Finally, we have another fantastic Power BI Desktop update, as well as a host of other updates from the past week.

There is a lot to go over so let’s get into it.

Power BI Desktop Update for March 2019

There has been yet another great release of Power BI Desktop, as always please find the details below which I think are relevant to call out


The simple change to having the single select slicer makes it a lot better to use and easier for the report consumers to know that there can only be a single selection

With the out of the box Bing maps, it always was a challenge to use the heatmaps, but now this can be done when using the Bing Maps

The cross-highlighting using the axis labels is a genius idea, especially when wanting to click on an item that has a very small bar or even to select a single item. This now can be done by clicking on the axis label.

Whilst the default tooltip has been great, having the ability to format it means that it can make your reports look that much better or align with your company theme. Not only that but it can be included as part of a theme file.

You can now add in static URL’s for buttons, shapes and images, which is great when you want to have a link to a specific resource from your report.

There has been an improvement to the filter pane, where the users now can delete their selections but NOT delete the filter

When aligning the page, you can now align it either to the top or centre of the page

When working with the selection pane, you now can rename your selections as well as CRTL + CLICK or SHIFT + CLICK and manage multiple selection items at once

Another enchancement to the maps is that you now can adjust the maps to a smaller point size. As well as add in zoom buttons, which is great to control how large things should be and zoom in and out

There have also been some additional updates to accessible visual interactions, which make it easier to navigate using the keyboard. Below are the details

  • Tab or arrow keys to navigate between data points or legend items
  • Enter or space to select and cross-highlight that data point
  • Ctrl + enter or ctrl + space to cross-highlight multiple data points
  • Ctrl + shift + c to clear all selection
  • Shift + F10 or the designated key on your keyboard to open the context menu to access options like Insights


There have been improvements to Q&A which now will ask you for “Did you mean?” when you possibly spell things wrong.

As well as looking for ambiguous terms

Showing dates in a hierarchy is now generally available


The new modelling view is now generally available, this allows you to do new things which were available in the preview such as:

  • Bulk editing of columns, measures, and tables.
  • Setting display folders on columns, measures, and hierarchies.
  • Dragging and dropping into display folders
  • Multiple diagram layout

New DAX Functions

There are a few new DAX functions below:

ContainsString or ContainsStringExact: Gets the Boolean value to let you know if the text field contains a string value

DistinctCountNonBlank: Returns a distinct count where blank values are ignored

Lookupvalue: Has an optional last parameter to     avoid raising an error

All: This can now no arguments which will clear all the filter context

NOTE: Intellisense is currently not supported for ALL and DISTINCTCOUNTNONBLANK

Certified Visuals

There is now a new setting in the Admin Portal which will allow Admins to only allow certified visuals from the App Store to work, all other visuals will not render

Data Connectivity

The PDF connector now allows for tables spanning multiple pages

There are two new connectors:

  • Intelligent Plant’s Industrial App Store connector
  • Azure Cost Management connector

All the blog details can be found here with more details and the YouTube video: Power BI Desktop March 2019 Feature Summary

Easy access to AI using Dataflows

They now have made it really easy to access AI when using Dataflows.

Depending if you are running Power BI Pro or Power BI Premium will depend on which AI models you can use.

The cognitive services are only available in Power BI Premium.

Whilst the scoring of sentiment is available in both.

Not only that but you can leverage your existing ML (Machine Learning) models with Dataflows, as long as they have been configured correctly.

More details can be found here: Easy access to AI in Power BI (Preview)

Azure B2B Guest users can edit content

This is yet another incredible release where guest users can now edit content in other Power BI tenants.

When they log into the other tenant where they are a guest, they will now see the entire Power BI interface, and as always based on their permissions they will be able to interact with the reports and dashboards.

If you want to upload content as a guest, you currently will need to upload it via the Get Data and not via Power BI Desktop

Currently there are some limitations:

  • Direct publishing from Power BI Desktop to the Power BI service
  • Guest users cannot use Power BI Desktop to connect to service datasets in the Power BI service
  • Classic workspaces tied to Office 365 Groups: Guest user cannot create or be Admins of these workspaces. They can be members. This limitation does not apply to new workspace experience workspaces.
  • Sending ad-hoc invites is not supported from workspace access lists
  • Power BI Publisher for Excel is not supported for guest users
  • Guest users cannot install a Power BI Gateway and connect it to your organization
  • Guest users cannot install apps publish to the entire organization. Add Guest users to the app access list directly or through a security group.
  • Guest users cannot use, create, update, or install organizational content packs
  • Guest users cannot use Analyze in Excel
  • Guest users cannot be @mentioned in commenting (coming soon)
  • Guest users cannot use subscriptions (coming soon)
  • Guest users who use this capability should have a work or school account. Guest users using Personal accounts will experience more limitations due to sign-in restrictions.

All the blog post details can be found here: Azure AD B2B Guest users can now edit and manage content in Power BI to collaborate better across organizations

Webinar on Using App-only Authentication with Power BI Embedding

There will be a webinar by Ted Pattison on how to use the new app-only authentication for Power BI Embedded or the new Power BI Service API on the 15 Mar 2019 at 10AM PST

You can find the details here: 3/15 Webinar: Using App-only Authentication with Power BI Embedding