In today’s data-driven world, organizations heavily rely on business intelligence tools to gain valuable insights and make informed decisions. Microsoft Power BI has emerged as a popular choice, offering powerful features and functionality. However, like any software platform, it is not without its challenges. One such issue that Power BI users encounter is the expiration of credentials after 90 days.
Credentials are essential for accessing and refreshing data in Power BI. They establish a secure connection between Power BI and various data sources, enabling the platform to retrieve the latest data for analysis and reporting. Unfortunately, when these credentials expire, it can lead to data refresh failures and outdated reports, affecting the accuracy and reliability of business insights.
In addition to the expiration of credentials, another related problem arises when dataflows and datasets are no longer refreshed automatically. This means that the changes and updates made in the data sources are not reflected in Power BI, rendering reports stale and potentially misleading. As a result, decision-makers may base their actions on outdated information, which can have serious consequences for the organization.
Usage of Application User? Lets ask the Support.
When faced with the challenge of expiring credentials in Power BI, one potential solution that comes to mind is utilizing an application user. An application user is a dedicated user account specifically created for programmatic access to Power BI resources. By using an application user, you can establish a long-term, non-expiring credential that can be used to authenticate and refresh data in Power BI.
Recognizing the potential of this solution, we reached out to Microsoft Support to inquire about the feasibility of implementing an application user in Power BI. We submitted a support ticket outlining our concerns and asking if it was possible to utilize this approach to overcome the credential expiration issue.
Unfortunately, the response we received from Microsoft Support was disheartening. They confirmed that, at present, it is not possible to implement an application user in Power BI to bypass the mandatory 90-day credential revalidation. The requirement to revalidate credentials every 90 days is built into Power BI’s default behavior and cannot be altered.
This limitation poses a significant challenge for organizations relying on Power BI for real-time or near-real-time data analysis. The inability to maintain a persistent, non-expiring credential hampers efforts to keep dataflows and datasets refreshed automatically and, consequently, affects the timeliness and accuracy of reports.
While the current inability to implement an application user as a solution is disappointing, it’s essential to understand the reasons behind this limitation. Microsoft likely prioritizes security and compliance measures to ensure data privacy and protect against unauthorized access. Regularly revalidating credentials helps maintain the integrity of data connections and reduces potential risks.
How to continue from here?
While we may not have a direct solution to automate the revalidation of credentials in Power BI, there are some strategies and best practices that can help organizations stay on top of the issue and minimize its impact. Let’s explore a few approaches:
- Schedule Regular Credential Revalidation Meetings: Since the 90-day credential expiration is a mandatory requirement in Power BI, one option is to proactively schedule recurring meetings or reminders to revalidate credentials before they expire. By incorporating this into your workflow, you can ensure that you are always aware of impending expiration dates and take the necessary steps to refresh credentials in a timely manner.
- Enable Failure Notifications: Power BI provides the ability to configure notifications for failures in dataflows and datasets. By adding yourself to the notification list for each relevant dataflow and dataset, you can receive alerts whenever there is a refresh failure due to expired credentials. This allows you to take immediate action to rectify the situation and refresh the credentials promptly.
- Utilize Power Automate (formerly Microsoft Flow): Power Automate is a powerful automation tool that can be integrated with Power BI to create custom workflows. One approach is to build a flow that monitors the last refresh date of your dataflows or datasets and sends you a notification if the last refresh is longer than one day in the past. This automated check can serve as a reminder to revalidate credentials if necessary.
- Stay Informed: Keeping up with the latest updates and announcements from Microsoft regarding Power BI is crucial. Microsoft may introduce new features or enhancements that address the issue of credential expiration in the future. By staying informed, you can take advantage of any advancements or changes that may alleviate the challenges posed by expired credentials.
Although these approaches do not eliminate the need for manual intervention in the credential revalidation process, they can help streamline the monitoring and notification aspects, ensuring that you are promptly alerted to any issues and can take appropriate action to keep your reports up to date.
While the issue of expired credentials in Power BI remains a challenge, there are strategies and best practices that can be employed to mitigate its impact. Although automating the revalidation process is currently not possible, scheduling regular meetings, enabling failure notifications, leveraging Power Automate, and exploring third-party solutions are all viable options to proactively address the issue.
By implementing these strategies and staying informed about updates from Microsoft, you can minimize disruptions and maintain the timeliness and accuracy of your Power BI reports. Although it may require some manual effort, being proactive and adopting these practices will help ensure that your data remains fresh and your reports deliver meaningful insights to drive informed decision-making.
Remember, while the 90-day credential expiration may be a default behavior in Power BI, your commitment to actively managing and addressing this challenge will go a long way in maximizing the value and effectiveness of your Power BI implementation.