Automatic Data Refresh ODBC (On Premise)


Hi I have been reading about data gateways and automatic refreshing of data sets for both PowerBI desktop files as well as PowerBI Service. I understand the majority of what is being provided however I am still slightly unsure of things.

If I have an ODBC connection to an SQL database stored on premise (in my organisation) and create a set of reports in PowerBI desktop and push these reports into an app space/ work space in PowerBI Service, what is the preferred method of being able to automatically refresh data in the desktop and service version. I understand refreshing purely from the service will just query the desktop file which if that has not been refreshed then it is pointless. But I do not want to have to refresh and upload every report everyday.

My understanding is to use a data gateway, however, some points/ functionality of the gateway I did not understand.

Microsoft’s Explanation -


It should refresh all data sources inside your PBI desktop file. What part are you unsure of?


Just to confirm you are in DirectQuery mode? If you are then the data should just refresh when adjust anything in your model. Let me know if I’m not understanding this correctly.

If you are not using DirectQuery, my understanding is that you don’t actually place any ‘automated refresh’ into desktop it would only occur in the online service and be facilitated by the gateway. The gateway acts as the bridge between the cloud based online service and the locally based database. Desktop is basically bypassed in this operation. This is how it works with the enterprise clients I work with.

When I go to make any updates to the desktop file (like visuals/formulas etc) I have to make sure I refresh the data manually in desktop before publishing to keep it up to date.



Yeah that was my understanding, it will just query the desktop version.



Thanks Sam now I am following and understand. That was the part I was unsure of, does the gateway skip updating the desktop version and just keeps updated the PowerBI service reports that are online. I understand it better now thanks.