Part One: Setting Up a Simpro Tug in Tugger

This process presumes you have registered for Tugger and have signed in. (Sign Up Here)

After the signup process, navigate to Tuggers in the menu bar. This will display all available Tugger connectors.

Select the Simpro Tugger > 'Add This Tugger'.

On the next two screens, you will need to enter information so Tugger knows what to call your Tug, as well as how much data (the date you wish to Tug data from) and how often it will be pulled (Tugged).

Give the Connector a name that makes sense to you (1 in the image).

Note: when selecting Sync Historical Data From date (2 in image above), the earlier this date is set to the longer it will take for your first tug to complete; with the duration it actual takes, being dependent on the size of your data-pool. Tugger pulls through your information in 30 day increments up until the current date. At this point in time only incremental changes are pulled through to ensure the tug times are as short as they possibly can be. It also means you can start to look at the reports quicker as you will have 30 days of data after the first tug.

For the Simpro build details (image 3 above) this can taken from the URL when you're logged into Simpro ; for example, in our case, looking at the image below, we would enter 'enterprise-sandbox-uk' and ensure '' was selected in the dropdown.

Multi-Company Builds, which is option 4 in both images above; this allows you to select a specific company to report on, if required. If you chose to report on all companies then please be aware that this will increase the number of rows stored in our data warehouse

Simpro Catalogue Data & other optional includes (5 in image above): now this option is perhaps one of the most important - particularly with regards to the time taken for the first Tug and in relation to the amount of data Tugger will need to store if this is switched on.

If you don't need to report on Catalogues etc, then remove this option or don't include. This has what we consider to be two benefits: your data will Tug far quicker, and there will be fewer rows of data stored within your account.


How often data should be synced can be changed to suit your needs, so can be left as-is (6 in the image above).

Once you are happy with your details, click on Authorise Access to Simpro (7 in the image above).

If you are not signed into Simpro , you will be required to enter the log-in details; if you are already signed into Simpro in the same browser as your Tugger account, then this step will be skipped.

Note: Admin rights are required on your Simpro account.

After signing in to Simpro as above (presuming you needed to), you should see an option to authorise, which (to continue) you will need to do.

Once done you should be returned to Tugger.

If you selected the Multi-Company Build option previous, you will see the following; skip this if required.

1. Click on the dropdown to display the list of companies.

2. Scroll through, or use the search option to locate and select the company you wish to report on.

3. When ready, 'Confirm Selection'.


... And then, navigate the Summary page if you are not done so automatically.


1. Displays the name you gave the connector, followed by the connector type in brackets.

2. Indicates the Tug Status; in this case, it will start any time now.

... And after a few moments it should update to advise that it's Tugging.

Note: As the first sync of data can take anything from hours to days, depending on the size of your data-set, it is fine if you need to close the tab.

If you wish to check on the progress of your Tug: the Summary page (shown both above and below) displays its status.

Data is pulled across incrementally, with the status updating to indicate how many rows have been Tugged and the Date of the data that has fully Tugged.

Once the data from your Simpro account has been synced over, on the Summary page (highlighted below) the Tug Successful, will show: Yes; in addition, the Tug Status will also update.

Note: You will not be able to continue until at least an Update has occurred, indicated by the Data Tugged Up to, above.

You will notice that the time to next sync is 56 minutes (due to the extremely small sample size of our dummy-data); your duration will be dependent on what you selected earlier: date-wise, Catalog-wise and other optional items, and the overall quantity of data in your database. 

If you wish to change how often the syncing occurs, select the Settings visible in the image above.

To continue with importing a report template into Power BI Desktop, please read on.

Part Two: Import your Simpro data into Power BI Desktop

Pre-requisites for this part of the process are:

   - Tugger: A ‘Tug’ created, and your data transferred. (At lease the first update of data progress has been reported on the Summary page.)

   - Power BI .pbit template(s): download from Tugger (see image below).

   - Signed in to your Microsoft Account within Power BI Desktop, which is required to publish to their Service.

The Report Credentials shown below, contain all you need to import your data from your Tugger Connector into Power BI Desktop (or Tableau,  Excel and others).

