'pbi-tools' is a command-line tool bringing source-control features to Power BI. It works alongside Power BI Desktop and enables mature enterprise workflows for Power BI projects.

An example project is available here: https://github.com/pbi-tools/adventureworksdw2020-pbix

User Notes


Download the tool as a ZIP file (no installer required) from Releases (under Assets). Extract and run from a command prompt.

Make sure to unblock the ZIP file before extracting.

Tool Actions

  • extractExtracts the contents of a PBIX/PBIT file into a folder structure optimized for source control
  • compileGenerates a PBIX/PBIT file from sources. PBIX is supported for report-only files, PBIT for files containing models
  • deployNEW in 1.0.0-beta.7 Executes a deployment manifest provided in a PbixProj folder. The initial release limited to Report-only PBIX deployments from a PbixProj folder using service principal authentication. Additional functionality is being added in the next releases
  • infoPrints diagnostics info about the local Power BI environments. Optionally checks for the latest Power BI Desktop release available from Microsoft Downloads
  • convertNEW in 1.0.0-beta.8 Performs an offline conversion of PbixProj or Tabular model sources into another format, either in place or into another destination.
  • initNEW in 1.0.0-beta.8 Initializes a PbixProj workpace.
  • gitNEW in 1.0.0-beta.8 Integrates with git and exposes certain actions to perform in the current working directory.
  • generate-bimGenerates a BIM file deployable to an XMLA endpoint from sources. Supports both Power BI Premium and Azure Analysis Services
  • export-dataExports all tables into CSV files from either an offline PBIX file or a running Power BI Desktop session
  • launch-pbiLaunch a new Power BI Desktop instance with a given PBIX/PBIT file. Does not support Windows Store version

Detailed Usage Notes

See detailed CLI docs here: Desktop Edition Core Edition.

Running pbi-tools (or pbi-tools.core) with no actions specified prints all available options.

Running pbi-tools[.core] {action} -? prints usage details for that specific action.

Extract Usage Screenshot

Prerequisites - Desktop Version

  • Windows 64-bit
  • Power BI Desktop 64-bit. Installer version (default location) and/or Windows Store version supported. Optionally, pbi-tools works with Power BI Desktop in a custom location, provided the path is specified in the PBITOOLS_PbiInstallDir environment variable.
  • .Net Framework Runtime 4.7.2 (Comes with Power BI Desktop)

Prerequisites - Core Version

Command-line Syntax

-argumentName argumentValue
-argumentName                   - If the argument is a boolean it will be true in this case.


  • Log output can be controlled using the environment variable PBITOOLS_LogLevel.
  • Allowed values are:
    • Verbose
    • Debug
    • Information
    • Warning
    • Error
    • Fatal
  • The default is Information, which is also effective when an unknown/invalid option has been specified.