The Excel Connectors in Power BI

Like it or not, Excel is one of the most popular data sources to build Power BI reports. Surprisingly, except for when you want to connect to an Excel file that is located on your local laptop or a shared network drive, there is no easy way for users to connect to an Excel file that is hosted on cloud services via the Power BI’s user interface (UI).

This blog post will provide you with a universal M script, which you can use to connect to Excel files hosted on not only on-prem sources but also cloud environments, such as OneDrive for Business, SharePoint, and Google Sheets (both public and private). You can download the pbit file in my GitHub repository for a quick start.

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Difference between Power BI Service and Power BI Report Server

To my surprise, I’ve met many non-tech people and even some from IT who are confused between the two “same same but different” versions of Microsoft Power BI: Power BI Service (cloud version) and Power BI Report Server (on-premise version[1]) .


In this post, I’ll share some tips for non-BI people to identify which version they are using. Then, I’ll provide a holistic comparison of the two versions, hoping to make you more informed of choosing the version that suits your situation best.

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