If you need to download the report templates for your connector, these are available via Report Setup (image below, 1; then select 2, Power BI, and in the following page you will see the section indicated by 3, which contains the templates).

Tip: If, instead of just clicking the link to download, you right-click and 'Save Link As' you can then give the report a name other than the default, such as 'Lead Analysis' for the 'simpro-powerbi-report-3' file. 

(Note: the files always have the same name, regardless of how many are downloaded or the order they are downloaded in. In other words 'simpro-powerbi-report-3'  is always called: 'simpro-powerbi-report-3', even if it is the only report downloaded.)

If you wish to see the step by step guide for the Power BI process, follow the link here: 

Otherwise: An overview Importing a report template

On opening Power BI desktop for the first time, the following splash screen is displayed; subsequent opening, may have additional information presented, related to saved reports.

You need to be signed in to publish the report to Power BI Service, and as you can see I am already; if this is your first time opening Power BI, you will need to sign in if you intend to publish any of the reports. You will also see (bottom right) that there is an update available; these may be handled automatically by your organisation.

The simplest way to load the template is to click on it from the browser once it has downloaded, or to navigate to wherever it downloads to and double click on it; if you chose to do that, scroll down this document to the: 'Enter URL, sub heading'.

How to import the template via Power BI is displayed in the following 3 images.


… Close the Splash Screen (indicated above).


Navigate to File > Import > Select: Power BI Template



Locate the report templates (.pbit extension) previously downloaded.

… Select one, and open.

Tugger’s Report Credentials Page (displayed again for clarity)

1. The OData URL.

2. The Username.

3. The Password.

Enter URL

  1. The OData URL from the Tugger Report Credentials setup page (see 1 above for reference).
  2. Some reports have additional options, such as Financial Year (shown here); another example may be: being able to set when a record is overdue.
  3. Load, once entered. 

If this is the first time you have loaded a report, you will be asked to enter authentication details; see Setting Up Your Reports For The First Time in Power BI Desktop, which contains more detailed information, although it is shown briefly below.

A Refresh pop-up dialogue appears:


If this is the first time you are importing into Power BI Desktop (or if you have Regenerated the Credentials, the how-to is here, but is not needed for this installation and setup) the OData feed dialogue will pop up.

Once you have entered the Basic authentication details, you will not be asked again unless they are cleared from Power BI desktop - or refreshed in Tugger.

  1. Select Basic as show below.
  2. Enter, the Authentication Details from Tugger’s Report Credentials page (shown previously) into the Username and Password fields.
  3. Change ‘Select level’ to match the details at the top of the dialogue. (After connecting multiply reports, you may find additional options in the dropdown, so be sure to select the correct one.)
  4. Click Connect when ready.

After a few seconds the Refresh dialogue will re-appear and updates to the content will become apparent; this is to be expected, and once complete the dialogue will disappear and the report should open (see below).

Note: If an error occurs after clicking Connect, see, Report Refresh Error.



There will be several tabs available...



… Highlighted at the bottom of the image is the open tab, and the tab-navigation buttons (forward and backward) for when there are tabs off-screen.


You may wish to just save the report at this stage, for example if you’re stopping now with a view to continuing later. It forms part of the Publishing Process, which follows this section, if you are continuing straight away, just give it a name that makes sense to you.

If you don't save now, you will be asked to when Publishing to Microsoft's Online Service.



File > Save As

… Save to a directory of your choice.


Part Three: Publish your Simpro Data to Power BI Service (online)

Pre-requisites for this part of the process are:

   - Power BI Service: setup (ideally, Workspaces and Access (permissions) added for Users as appropriate). 

   - Power BI Desktop report imported.

Please see the Power BI Online Workspaces and Users article for basic information relating to adding Workspaces and Users, including assigning the level of access users need.


We do recommend setting up Workspaces beforehand as although the report can be saved to a new Work Space later, it doesn’t copy all the components (no dataset - compare 1 and 2 below) when published, only the report. Not only this, but reports added to the default Workspaces level cannot be shared via assigning Access.

Tip: The image below does, however, highlight a useful feature; as an example, say you wanted a workspace that the directors would use, where they had access to all reports. These could be published to one Workspace, which would include the Dataset, as 1 in the image below displays.

