1 Client ID, 1 Secret and a Bearer token in Power BI Power Pages image 103

Connecting to data sources in Power BI can be very easy. But when you need to call three end points to get to your data with Secrets, Client IDs and Bearer tokens it can be a bit harder to get your data.

Background on the API

Sometimes APIS are nice and easy to use and sometimes APIs are just a pain. If all you have to do is connect to your data source by clicking a few button, it would be no fun. In this post I will look at one of the more challenging APIs.

For this example I will be connecting into the API used by timesheetportal.com. This is a timesheet solution, that has an REST API and a SOAP API. The first challenge is to find the documentation for the API so that you can find out which API calls are available.

In this case the API documentation was sitting at the following URL:

https://[tenant].api.timesheetportal.com/docs/standard

From the documentation I found out that there are 3 calls to the API to make before you can get any data returned.

  • /oauth/authorize
  • /oauth/token
  • /v2/chargecodes

So what do these endpoints do?

The first Authorization url lets me supply a client id and a secret to collect an authorization code. This code will expire within a short period of time every time I request it. With that authorization code that I now have I can call the token end point to collect a bearer token. And with that bearer token I can call any of the other API end points to collect or update my data.

Within the admin pages of the solution you can generate a client ID and a Secret.

That should be all I need to know to get the data into Power BI.

Building the Power Query code

If you haven’t already downloaded Power BI Desktop, then you might want to do that first. But assuming that you have that in place, I’m going to assume that you have the following blank screen in front of you.

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Click on the Get data link at the top and then select Blank query.

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You should now see a Query1.

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The first thing I would do is to rename that do something sensible. I’m going to call this TimesheetData.

1 Client ID, 1 Secret and a Bearer token in Power BI Power Pages image 101

Then using the Advanced editor I will be creating the following code

1 Client ID, 1 Secret and a Bearer token in Power BI Power Pages image 102

In the above screen you can paste the code and then the data will be ready within seconds.

Secrets, Client IDs and Bearer tokens in Power BI

Building up the code

The code that we will need will start with the following lines:

let
baseUrl = "https://tenant.api.timesheetportal.com",
clientId = "QTZ.......OEY=",
secret = "vd.......JB",

Please note that you will need to place your own details here.

Then after that we will have need to list the following 3 lines of code to set the three end points that we need to call.

  url = baseUrl & "/oauth/authorize",
  token_url = baseUrl & "/oauth/token",
  data_url = baseUrl & "/v2/chargecodes",

So far we’ve only looked at setting some configuration elements to get the actual work done.

For each of the end points there will be some lines of code needed. For these kind of end point we will quite often need to supply a body text, that will tell the API end point what to do. Then we will call the end point and finally we might need to collect some of the data that is returned by the end point.

Get the Authorization code

To get the authorization code I need to build up a body with the client id and the secret.

authorizeBody  = "{ ""client_id"": """ & clientId & """,
                      ""client_secret"": """ &  secret & """, 
                      ""response_type"": ""code"" 
                    }",
  authorizeResponse = Json.Document(Web.Contents(url,[Headers = [#"Content-Type"="application/json"], Content = Text.ToBinary(authorizeBody) ] )),
  authorizeCode = authorizeResponse[code],

The Web.Contents function will now call the earlier specified url, and supplying the body that we just created. That is as easy as it gets.

The details will be returned to us in the authorizeResponse variable. All we have to do is collect the code property. Now we have an access code that will be valid for 180 seconds.

Get the bearer token

Now we are going to repeat the same little trick to get a bearer token. This token is valid for 1 hour.

Using the following code, we need to supply the earlier collected authorization code and we will be given our token that we are after.

token_body = "{      
                     ""client_id"": """ & clientId & """,     
                     ""client_secret"": """ &  secret & """,
                     ""grant_type"": ""authorisation_code"",
                     ""code"": """ & authorizeCode & """}",
  tokenResponse = Json.Document(Web.Contents(token_url,[Headers = [#"Content-Type"="application/json"], Content = Text.ToBinary(token_body) ] )),
  accessToken = tokenResponse[access_token], 
  AccessTokenHeader = "Bearer " & accessToken,

You might have noticed that the bearer token is made up of the word “Bearer ” and the access token that we were given.

Get the data

Now for the finale, we will be collecting the actual data that we wanted in the first place. Once again we will be calling an end point, however I’m not supplying any body this time. One of the things to note is that APIs have different methods of calling an end point. You can do a GET or a POST. Often a GET method is used to retrieve information where a POST is used to supply information.

The following code will get us the data using the Authorization heading with the bearer token.

 dataResponse = Json.Document(Web.Contents(data_url,[Headers = [#"Content-Type"="application/json", #"Authorization"=AccessTokenHeader]
                                                       ] )),
  #"Converted to Table" = Table.FromList(dataResponse,Splitter.SplitByNothing(),null,null,ExtraValues.Error),
  #"Expanded Column1" = Table.ExpandRecordColumn(#"Converted to Table", "Column1", 
        {"jobCode", "taskCode", "guid", "clientCode", "accountingCode"}, 
        {"jobCode", "taskCode", "guid", "clientCode", "accountingCode"})
in
  #"Expanded Column1"

In the above code we will get a list of items back. This list is then converted to a table of records before each of the columns is expanded so that we end up with a table of fields. Now we are ready to build our dashboards!

Avatar for Pieter Veenstra

By Pieter Veenstra

Business Applications and Office Apps & Services Microsoft MVP working as a Microsoft Productivity Principal Consultant at HybrIT Services. You can contact me using contact@veenstra.me.uk.

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