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Python and Power BI Desktop

David Eldersveld continues a series on Python as an external tool in Power BI. Part 2 is about defining a proper JSON formatted file:

To see a new tool in the Power BI Desktop ribbon, you need to define a JSON file and place it in a specific folder on your workstation. The featured external tools Tabular Editor, DAX Studio, and ALM Toolkit have installers that take care of this step. Since you do not have a dedicated installer to place this file in the required directory, you need to manually define your own.

As long as the “enhanced metadata format” for the data model is enabled, and the JSON in your file is accurate, you should see your new tool in your ribbon after you re-open Power BI Desktop.

Part 3 shows off virtual environments in Python as well as how to connect to the Tabular Object Model:

The Tabular Object Model (TOM) library for .NET opens Power BI’s data model to external tools. Two pieces are required to allow Python to interface with .NET:
1) Pythonnet package for .NET CLR (pip install pythonnet)
2) Python-SSAS module (ssas_api.py placed in the same folder as the main script you’d like to run)

The python-ssas (ssas_api.py) Python module that facilitates the TOM connection is all the work of Josh Dimarsky–originally for querying and processing Analysis Services. I simply repurposed it for use with Power BI Desktop or the XMLA endpoint in Power BI Premium and extended it with some relevant examples. Everything relies on Josh’s Python module, which has functions to connect to TOM, run DAX queries, etc.

This does look pretty handy.

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