Microsoft Power BI Enables Connectivity to Apache Impala (Incubating)

Categories: Guest Impala

Microsoft recently announced a new Impala Connector for the Power BI Desktop (currently a preview, with GA expected early in 2017). Cloudera is also working with Microsoft’s Power BI Engineering team to certify it against Impala to ensure it meets critical enterprise requirements such as security. The following Microsoft post about the new connector, by Power BI senior program manager Miguel Llopis, is re-published below for your convenience.

In the Power BI Desktop July 2016 Update, we have introduced a new Preview connector that allows users to easily bring data from Impala into their Power BI reports.

In order to get access to this connector, users first need to enable this Preview feature. Preview features can be enabled via the Options dialog (File Options and Settings -> Options). The option to enable the Impala connector is available under the “Preview Features” tab in this dialog.


After enabling the feature, the Impala connector can be found within the Get Data dialog, under the Database category.


The connector requires users to specify an Impala cluster server to which to connect.


Power BI Desktop will then attempt to establish a connection to the Impala cluster and will require users to provide credentials for the first-time connection. Both Anonymous and Username/Password credentials are supported.


Subsequent attempts to connect to the same server will reuse the same credentials, as these are stored per-user per-machine. Users can modify the credentials from the Data Source Settings dialog (under File -> Options and Settings).

Once the connection has been successfully established, users will be presented with the Navigator dialog where they can browse for tables within their Impala database. Users can select one or more tables and decide whether they want to load them straight into the Power BI Desktop local data model, or perform any data preparation and filtering steps prior to loading the data.


Note that the connector currently only supports Import mode, which requires downloading the query output data to the local data model. In future updates, we will enhance the connector with DirectQuery capabilities, as well as with support for refresh scenarios via the Power BI Gateway. [Ed. Note: As of the August 2016 update, the Impala Connector also supports DirectQuery mode, which means you are always viewing the most up-to-date data. The functionality for both periodic refreshes and DirectQuery mode require the Power BI Gateway running either on-premise or in Microsoft Azure.]

Enabling Power BI connectivity to Impala has been a very frequently requested capability from our customers. We encourage you to give it a try and share with us any feedback or issues that you encounter via the “Send a Frown” feature in Power BI Desktop.


We’re looking forward to improving the Impala connector and to enabling connectivity to many other data sources in upcoming releases. If yours isn’t supported yet, just let us know.


8 responses on “Microsoft Power BI Enables Connectivity to Apache Impala (Incubating)

  1. Ruslan

    That’s awesome.

    “Both Anonymous and Username/Password credentials are supported” .. what about secure clusters? Is Kerberos authentication supported as well?

    Thank you.

      1. Justin Kestelyn Post author

        Hey Ruslan,

        Support for Kerberized clusters is a roadmap item for GA. You did the right thing, because upvoted features get prioritized.

  2. Tanveer

    We are waiting for Kerberos Support for Impala Connector before implementing Power BI at client location.

  3. Pablo

    When I try connect to Impala, I have the following error:
    [Microsoft][ThriftExtension] (3) Error occurred while contacting server: ETIMEDOUT. The connection has been configured to use a SASL mechanism for authentication. This error might be due to the server is not using SASL for authentication.

    Someone who can help me?