This article provides a step-by-step instruction on how to enable Service Principal (SP) access to a Power BI workspace in dedicated capacity (Power BI Premium or embedded/A sku).
In the following, I will try to highlight the minimal number of steps necessary to enable Service Principal authentication. You can find all the details in the official documentation: Automate Premium workspace and dataset tasks using service principals.
Why Service Principal access?
In order to set up unattended jobs or pipelines that perform XMLA write operations (refresh, deploy, etc.) on a dataset in a Power BI workspace, we have to use a Service Principal. Specifically, if we want to use Tabular Editor’s command-line interface to perform a model deployment, we don’t have any other options, as the command-line does not allow interactive authentication, which is required on any tenant that has multi-factor authentication (MFA) enabled.
These are the steps we need to go through in order to set this up. Note, these steps has to be performed by a user with Power BI Administrator and Azure Active Directory Administrator permissions: