Exporting data to PowerBi

By: Gerry Bolger | Asked: 10/01/2022
ForumsCategory: How-toExporting data to PowerBi
Gerry Bolger asked 2 years ago
Hi I am about to do a form in which I'd like the data to be exported to PowerBi. PowerBi can take CSV files, but it can also take data from a weblink.   Question(s):
  1. Is it possible to export directly to PowerBi (I cannot see FF mentioned as a source)
  2. Can PowerBi "see the data" in FF - but what would be the folder the data sits in?
  3. Can FF send CSV's daily?
Thanks in advance. Many thanks Gerry
1 Answers
Victor Font answered 2 years ago


  1. If PowerBi has an API that you can access through the web, the Formidable API add-on is the tool you need to connect Formidable to PowerBi. With the API add-on, you can send updates to PowerBi in real time. Batch updates are not necessary any more with web APIs and the Formidble API add-on. Sometimes, as may be the case with PowerBi, the only way to achieve results with web APIs is to send the REQUEST as RAW JSON. You can send raw JSON with the Formidable API add-on.
  2. Formidable data does not sit in folders. It is stored in WordPress database tables. See this Knowledge Base article to understand the schema: https://formidableforms.com/knowledgebase/database-schema/
  3. It can, but you don't want something that needs to be scheduled on a regular basis depending on wp_cron, which is, at best, unreliable because it's triggered when someone visits your site. The dependable way is to create a server cron job. How to do it precisely depends on how your server is setup. Regardless, it requires custom PHP code at some level to link to WordPress and execute properly.
Gerry Bolger replied 2 years ago

Thank Victor - number 1 it is as PowerBi has an API.

Victor Font replied 2 years ago

Glad to hear. If you've never setup a raw JSON API before, it can be a little tricky to set certain formats correctly as the PowerBi API may need to receive them. When I do this type of project, I get the API working in Postman first. Postman is an API development tool. Once Postman returns a successful RESPONSE from the API, I know the JSON works. The JSON can then be copy and pasted into the Formidable API add-on and the fake data you used for testing is replaced by field shortcodes.

JSON can be very tricky to code and troubleshoot without a tool that alerts you to coding errors as you type. Visual Studio Code is very good with this when you have their JSON tools installed. BTW, JSON is how Full Site Editing themes are created for WordPress/Gutenberg these days.

Another recommendation is to install the Formidable logs add-on. This captures JSON API communications and helps greatly to troubleshoot issues when configuring Formidable data to match the receiving systems required format. JSON API communications are REQUEST/RESPONSE based.

When troubleshooting API errors, the alternative to logging the API's JSON REQUEST/RESPONSE is to use the network tab in your browser's developer tools. It can be complicated even if you've done it before. Logging makes troubleshooting much easier.

If you need help with development, please visit the Formidable Masterminds Developers Directory at https://formidable-masterminds.com/developers-directory/.

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