How To: Create PDF Reports from Power BI via Power Automate

Published by Jon

For a long time when Power Automate came out, the integration points with Power BI were not great. Flows were prevented from doing almost anything useful with Power BI except for refreshing a dataset. Which is limited to 8 times a day.

Microsoft took a step in the right direction in Q4 2020 when they announced that Power Automate now included Actions to create reports from both single page and paginated Power BI Reports. This is an incredibly useful feature that many users have been asking for for a while now. Not having this featured forced the data and visualizations to stay inside Power BI. However these Power Automate actions allow the visualizations to live independently of the Power BI service.

Restrictions

Before we get into these actions it’s important to note a major restriction. For this to work, the Power BI report must reside on a premium or embedded capacity workspace. This is a major restriction that Microsoft imposes, as pricing for these workspaces can get pricey for the average business.

The Power Automate Action

There’s a lot involved in this action but thankfully the only fieldsthat are required are the first three fields. You have to select the Workspace, Report, and Export file type that you want to see the Power BI report exported to. The other fields are ways to customize the outputs that you get in the reports, helpful but not strictly necessary. Most of it has to do with row level security and data protection via identities. For a more detailed breakdown Microsoft provides some helpful guidance here.

Action Outputs

The output of this action is the raw content to build a file with. If the report is paginated, each page is created as a separate item within a larger zip file. The easiest option is going to be either OneDrive or SharePoint because both of those come with “Create File” actions. For example:

Make sure you add the file name extension to the end of the filename property or the document won’t be easily accessible to the user.

Summary

That’s how to create a PDF from a report in Power BI! Many users whose jobs focus on KPI’s have been clamoring for this automation capabilities for a while not, and thankfully Microsoft accommodated them.


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