Since the Business Applications Summit there has been a whole host of updates to Power BI, so please find all the details below.

NOTE: This is once again a longer read with just so many updates that have come through. And it is well worth the read.

Power BI – July Desktop Update

As with every month I will highlight the features from the monthly update

Modeling

As shown in the picture above Composite models are now available in Power BI Desktop

What are Composite models? This is where you can combine DirectQuery (All other sources except for SSAS) with data that you have imported into your model (for example an Excel spreadsheet)

This allows you to combine data from DirectQuery with Imported data and it will all work well together. This is really an incredible feature and will allow for a whole host of new data scenario’s.

Along with this there is also now the capability to be able to do a Many:Many relationship, which will apply to all relationships in your composite model.

Reporting

There has been a big improvement to the Visual headers as shown above, now where the visual headers are within the visual. This is compared to the previous iteration where there was a big block above the visual. Not only this, but you can also control which visual aspects you want to be made available.

As shown above there is now the capability to create a Wall Paper which will format the grey area outside your report as shown above.

There has also been a theming update all the visual properties can be formatted through theming.

Shown above, there are now tooltips for Table and Matrix visuals. Not only that but now you can also toggle the switch to have Tooltips per visual in your report. By default they are set to be on.

The Slicer has got some updates for people who require accessibility, can now access the slicer and interact with it via the keyboard and screen reader

The formatting pane has had a revamp and as you can see above, it has had some subtle changes in terms of colouring to make parts easier to get to. As well as better spacing and new toggles to make the formatting experience that much better and easier to use.

There is now stepped line support in line and combo charts. As well as there are additional formatting options that can be used.

People have asked for the ability to be able to toggle data labels for individual series, and this has now been released for combo charts.

Previously when trying to sort items in a visual it was a bit of a challenge to get it done. But with the new updates as shown above, not only are the Sort Desc and Sort Asc separated, but now you can also pick which field you want to sort by.

There is now the ability to find insights through distributions of your data. Not only that but you can select different slicers as shown above with Mod, Low and High. To better understand the distribution of your data.

Custom Visuals

There now are Certified Custom Visuals from the Market place which have to meet code requirements and additional code check by the Power BI Team. You can see from the image above that they have got the blue tick.

There is now additional Organisational Custom Visual settings where the Admin can disable a Custom Visual and the next time the report is viewed, the visual will display as shown above to the end user. Another great Admin capability.

There are a whole host of new Custom Visuals shown below.

Visio Custom Visual

Mapbox Generally Available

Datatext Box

China Scatter Map

Data Connectivity

Direct Query support for IBM DB2 in preview.

There have been improvements to the Web Connector with support for importing multiple custom tables. And the ability to auto complete when specifying values. And the exposure of the Html.Table function in the Query Editor

And finally, the SAP HANA has now got default variables when input controls.

You can find all the blog post details here: Power BI Desktop July 2018 Feature Summary

Power BI – Admin APIs and PowerShell scripts

Whilst this might not look like the greatest screenshot above, what you now can do is access all Power BI Assets in a tenant. This is really awesome news and something that I have been waiting for quite some time.

As in the blog post it explains how you need to get it configured and then run the PowerShell scripts to get the data you require.

All the blog post details can be found here: Announcing APIs and PowerShell Cmdlets for Power BI Administrators

Power BI – Multi Geo for Power BI Premium

There is a preview release for Power BI Premium when creating it where you can specify where the data will reside. As shown above when selecting the capacity and assigning it to a workspace you can then assign it to a workspace in a specific region.

More details can be found here: Public Preview of Multi-Geo for Power BI Premium

Power BI – SharePoint and the road ahead

The Power BI Team has been looking to improve the integration between Power BI, Power BI Report Server and SharePoint.

Starting with SharePoint 2019 and SharePoint Online the following will be coming:

  • Adding support for all major report types across all platforms. This includes SSRS Reports, Power BI Reports and Excel Workbooks.
  • Recently announced easier ways to leverage CSV and Excel files from SharePoint directly into Power BI.

For Power BI Report Server the following will be coming:

  • Power Pivot Scheduled Refresh for Excel Workbooks.
  • Adding modern authentication support with ADFS (Active Directory Federation Services) / AAD (Azure Active Directory)

You can find the details here: Power BI and SharePoint – the road ahead

Power BI – On-Premise Data Gateway Update for July

The update for the On-Premise Data Gateway for July includes the following:

  • Public preview for the Custom Data Connectors in the Enterprise Gateway.
  • Request distribution of data queries across all gateways in a cluster.
  • Support for Single Sign On (SSO) for Spark in the Power BI Service.
  • Diagnostic check to see if the On-Premise Data Gateway can access all the ports required to work successfully.
  • It now includes the July version of the Mashup Engine.

All the details and more can be found here: On-premises data gateway July update is now available

Power BI – Developer Update for July

Below are the Developer updates for July:

  • Ability to programmatically control the visual headers for specific visuals, which is now also available in Power BI Desktop.
  • New Developer Center under the learning in the Power BI website which is a one stop location for users looking to develop solutions using Power BI
  • Power BI Embedded is now available in the China Cloud.
  • There have been some updates to the Custom Visuals to allow High Contrast mode Support for accessibility options.
  • Source code available for the following Microsoft Custom Visuals.
    • Heat Stream
    • Card Browser
    • Text Filter
    • Timeline StoryTeller

The details for this blog post can be found here: Power BI Developer community July update

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