Harnessing the Power of Azure Synapse Spark and Power BI Paginated Reports: A Comprehensive Walkthrough

In today’s data-driven world, organizations seek to harness the vast potential of their data by combining powerful technologies. Azure Synapse Spark, a scalable data processing engine, and Power BI Paginated Reports, a robust report creation tool, are two such technologies that, when combined, can elevate your analytics capabilities to new heights.

In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the process of integrating Azure Synapse Spark with Power BI Paginated Reports, enabling you to create insightful, flexible, and high-performance reports using big data processing.


Before we begin, ensure you have the following set up:

  1. An Azure Synapse Workspace with an Apache Spark pool.
  2. Power BI Report Builder installed on your local machine.
  3. A Power BI Pro or Premium subscription.

Step 1: Prepare Your Data in Azure Synapse Spark

First, you’ll need to prepare your data using Azure Synapse Spark. This involves processing, cleaning, and transforming your data so that it’s ready for use in Power BI Paginated Reports.

1.1. Create a new Notebook in your Synapse Workspace, and use PySpark, Scala, or Spark SQL to read and process your data. This could involve filtering, aggregating, and joining data from multiple sources.

1.2. Once your data is processed, write it to a destination table in your Synapse Workspace. Ensure that you save the data in a format compatible with Power BI, such as Parquet or Delta Lake.

Step 2: Connect Power BI Paginated Reports to Azure Synapse Analytics

With your data prepared, it’s time to connect Power BI Paginated Reports to your Azure Synapse Analytics.

2.1. Launch Power BI Report Builder and create a new paginated report.

2.2. In the “Report Data” window, right-click on “Data Sources” and click “Add Data Source.” Select “Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics” as the data source type.

2.3. Enter your Synapse Analytics server name (your Synapse Workspace URL) and database name, then choose the appropriate authentication method. Test your connection to ensure it’s working correctly.

Step 3: Create a Dataset in Power BI Report Builder

Now that you’re connected to your Synapse Workspace, you’ll need to create a dataset in Power BI Report Builder to access the data you prepared earlier.

3.1. In the “Report Data” window, right-click on “Datasets” and select “Add Dataset.”

3.2. Choose the data source you created earlier, then write a query to retrieve the data from your destination table in Synapse Workspace. You can use either SQL or the Synapse SQL provisioned pool for this task. Test the query to ensure it retrieves the data correctly.

Step 4: Design Your Power BI Paginated Report

With your dataset ready, you can start designing your Power BI Paginated Report.

4.1. Drag and drop the appropriate data regions, such as tables, matrices, or lists, onto the report canvas.

4.2. Map the dataset fields to the data region cells to display the data in your report.

4.3. Customize the appearance of your report by applying styles, formatting, and conditional formatting as needed.

4.4. Set up headers, footers, and pagination options to ensure your report is well-organized and professional.

Step 5: Test, Export, and Share Your Report

The final step in the process is to test, export, and share your Power BI Paginated Report.

5.1. Use the “Preview” tab in Power BI Report Builder to test your report and ensure it displays the data correctly

5.2. If you encounter any issues, return to the design view and make any necessary adjustments.

5.3. Once you’re satisfied with your report, save it as a .rdl file.

5.4. To share your report, publish it to the Power BI Service. Open the Power BI Service in your browser, navigate to your desired workspace, click on “Upload,” and select “Browse.”

5.5. Upload the .rdl file you saved earlier, and wait for the publishing process to complete.

5.6. After your report is published, you can share it with your colleagues, either by granting them access to the report in the Power BI Service or by exporting it to various formats, such as PDF, Excel, or Word.


By combining the processing power of Azure Synapse Spark with the flexible reporting capabilities of Power BI Paginated Reports, you can create insightful, performant, and visually appealing reports that leverage big data processing. The walkthrough provided in this blog post offers a step-by-step guide to help you successfully integrate these two powerful tools and unlock their full potential. As you continue to explore the possibilities offered by Azure Synapse Spark and Power BI Paginated Reports, you’ll undoubtedly uncover new ways to drive your organization’s data-driven decision-making to new heights.

This blogpost was created with help from ChatGPT Pro.