subtle problem in a third-party Azure utility – it was giving access to rather more data than I had expected!

Shared Access Signatures

First a bit of background. Azure Storage has a powerful mechanism for securing access by end users to resources, called Shared Access Signatures (SAS). A common scenario is to use it to let end users directly download files from Azure Blob Storage, without having to go through an associated application.

Imagine that Alice and Bob are both using an Azure web application that stores large data files or videos. These files are private, so we don’t want Alice to be able to access Bob’s files and vice versa. We also don’t want anyone to be able to modify these files other than through the web application.

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Crossing business boundaries with Azure Active Directory B2B API

Office 365 is fantastic for collaborating with colleagues within your company. But what if you need to work with people outside your organisation? It’s time to invite some guests over…

Azure Active Directory provides the foundation for managing user identities for Microsoft’s suite of online software-as-a-service products such as Office 365 and Dynamics 365. Although it is not exposed directly to end users each time someone logs into Office 365 to edit a document, looks up a colleague’s email address to send an email or sends a message to a group, it is Azure Active Directory powering these actions.

However, an increasingly important requirement is to allow collaboration with people at other organisations in a way that is as easy and efficient as collaboration within an organisation.

Continue reading this post…Crossing business boundaries with Azure Active Directory B2B API

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