I was working with a customer where I was working on my own laptop. My laptop is not part of their domain. I did have an account in their domain and when I tried to connect using Power BI Desktop, I got the following error when trying to connect as shown below.

This is not the greatest error message.
Fortunately, I knew that I could connect to the server so the issue was not with connectivity but more around how could I authenticate against Analysis Services.

NOTE: Analysis Services can only Authenticate against domain accounts, and that is why I got the error above.

Using LiveConnection outside of the SSAS Domain

Below are the steps on how I got this working.

  • I clicked on Start, then Run and typed in CMD
  • I typed in the following which I will explain below

    runas /netonly /user:MyDomain\GilbertQue “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Power BI Desktop\bin\PBIDesktop.exe”

  • The only things I changed was MyDomain
    • This is the Domain in which you already have an account that you can use to connect to SSAS
  • I also ensured that the Power BI Desktop executable was in the correct folder.
    • I double checked by going into the folder and making sure it was there
  • I then pressed Enter
  • I was then prompted to enter the password, which I put in and pressed Enter
    • I got the following prompt below and Power BI Desktop started
  • I then went about connecting to my SSAS Instance as I would do when I am inside my domain
    • Get Data, Analysis Services
  • I then put in the Name or IP Address of my Analysis Services Server. I made sure that it was set to Connect live
  • I then clicked Ok
  • I then found my Cube and selected it by clicking Ok
  • I could then see the tables under Fields and interact with the Analysis Services Cube to create my report.

Creating a Shortcut to start Power BI Desktop

The final step is to create a shortcut which will allow me to click on the shortcut instead of having to type in the syntax every time.

  • I went to my desktop, right clicked, selected New, then Shortcut
  • I then put in the Syntax from the step above
  • I then clicked Next
  • I then gave the Shortcut a name “PBI SSAS Connection”
  • And then clicked Finish to complete the Shortcut
  • Now with it my desktop I double-clicked the shortcut which opened the cmd.exe
    • I put in my password
  • It then opened Power BI Desktop and I was able to then connect to my Analysis Services database.

Conclusion

In this blog post I have shown how I was able to connect to an Analysis Services database, where my Power BI Desktop application was not part of the same Domain.

I found this initially to be a potential issue, but by doing it this way at least I can work externally from my own laptop.

As always, any questions or suggestions are most welcome.

Thanks for reading!