As it is now becoming tradition at month end is when we get the release of the Power BI Desktop and Power BI Service, as well as other related BI things happening in the past week.

Power BI – Desktop Update

So this latest release has a whole host of updates, and as before I will highlight what I think is most relevant.

Report View Updates

With the report view they now have put in more features so that you can use predefined table styles.

As well as now having the ability to use a ShapeMap as custom maps. You can find another blog post further below which will explain how this can be used.

Data Connectivity

They have added 2 new data connectors and by far the Amazon Redshift is one that has been requested a lot, and having existing work colleagues and friends who use Amazon this is a very welcome data connector. And from what I can gather Power BI in terms of visuals and BI is well ahead of Amazon, so in my opinion this can further enhance people to use Power BI.

They have also made improvements for CSV and Text with fixed width delimited files.

Query Editor Improvements

In the Query Editor or Power Query they have now added support to run R scripts within the query editor. I have no doubt that this will be a very welcome addition to people who use R.

Another feature which I was sure would come would be the ability to now use a List Query as Allowed Values for a parameter. This now means that you can generate a dynamic list, which can then be used for your parameters.

You can find all the details here: Power BI Desktop July feature summary

Power BI – Service Update

As previously with the Desktop updates, below I will go through the Service updates in terms what I think is most relevant to highlight.

Data Driven Alerts

This is something that is a very welcome addition and it will be used by myself as what it means is that we can be more proactive in terms of knowing what is happening with our data.

The thing to note is that this currently can only be done on Card Tiles with numeric values and gauges. And this is a really powerful feature to have.

Row Level Security (RLS)

It is great to see that now RLS has been moved from Preview status into production.

Along with this all of this is now configured in the Power BI Desktop and you can only test to see how it will work in the Power BI service.

Also it is great to see that this now applies to the Analyze in Excel feature, which in my opinion where Power BI is soon to become a SSAS Tabular PaaS

Data Classification

This is another great feature in terms of being able to classify your data so that the people using the data can understand the businesses data policies.

Analyze in Excel

They have made some great updates to the Analyze in Excel which is now the ability to connect directly to your Analysis Services On-Premise data.

As well as giving more control in terms of how this can be enabled or disabled for the administrator of Power BI.

You can read about all the updates here: Power BI July Update for Service and Mobile

Power BI – Using Amazon Redshift to build Power BI Reports

Microsoft have released a blog post on how to connect and use data from Amazon Redshift.

You can find the details here: Building Power BI Reports on top of Amazon Redshift data

Power BI – Use Any Map

This is a great post by Kasper De Jonge and how to now use any map or shape file using Power BI.

He goes into great details in terms of how to achieve this, as well as how to take any shape file and get it into the required format for Power BI.

You can follow what Kasper did here: Use any map with Power BI

Power BI – Data Driven Alerts Deep Dive

This is a great post by the people from Microsoft with regards to more information in how the Data Driven Alerts work, as well as how they function on the mobile app.

You can find more information here: Always be in the know: a deep dive on data driven alerts

Power BI – Impala Connector

Microsoft have released another connector for Impala, and they have a blog post in how to connect and use it.

You can find more details here: Power BI enables connectivity to Impala

OkViz – PBIX Tools

This is something from the wonderful guys at SQLBI and even though this is a small start in terms of currently being able to remove all unused custom visuals, there will be a whole host of additional tools that can be used with PBIX files over time.

And I am sure that there will also be the option to give ideas for future enhancements.

You can find the details here: PBIX Tools