Latest Enterprise DNA Initiatives

Question on Connecting to SQL Dbase REmotely

Hello EDNA Community:

I have a more technical question concerning a situation I have right now. I am helping(as a contract employee) a smaller company get up and running on Power BI. They have given me access to their VPN but no one on their side ( they have IT consultants) are familiar with Power BI. Their view is that they have to install Power BI Desktop on their own internal server for this to work out. A smaller issue is they have asked me to call my internet provider and ask to change my IP address 10 10.a (it starts with 192). This last pat is not super-important.

My question is what is really necessary for me to access their SQL transactional dbase? I understood as long as I had the server name and database name I would be OK, later using me login credentials of username and password. Does the company really have to install the product on their server as the only developer would be me, a non-employee working remotely?

Since I’m sensitive to being paid, etc for work is the only way for the product to be installed on their server?

If I were to buy my own server, would that change how the connection would go?

I will do research on this but thought I could get some useful feedback from the community on how I should be thinking about this and what to communicate back with.

Thank you very much.

Best regards,

1 Like

There is no Power BI install that is needed on the SQL server…
once you install the power bi database and are on the company vpn - check if you can ping the sql server - and once that passes your power bi desktop can connect to sql server using the appropriate credentials.

once you are ready to publish your report to the power bi cloud , at that point you should install and configure the enterprise gateway. the enterprise gateway can be installed on any server on the corporate network. It does not (ideally should not) have to be the sql server.

if your concern is on non payment - when you host the workspace on the power bi cloud , do not share access rights to the work space with the organization till you get paid…


Wow, that was quick and appreciated. The hazy part is that I can get into their environment via their VPN but what from there to use GET DATA on my desktop? I have read access to their dbase and passwords. etc.

You did answer an important part about not having them install PBI for everyone in the company. They plan to be consumers of the reports/dashboards.

Thanks very much for your input!


File - TransformData-New Source-SQL Server
enter the server name and database name
it will prompt your for a user name and passwork.
ensure database option is selected

Select database on the left and enter your sql user credentials


Q1 What is really necessary for me to access their SQL transactional dbase ?

Step 1 - Connect VPN
Step 2 - Connect SQL Database from Power BI Desktop

Q2 Does the company really have to install the product on their server as the only developer would be me, a non-employee working remotely ?

They’ve to install Power BI Gateway on their server.

As you mentioned you are the only developer, Others are only end users, they don’t need to install Power BI desktop.

Once you published the report in Power BI service, you’ve to set up Schedule refresh.
To Configure Schedule refresh you’ve to install Power BI Gateway on Company Server(System).

Developers need Power BI desktop and Pro License.

If you want to share the reports with others, they must have either Pro License or Premium License.

Hope this clarifies yours questions


Hi Rajesh:

Thank you very much for your feedback. I think this will help a lot and I will provide your feedback to them. If I understand you, once they install Power BI, I should see it when I connect via the VPN and do my work from there. I would like to not deploy my work until it is ready. Can I keep my work private until ready?

Thank again and have a good p.m.!

Best regards,

Hi @Whitewater100, a response on this post has been tagged as “Solution”. If you have a follow question or concern related to this topic, please remove the Solution tag first by clicking the three dots beside Reply and then untick the check box. Thanks!

Hi @Whitewater100

Yes. If the report isn’t ready, don’t publish the report to Power BI service.

They are only required to install an online gateway on the server they want to host the Reports/Dashboards if they want to implement schedule refresh. You should also confirm if the VPN gives you internet access or just their private network. You can only connect to their database and work on Power BI at the same time if the VPN is set with internet, if not you will have to extract the data and import the data in Excel instead of using Import/Direct Query


Thank you for taking the time to reply. There IT installed a RDC for me to access the sql serve directly and I’ve been using Direct Import.

We both also have OneDrive and I understand there can be some benefits to being able to use this platform as well. Do you happen to know how OneDrive impacts scheduled refresh or do we still just use the Gateway on their server for the refreshes?

Have a great day and thanks again!