As of the time of writing this, there was not a lot going on this week. And it is quite understandable with all that happened in the Power BI area at the Microsoft Data Insights Summit. So here are this week’s updates.

Power BI – Service Update 2

I have to say that the Service Update 2, has a whole host of new features some of which were announced at the Microsoft Data Insights Summit.

Starting with the Dashboards it is great to see that you can now have a featured dashboard, which can showcase or you can put in there what is most important to you.

Along with this is the ability to Filter your dashboards, as already in my implementation we can see that there are a lot of dashboards created and shared by other people. So this makes the navigation that much easier.

With the Enterprise features I have to say it is great to have Usage reporting, of the reporting system (Ironic that!) but it does mean that we can see who is using and doing what. As I often find that you create dashboards or reports which the users are requesting with great importance, and then after you complete your work they hardly ever use it.

Next is the Row Level Security, and as previously explained and discussed, this is now like having SSAS Tabular in the cloud. And I have no doubt that it will get better with every release. And I am sure that at some point we will be able to put in some form of Dynamic Security, which will be great. But this does mean that we are on the way to have a SSAS Tabular SaaS.

And finally the ability to stop people from exporting the data is also something that can be of a concern to the Enterprise.

The other features I have already blogged about before, but finally it is good to see that us people in Australia can now sign up for the Power BI Service.

You can read all the info here: Power BI Service March Update Part 2

SQL Server – Dev Essentials free

I know that this has been on twitter for quite some time, but is great to see that you can now use SQL Server Developer Edition for free. I think it is a smart move by Microsoft, because it allows you to use all the features, and no doubt once you have developed a solution there is the potential that you have used an Enterprise feature, which would then require an Enterprise License. But even with that said it is still great to be able to use it for development purposes.

You can find out the details here: Microsoft SQL Server Developer Edition is now free

SQL Server 2016 – RC2

RC2 is out and one of the big improvements is that they have simplified the process for the R Services setup. Which is great as from what I read previously it was a tedious process to get this up and running.

It appears to me that the SQL Server team is working at a cadence that we have not seen before. I have no doubt that what the Power BI team is doing is starting to rub off on different areas within Microsoft.

I am sure that a lot of the details within RC2 is around the underlying code and bug fixes. But with that being said it is great to see another RC out, and I am sure there will be a few more before it goes to RTM.

You can find out the details here: SQL Server 2016 Release Candidate 2 now available