Here are the weekly BI Updates, with a lot of great things within Power BI as well as the major release for SQL Server 2016

Power BI – Desktop Update for May


Well this week there is a whole stack of updates to the Power BI Desktop which once again is great to see so many updates and actual user requests being added to the product.

As I have done in the past I am going to highlight the ones that I feel need to be highlighted below.

First off are the Report View updates, and by far the most requested option as is shown in the picture above is the conditional formatting. This is great to see and will help for people to quickly identify with the conditional formatting.

Next is also the customizable tooltips because at some points there is either not enough information or not what you want to show to the user. And now you can complete this.

The scrolling option to load more data in charts is great when it is required. Because at times the way the charts work, is you want to see more details but it was not possible until now.

Then under the Analytics section the option to do a Quick Calc for % of grand total. This is great as often this makes it easier to compare values. I have no doubt that as time progresses there will be more options added to Quick Calcs.

Then there is a whole stack of goodness under the Data Connectivity, starting with some new connectors which is always great to see and very welcome for getting in additional data.

Another great addition is the ability to do Inline Input controls for Functions. This makes it a lot easier to see, understand and use the functions that are created.

One of the biggest or best updates are to the Query Parameters where you can now convert a query to a parameter and vice versa. What this means is that now you are able to create a dynamically loading parameter, which can then be passed to another dataset or query. And I think (even thought I have not currently tested) that you are able to then pass it to another parameter. Also the ability to do URL parameterization or multi-part URL’s means that you can simply insert into your URL the dynamic piece or parameter.

Also now the ability to be able to Save As a Power BI Template so that this can be shared with other people is great.

The support for reordering Query steps by using the drag and drop is another really handy feature because in the past I used to have to delete the steps and then re-create them. So this makes things a lot easier when wanting to shape your data.

Using a Date Picker always makes things a lot easier and simple when working with data. And now you can use this when shaping your data.

And finally a new context menu to create new queries from the query pane.

You can find all the details here: Power BI Desktop May Update Feature Summary

Power BI – New Visuals

As you can see above there are a whole host of new visuals for Power BI, it has been quite for some time, but it is great to see them there.

You can find all the visuals here: Power BI Custom Visuals

Power BI – Gateway Enterprise Update for May

It is great to see that they are also continuing to update the Power BI Gateway for Enterprise with additional data sources and UPN Mapping and CustomData property.

You can find the details here: Power BI gateways – May Update

Power BI – Using Azure ML and R for analysis

Below are the quite complex details in which you can leverage both R and Azure ML in order to get data into Power BI, analyze the data and then view it in the Power BI Service.

Here is the blog post: Power BI & Azure ML Better Together

Power BI – Planned Work Started

We can see that they have started working on the R visuals within the Power BI Service which is great to see.

SQL Server 2016 – Generally Available

Yesterday or last night if you live in Australia, they released SQL Server 2016.

I have blogged previously with regards to all the enhancements as well as new features that they have brought into SQL Server 2016. And a lot of great things that we can look forward to within the BI space.

I have already started a download to test and then look to roll this out to production in the near future. There are too many wonderful things which can enable our business to not get this up and running as soon as possible.

You can find all the release information here: SQL Server 2016 is generally available today

SQL Server 2016 – Mobile Report Publisher

Please find the link below for the General Availability for the SQL Server Mobile Report Publisher

Microsoft SQL Server Mobile Report Publisher

SQL Server 2016 – SQL Server Management Studio Release

It is great to see that there is now also a generally available SSMS for SQL Server 2016, with a few bug fixes and other wonderful updates.

You can find all the information here: Announcing SQL Server Management Studio – June 2016 Release

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