Carousel Cloud can now securely integrate with Power BI so you can display reports live on your digital signage!
In this document, you will learn how to set up your Power BI integration using a service principal in Azure AD (required). This will then allow you to display reports you have given permission to the service principal access to. You can grant access to multiple workspaces and reports using a single service principle. See your Azure AD administrator for details.
The ability to use Power BI in this way requires embed tokens. Depending on your Power BI and Azure subscription type, you may have a trial amount to use but they will eventually run out unless you Create a Power BI Embed Capacity or a Power BI Premium Capacity. Please see your Power BI administrator for details.
Notes and Performance Considerations
Power BI Datasets using Row Level Security (RLS) are not supported.
The Capacity used for Power BI directly affects how quickly resource intensive reports will load. See Capacity planning in Power BI for more info.
Carousel requires that your reports finish loading before they will display. Carousel will wait 20 seconds for that loading to complete and it if does not load within that time, the bulletin will be skipped.
Carousel does its best to display all of your data visualizations as is as designed, but complex reports with long load times and other factors can make that difficult. There are ways in the PowerBI desktop app and in the PowerBI service to optimize your reports for use with Carousel. Below are some articles with more info on how to make your visualizations more performant.
Enable Query Caching in PowerBI Service Query caching in Power BI Premium - Power BI
Set a longer Scheduled Refresh intervals on Datasets in the PowerBI Service.
Set a longer Page Refresh in PowerBI Desktop on the page. Automatic page refresh in Power BI Desktop - Power BI
Enable Query Reduction Using DirectQuery in Power BI - Power BI
Use a dedicated capacity instead of a shared capacity Manage Microsoft Power BI Premium capacities - Power BI
Power BI bulletins will display across all Carousel Player types. The only difference in bulletin behavior is that because Apple TVs can not display web-based content they will not update live, but will rather display a still image of the report which updates every 15 minutes.
The complexity and density of your reports will also affect the bulletin loading time on certain player types with limited processing capacity. Keeping your reports simple will help with longer loading times and under powered players.
Authenticating Carousel with Power BI
Setup Azure AD
To set up an External Authentication for Carousel and Power BI you need to register Carousel as an Application and create a service principal in Azure AD. Then get these three pieces of information from it:
Certificate auth not supported at this time
To get started use this article to create a service principal in Azure AD. You must have adequate access, please see your admin for details.
Once you have created it, follow article sections, “Get tenant and app ID values for signing in” and, “Option 2: Create a new application secret” to obtain the information required for your Carousel External Authentication.
Setup Power BI
Now that you have a service principal you will need to give it API access to your Tenant. You will need to follow Step 6 of this article to allow Carousel to access the Power BI API.
You will now need to give the service principal permission to access the Power BI Workspaces that you would like to display reports from. Select Access in your Power BI workspace.
Then search for your service principal and give it access. Repeat this process for all workspaces you would like Carousel to have access to.
Please note: It takes some time for Power BI to register the service principal so please allow a few minutes after creating/editing one before authenticating with Carousel.
Setup External Authentication
In the Carousel UI, click on your username in the upper right, then select Configure, then select System.
There you will select External Authentications on the left-hand side and create a New Authentication.
There you will give your Authentication a name. This name will display when creating a Power BI Bulletin. Then you will enter the Tenant ID, Client ID, and Client Secret that you have gotten from the above Microsoft KB.
Now all you need to do is Save your new External Authentication and you will be able to use it to create Power BI bulletins in Carousel!
Power BI Bulletin Creation
To create a Power BI bulletin, navigate to the zone you would like it to display in and select New Bulletin, select Dynamic as the type, then select Power BI.
Select the Authentication you just created from the drop-down menu. The Workspace, Report, and Dashboard drop-down menus will contain all of the workspaces, reports, and dashboards that you have given Carousel access to using your service principal. If those menus are empty, you will need to grant access in Azure AD and try again.
Once you have selected your desired workspace you will be able to toggle between Reports or Dashboards for that given Workspace. If you choose a dashboard you will then be able to move onto the next step. If you chose a report you will now be presented with the options to choose the Page or Bookmark for that report.
Once you have selected the options from PowerBI simply schedule your bulletin and apply any other desired settings and select Publish.