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Optimising OData Refresh Efficiency in Energy Question for Energy BI and Excel

OData has been adopted by many software program options and has been round for a few years. Most options are utilizing the OData is to serve their transactional processes. However as we all know, Energy BI is an analytical resolution that may fetch a whole bunch of hundreds (or hundreds of thousands) rows of knowledge in a single desk. So, clearly, OData shouldn’t be optimised for that form of objective. One of many largest challenges many Energy BI builders face when working with OData connections is efficiency points. The efficiency depends upon quite a few elements equivalent to the dimensions of tables within the backend database that the OData connection is serving, peak learn knowledge quantity over durations of time, throttling mechanism to manage over-utilisation of assets and so forth…

So, typically talking, we don’t anticipate to get a blazing quick knowledge refresh efficiency over OData connections, that’s why in lots of instances utilizing OData connections for analytical instruments equivalent to Energy BI is discouraged. So, what are the options or options if we don’t use OData connections in Energy BI? Effectively, the perfect resolution is emigrate the information into an middleman repository, equivalent to Azure SQL Database or Azure Knowledge Lake Retailer or perhaps a easy Azure Storage Account, then join from Energy BI to that database. We should resolve on the middleman repository relying on the enterprise necessities, expertise preferences, prices, desired knowledge latency, future assist requirement and experience and so forth…

However, what if we do not need some other choices for now, and we have now to make use of OData connection in Energy BI with out blasting the dimensions and prices of the venture by transferring the information to an middleman area? And.. let’s face it, many organisations dislike the concept of utilizing an middleman area for numerous causes. The only one is that they merely can not afford the related prices of utilizing middleman storage or they don’t have the experience to assist the answer in long run.

On this submit, I’m not discussing the options involving any options; as a substitute, I present some ideas and methods that may enhance the efficiency of your knowledge refreshes over OData connections in Energy BI.


The guidelines on this submit is not going to provide you with blazing-fast knowledge refresh efficiency over OData, however they’ll aid you to enhance the information refresh efficiency. So if you happen to take all of the actions defined on this submit and you continue to don’t get an appropriate efficiency, you then may want to consider the options and transfer your knowledge right into a central repository.

If you’re getting knowledge from a D365 knowledge supply, you might need to take a look at some options to OData connection equivalent to Dataverse (SQL Endpoint), D365 Dataverse (Legacy) or Widespread Knowledge Providers (CDS). However take into accout, even these connectors have some limitations and may not provide you with an appropriate knowledge refresh efficiency. For example, Dataverse (SQL Endpoint) has 80MB desk dimension limitation. There is perhaps another causes for not getting a very good efficiency over these connections equivalent to having further broad tables. Consider me, I’ve seen some tables with greater than 800 columns.

Some recommendations on this submit apply to different knowledge sources and aren’t restricted to OData connections solely.

Suggestion 1: Measure the information supply dimension

It’s at all times good to have an thought of the dimensions of the information supply we’re coping with and OData connection is not any totally different. In truth, the backend tables on OData sources could be wast. I wrote a weblog submit round that earlier than, so I counsel you utilize the customized perform I wrote to grasp the dimensions of the information supply. In case your knowledge supply is giant, then the question in that submit takes a very long time to get the outcomes, however you possibly can filter the tables to get the outcomes faster.

Suggestion 2: Keep away from getting throttled

As talked about earlier, many options have some throttling mechanisms to manage the over-utilisation of assets. Sending many API requests might set off throttling which limits our entry to the information for a brief time period. Throughout that interval, our calls are redirected to a special URL.

Tip 1: Disabling Parallel Loading of Tables

One of many many causes that Energy BI requests many API calls is loading the information into a number of tables in Parallel. We will disable this setting from Energy BI Desktop by following these steps:

  1. Click on the File menu
  2. Click on Choices and settings
  3. Click on Choices
  4. Click on the Knowledge Load tab from the CURREN FILE part
  5. Untick the Allow parallel loading of tables choice
Disabling Parallel Loading of Tables in Power BI
Disabling Parallel Loading of Tables in Energy BI Desktop

With this selection disabled, the tables will get refreshed sequentially, which considerably decreases the variety of calls, due to this fact, we don’t get throttled prematurely.

Tip 2: Avoiding A number of Calls in Energy Question

Another excuse (of many) that the OData calls in Energy BI get throttled is that Energy Question calls the identical API a number of instances. There are various recognized causes that Energy Question runs a question a number of instances equivalent to checking for knowledge privateness or the best way that the connector is constructed or having referencing queries. Here’s a complete listing of causes for operating queries a number of instances and the methods to keep away from them.

Tip 3: Delaying OData Calls

When you’ve got finished all of the above and you continue to get throttled, then it’s a good suggestion to evaluation your queries in Energy Question and look to see when you’ve got used any customized capabilities. Particularly, if the customized perform appends knowledge, then it’s extremely doubtless that invoking perform is the wrongdoer. The superb Chris Webb explains the best way to use the Perform.InvokeAfter() perform on his weblog submit right here.

Suggestion 3: Take into account Querying OData As a substitute of Loading the Complete Desk

This is likely one of the finest methods to optimise knowledge load efficiency over OData connections in Energy BI. As talked about earlier, some backend tables uncovered by way of OData are fairly broad with a whole bunch (if not hundreds) of columns. A standard mistake many people make is that we merely use the OData connector and get your entire desk and assume that we are going to take away all of the pointless columns later. If the underlying desk is giant then we’re in hassle. Fortunately, we are able to use OData queries within the OData connector in Energy BI. You may be taught extra about OData Querying Choices right here.

If you’re coming from an SQL background, then you might love this one as a lot I do.

Let’s take a look on the OData question choices with an instance. I’m utilizing the official take a look at knowledge from the OData web site.

  1. I initially load the OData URL within the Energy Question Editor from Energy BI Desktop utilizing the OData connector
Using OData connector in Power BI Desktop
Utilizing OData connector in Energy BI Desktop
  1. Choose the tables, keep in mind we are going to change the Supply of every desk later
Selecting the tables from an OData connection
Deciding on the tables from an OData connection


That is what many people usually do. We hook up with the supply and get all tables. Hopefully we get solely the required ones. However, the entire objective of this submit shouldn’t be to take action. Within the subsequent few steps, we alter the Supply step.

  1. Within the Energy Question Editor, choose the specified question from the Queries pane, I chosen the PersonDetails desk
  2. Click on the Superior Editor button
Advanced Editor in the Power Query Editor
Superior Editor within the Energy Question Editor
  1. Substitute the OData URL with an OData question
Querying OData in Power Query in Power BI
Querying OData in Energy Question in Energy BI
  1. Click on Finished

As you possibly can see, we are able to choose solely the required columns from the desk. Listed here are the outcomes of operating the previous question:

Querying OData in Power Query
Getting knowledge utilizing OData question

In real-wrold situations, as you possibly can think about, the efficiency of operating a question over an OData connection can be significantly better than getting all columns from the identical connection after which eradicating undesirable ones.

The probabilities are limitless in relation to querying an information supply and OData querying in no totally different. For example, let’s say we require to analyse the information for individuals older than 24. So we are able to slender down the variety of rows by including a filter to the question. Listed here are the outcomes:

Using OData query filter
Utilizing OData question filter

Some Further Sources to Be taught Extra

Listed here are some invaluable assets on your reference:

Whereas I used to be searching for the assets I discovered the next superb weblogs. There are superb reads:

As at all times, I’d be completely happy to learn about your opinion and expertise, so depart your feedback beneath.

Have enjoyable!



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