Documentation forSolarWinds Service Desk

Power BI Connector

On this page

This topic includes information for a feature that will be available when Microsoft publishes the updated SolarWinds Service Desk (SWSD) Power BI Connector in February 2024.


The SolarWinds Service Desk (SWSD) Power BI Connector lets you incrementally import incidents and different asset records from SWSD to Microsoft Power BI. The import provides raw data on the topics most relevant to your organization. You can then review and analyze the data by viewing it in a variety of formats, such as tables, graphs, and charts.

SolarWinds owns the connector and is a member of the Microsoft Power Query Connector Certification Program. If you have questions regarding the content of this article or want to request a change to it, provide feedback at the bottom of the page.

Connect to SolarWinds Service Desk

Instructions for the currently published version of the SolarWinds Service Desk (SWSD) Power BI Connector are available on the Microsoft website.

The instructions below contain special steps for customers who previously used the BETASWSD Power BI Connector to create reports and wish to connect those reports with the newer out-of-the-box version (v 2.126).
Prerequisites: You must have (1) the latest version of Power BI Desktop and (2) an SWSD user who has set up token authentication for API integration.
  1. In Power BI Desktop, select Get Data from Home. Select SolarWinds Service Desk, and then select Connect.

  2. Sign in with the JSON Web Token you generated as described in the Prerequisites, and then click Connect to verify your access to SWSD.

  3. In the Navigator dialog box, select the table you want to import, and then click Load.

  4. After completion of the steps above, you can see your chosen models load under Data view. The records you just imported were created in SWSD during last month.

Additional steps for previous users of the BETA connector

If you previously used the BETA SWSD Power BI Connector to create reports, and you already have the model name Incidents and reports based on it, and you wish to connect those reports with the new out-of-the-box version, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Incidents model, and right-click Edit query. A Power Query Editor opens.

  2. Select the Incidents query and open Advanced Editor.

    You see the following lines:

    Source = SolarWindsServiceDesk.Contents(),

    Incidents1 = Source{[Name="Incidents"]}[Data]

  3. Replace those lines with the following lines:

    Source = SolarWindsServiceDesk.ContentsV110(null, null),

    #"All Objects" = Source{[Name="All Objects"]}[Data],

    Incidents1 = #"All Objects"{[Name="Incidents"]}[Data]

  4. Click Done.

  5. Click Close & Apply.

The reports display data from the past month instead of the last two years. Going forward, those reports are connected to the new SWSD Power BI Connector.

Incremental Refresh setting

Incremental Refresh saves download time after your initial download is performed. To set up incremental refresh, follow these steps:

  1. On the Home menu bar, click Transform Data. A Power Query Editor opens.

  2. Open Manage Parameters > Create parameters. Create two new DateTime parameters named RangeEnd and RangeStart ,with one month set as the range between them. These new parameters reduce download time. See create-parameters for instructions.

  3. For each query you wish to set with Incremental refresh, open Advanced Editor. The following line displays:

    Source = SolarWindsServiceDesk.ContentsV110(null, null),

  4. Replace the line with the following:

    Source = SolarWindsServiceDesk.ContentsV110(RangeStart, RangeEnd),

  5. Click Done.

  6. Click Close & Apply.

  7. Go to Data view.

  8. For each model you’ve downloaded, define the policy for Incremental refresh and real-time data as described below.

    1. Archive data starting 2 Years before refresh date.

      Do not exceed two years.
    2. Incrementally refresh data starting 1 Days before the refresh date. See define-policy for instructions.

Publishing reports

All customers publishing to the Power BI Service (Cloud) need to perform the steps below. This applies to both first-time publishers and those who have published in the past.

  1. Publish the report to Power BI Service Workspace, based on the out-of-the-box connector.

  2. Establish settings for each published semantic model in the Power BI Service

  3. For each semantic model, open the Data Source Credentials section and edit the credentials with the key and token you used when you established the connection with the connector in Desktop Power BI.

Your reports in Desktop and Cloud are now connected to and using the latest version of SolarWinds Service Desk Connector.

You can refresh each semantic model for the first time. The refresh downloads the archived data you defined in the incremental refresh policy (records from a maximum of 2 years ago).

SolarWinds suggests setting the first large download with a scheduled refresh. Optionally, you can run it manually by clicking Refresh the semantic model.

For instructions on configuring a scheduled refresh see scheduled-refresh.

After the first refresh, future refreshes go much more quickly and download only the new records from SWSD.

Limitations and issues

Users should be aware of the following limitations and issues associated with accessing SolarWinds Service Desk:

  • There is no limit on the number of users who can pull data, but if they are not using Incremental Refresh and try to import data from a range larger than one year, each user can refresh only once every 24 hours.

  • The fields that are imported are limited. For additional fields please submit a feature request in THWACK. For feedback or support please reach SolarWinds support.

Credential error in the Navigator

If a credential error occurs in the Navigator, clear your recent data source settings.

  1. In Power BI Desktop, select File > Data source settings.

  2. Select the SWSD data source, and then select Clear permissions.

  3. Establish the connection to the Navigator again.