Once they were all published, we could then publish reports that departments/workspaces need by using the option from within a report: File > Save as a copy, which would then save a copy to the workspaces set up for managers and others who may need access to certain reports or partial reports (called Dashboards in Power BI Service); the report would be displayed as 2 in the image below.

How to set up Dashboards, is available here.

This has the added advantage of reports refreshes only needing to be set up once for each report, namely in just the 'directors' workspace.


This may not be an issue, but those assigned to a Workspace without a Dataset cannot refresh it, 

and will have to rely on the automated refresh, unless they can get it manually refreshed by another user.

To publish:

Select Publish, 1 in the above image.


If you haven’t already saved, then the save dialogue will appear (and can even after saving - 2 in the image below).

Click Save.


… Save (3) to a directory of your choice.

If you have already saved, after clicking ‘Publish’, the Publish to Power BI dialogue should appear, otherwise it appears after saving.



The steps are:

  1. Publishing and Saving (detailed previously).
  2. Search for Workspace (optional).
  3. Select My Workspace if you haven't created your own (not recommended).
  4. Or, select the Workspace created (recommended).
  5. Then click on Select (highlighted).

Note: If the only Workspace is called My Workspace (which is the default and always available) you may wish to Cancel instead of clicking Select. (See the Power BI Online Workspaces and Users.) You could then create a Workspace - perhaps configuring access for Users at the same time. After creating a Workspace: Publish again.


Once the report has been published, the following should be displayed.




Navigate to Power BI online to find your report or click on the link shown in the image above.

Part Four: Navigating to Published Document in Power BI Online

After logging into Power BI Online, to navigate to your previously published report: see image below.


In the example here: Workspaces > Simpro Workspace, as the image displays; the optional search feature is also indicated.

  1. Select Workspace.
  2. Find a Workspace (search is optional).
  3. Select Workspace



The next image offers a brief explanation of what is offered:

  1. This is the report (previously viewed in Power BI desktop before publishing); there is an opportunity to share this report, by hovering and selecting as appropriate.
  2. The main use – at least initially – is setting up how often your data from our secure data warehouse is refreshed. Click on the refresh icon, where you may need to enter Login details, authorising Power BI to access said data. The mini-tutorial for this can be viewed in Setting up Automatic Refresh in Power BI Online.
  3. The Share option.
  4. Perform a manual Refresh. (In our case here, grabbing updates from Tugger.)
  5. Set up Schedule Refreshes, although other options are available.
  6. The Ellipses offer other options, including Delete, tailored to the either the Dataset or Report. Note: deleting the dataset will always delete the report too.



After selecting the report, or if following the link from Power BI desktop, the report (as shown below) is displayed.


The view for the reports are presented in a different manner to what Power BI Desktop displayed; instead of the multiple tabs, there are the Pages for the reports; the selected page is indicated.

It should be noted that some pages shown in Power BI Desktop are not automatically visible in the Service; viewing them is done via various methods, but often a Drill-through.

A quick example.

  1. Hover over the required item, which displays further info. via a popup. (The item below the blank item in 'Number of Active Jobs by Project Manager' bar in our example.)
  2. Right click on it.
  3. Select the required page from the Drill through sub-menu; there should be at least one available, although on occasions there is no drill through available but this is unusual; if there is no drill-through then the option will not be available.

Note: 'Blank' is the default in Power BI that indicates no entries, or no value set for that particular field; you may wish to investigate why a particular field is not set.

Tip: you can select, just the one bar/section or data-point on a chart or graph and the page will update interactively to reflect what was selected. The above example will work regardless.

You will be presented with an additional page, filtered depending on what was selected and where you drilled through from. Pages available in this manner are known as Hidden Pages, although they are visible (and need to be) in Power BI Desktop.

Note... If you had selected the Blank option, Project Manager would not have been set.

There can be further options, including Drilling throughs, but you won't know unless you look; this is more likely to be the case when the page drilled through to is not a table view as fewer of those need to provide additional information.

To return to the previous page, select the blue arrow in the circle on the top right of the page (indicated) or select one of the pages, also indicated.

This concludes the Simpro Installation guide.