Power BI with Dynamics NAV – Demo Install

By Warren Young | March 24, 2016

This post will cover how to integrate your Dynamics NAV installation (NAVDEMO instance will be used for examples) with Power BI, using the Power BI Gateway - Personal.

Power BI with Dynamics NAV Background

You can find some information on the background of Power BI with Dynamics NAV at this link: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/powerbi-content-pack-microsoft-dynamics-nav/

This post is useful, but glosses over the process of making your OData URL accessible to Power BI. There are actually a few methods to do that:
1. On Premise:  Power BI Gateway - Personal
2. On Premise:  Configure an inbound-rule to your Firewall to expose the OData URL
3. Azure/Hosted:  Configure an endpoint to expose the OData URL

I want to give proper credit to this blog post by Steven Renders: http://thinkaboutit.be/2015/12/connecting-the-power-bi-dynamics-nav-content-package-to-a-local-nav-2016-instance/   I found Steven’s post helpful in getting our tests up and running though we did find some differences or changes (possibly in the Power BI Gateway itself) that are worth clarification.

With all that in mind, our post will focus on the minimum requirements to connect Dynamics NAV to Power BI. We'll specifically focus on using the Power BI Gateway - Personal method, and cover the quickest and lightest footprint to try out Power BI with Dynamics NAV.

Prerequisites for Power BI in NAV Demo Install

1. Office 365 Account
2. Dynamics NAV "NAVDEMO" installation or equivalent. These steps will generally apply to any NAV installation, but the details and examples are used against a NAVDEMO database. We are considering a separate post to cover the intricacies of a "Production" database.

- Setup OData for the Dynamics NAV Service Tier
- Verify OData for the Dynamics NAV Service Tier
- Download and Install Power BI Gateway - Personal
- Power BI Get Data - Connect to Microsoft Dynamics NAV
- Addendum: CRONUS USA, Inc. Data Setup

Setup OData for the Dynamics NAV Service Tier
1. Open Dynamics NAV Administration
2. On the left-hand pane, click on the Server Instance (DynamicsNAV90)
3. Expand the OData Services tab:
a. Click the "Edit" button
b. "Enable Odata Services" = Yes
c. "Save"
4. Restart the Server Instance (DynamicsNAV90)

Dynamics NAV Server

Change Dynamics NAV Server Instance

Verify the OData URL is Accessible
1. Open a web browser and enter the following URL:
a. Syntax:  http://[servername]:[ODataPort]/[serverinstance]/OData/
b. Example:  http://localhost:7048/DynamicsNAV90/OData/
2. This is the "generic" OData URL that is not company-specific.
Encoding in Dynamics NAV

3. To verify the specific OData Company URL:
a. Syntax: http://[servername]:[ODataPort]/[serverinstance]/OData/Company('[companyname]')/ Note that companyname is case-sensitive.
b. Example: http://localhost:7048/DynamicsNAV90/OData/Company('CRONUS USA, Inc.')/

Note: Most versions of IE will give a message "Cannot display this feed."

Internet Explorer Error in Dynamics NAV

Using another browser such as Chrome will work to display/verify the feed:

Local Host in Dynamics NAV

Download and Install Power BI Gateway - Personal

1. Go to www.powerbi.com, sign-in with your Office 365 credentials.
2. Prior to grabbing the NAV package from Power BI, Go to Downloads > Power BI Gateways (https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/gateway/)
3. Download and install the Power BI Gateway - Personal.
4. Walk through the installation Wizard:

Power BI Gateway

1. Accept the license terms and click Next
2. Use the default installation location (can be changed if needed) and click Next
3. You'll be informed when installation is complete:

Power BI Gateway

1. Click Launch to run the Power BI Gateway - Personal
2. Sign-in to Power BI using your Office 365 credentials

Power BI Gateway Personal

Microsoft Azure

After this sign-in, Power BI should ask to set up data sources.

Power BI Gateway Personal

Power BI Get Data - Connect to Microsoft Dynamics NAV

With your Dynamics NAV OData Service accessible and the Power BI Gateway - Personal installed and running, you are ready to connect Power BI to Microsoft Dynamics NAV:
1. Go to www.powerbi.com (sign-in with Office 365 credentials)
2. Get Data > Services

Power BI

3. Search for Dynamics NAV, click on Microsoft Dynamics NAV and click Connect.

Microstof Dynamics NAV in Power BI

4. In the OData Feed URL, enter the URL you tested in the "Verify the OData URL is Accessible" step.

Connect to Dynamics NAV

5. After clicking next this will ask for an Authentication Method.  Choose "Windows" and click Next.

Connect to Dynamics NAV

Importing Data in Dynamics NAV

Success with Importing Data

Once imported, your Dynamics NAV dashboard will be accessible on Power BI.

Power BI with Dynamics NAV


Addendum: CRONUS USA, Inc. Data Setup
Note:  We didn't encounter this issue every time we connected a database to Power BI, but we have run into it multiple times.

Issue - Error When "Importing" to Power BI

Error with importing data from Dynamics NAV

Solution - Add Accounting Periods for 2014, 2013, and 2012

1. Open Dynamics NAV (RTC)
2. Open the Company you are connecting to Power BI (CRONUS USA, Inc.)
3. Use the "Search" bar to go to Accounting Periods
4. From Accounting Periods, click Create Year.
5. In the "Starting Date" field, enter 01/01/14 (leave No. of Periods and Period Length with their default values)
6. Click OK, then Yes when prompted to generate the year.
7. Repeat these steps for 2013 and 2012.

For the sake of consistent data, create for 2014 first, then 2013, then 2012.

Create Fiscal Year

Microsoft Dynamics NAV

After adding these Accounting Periods, the Import should run successfully.

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