With all the recent updates and announcements from SQL Pass, as well as the Power BI World Tour.

And there is a lot of great things to look forward to coming in the next few months!

Please understand that some of the pictures I have got from Twitter or elsewhere, so whilst they are not the greatest image quality, but rather showing what is coming. I am really excited to start using the new capabilities once they become available.

What is coming to Power BI Desktop

  • It is great to see that there will be enhanced enterprise readiness in terms of higher data points, which has been seen with the scatter plots.
  • As well as additional report sharing functionality.

  • There is also going to be a whole host of new connectivity to Adobe Analytics, Hive.
  • It is also great to see that there is Azure Active Directory Authentication coming to Azure SQL DB, Azure SQL Data Warehouse.
  • As well as even more enhancements with Columns from Examples

  • Next in the Visuals & reports, FINALLY to have slicers working across multiple pages.
  • Drill filters to other visuals in the report will also get filtered based on what you drilled down to.
  • Theming improvements, which I know a lot of people are starting to use.
  • And finally adding in more conditional formatting rules.
    • And here is an example below of what it might look like.
    • Thing to note is the rules are applied top to bottom.
    • So if you wanted to have a specific colour for a single value, then put it at the bottom and you will get it because it gets evaluated last.
    • There is also the ability coming to add column description information, which is great for end users to easily understand what the column is being used for.

  • And finally, Q&A is coming to Power BI Desktop, which means that you can use it on your report pages in Power BI Desktop and leverage Q&A. It is an easy way to create some visuals for your data.
    • You can easily double click and ask a question to your data.
    • Apparently you can use Q&A for TimeLine type of questions such as This Week, or This Month, etc and the charts should automatically move over time.
  • One thing that really interests me is the Query Reduction options, and how that can improve the query performance or loading of data, this is for Live Connection or DirectQuery sources.

Additional Power BI Updates for the Roadmap

Unfortunately, I did not have the time to make it all look pretty and together, so here is another list of roadmap items that are coming in the next few months.

Power BI Desktop

  • There will be additional Quick Insights added. Interested to see what will happen here!
  • Cross highlighting across multiple visuals which I am looking forward to, so that I can now select multiple items and see what story the data is telling me. Or find some amazing new insights within my data.
  • Updates to Bookmarks, which will give you more control over what is being booked marked for each individual bookmark.
    • This could potentially apply to the data, page etc.
    • This could also potentially decide which visual will be affected by a particular bookmark.
    • There is a long time plan to get Bookmarking to all the different flavours of Power BI, being the Web Service, Publish to Web and Power BI Embedded.

Power BI Service

  • The ability to Share datasets, I am not sure how this will work, but once again it will be interesting to see how this will work, and potentially will be great for larger customers.
  • I think that the Clustered capacity might be for the On-Premise Data Gateway, which I talk about below.
  • And finally, the capability to export to PDF, which I know is going to be a very welcome addition for people who want to have a hard copy of a Power BI report.

Power BI Report Server

  • The ability to bring in multiple data sources and refresh them is now available.
  • Adding additional items to the REST API.
  • And having additional SharePoint Integration, which in larger organizations is great, because it means that they can leverage their existing SharePoint investments.

App Updates

  • This is something that I personally know some organizations have been struggling with is the Office 365 groups when creating App Workspaces, and finally this is going to be removed.
  • Pushing the app to the users is great, because sometimes you want to give it to the users, so that they do not have to go and search for their data or are unaware of the analytics available to them.
  • Being able to selectively publish content from App Workspace is something people have been asking for a long time, and one of the main reasons people have not moved from Organizational content packs.
  • Being able to copy between content packs, which will enable the development lifecycle to work more seamlessly from Dev, to Test to Prod.
  • And finally, another big one is the ability to be able to share your Apps externally with external clients. And if you leverage this with Row Level Security you can now let your customers view their data.

On-Premise Data Gateway Updates

Once again there are a whole host of updates coming for the On-Premise Data Gateway

  • There is now Single Sign On (SSO) for Direct Query for SQL Server Database, Teradata & SAP HANA
  • They are looking to enable SSO to Oracle, Impala & SAP BW before the end of 2017
  • OAuth support for data mashup scenarios, which means using the Query Editor to import data from multiple sources into one dataset without any Mashup (or Applied Steps)
    • And coming soon will be including using the Query Editor to import data from multiple sources with steps being applied to the data.
  • Once again, another great feature that enterprise organizations as well as smaller organizations is the ability to have High Availability and basic load balancing.
    • This will now mean that you can have the data refreshing always available.
    • And I am interested to see how the Basic Load Balancing will work, which will be awesome when multiple datasets are refreshing at once.
  • And finally, is the use of Custom Connectors within the On-Premise gateway, so that once you have created your own custom connector it now can be refreshed via the Gateway.

Power BI – Client Advisory Team

Coming soon to Power BI is a Client Advisory Team (CAT), which Adam Saxton is going to be a part of. This will be great for strategic Power BI Customers on how to ensure that they are able to leverage Power BI.