It appears that there is one last massive push from the Power BI team before the end of the year.
I would consider this my early Christmas present, so please enjoy and read below.
Power BI Desktop Update Dec 2018
Once again it is another big update to Power BI desktop.
I really like the smart guides that are available, this makes the visuals line up better and make the entire development experience that much easier. To me it is very similar to what you get in PowerPoint.
There have been a whole host of really cool updates for ArcGIS in both the free and paid versions where you can find similar items, as well as having up to 5000 map data points in the paid version.
It is great to see such a great focus on accessibility features being implemented into Power BI, and this month they have extended this with the field list accessibility support.
You can now set the tab order on objects on a page, this is really good not only for accessibility but I have had times when the mouse has not been working and by setting this up, it allows me to easily move between items. You can also move items and disable them from being in the tab order.
There now is tooltips for buttons, which was suggested by my good friend Matt Allington and it certainly makes it a lot easier to get more context on what the button is supposed to be doing.
Icons showing the visual interactions as well as all the other images now are in an SVG format, which will make it scale better. I personally like the updated icons
There now is support using Q&A for LiveConnection SSAS (SQL Server Analysis Services) databases. The one thing to note is it is currently only supported for Tabular Models with the compatibility mode of 1103 and above.
The above is a preview feature, so you will have to update it in the Preview features under Options.
The DAX formula bar has received 2 updates.
The first one is now you can zoom in and out, which is great when you are presenting or when you want to see more of your code on a high-resolution screen.
Second, is that the DAX formula bar will expand to the size of your screen, allowing you to see more of your DAX code, when there is a lot of code
Yet another accessibility feature is that you now can access the data view using CTRL + F6 and you can navigate all the items in the data view.
This month there are 2 new connectors.
The AtScale Beta Connector and the Essbase Beta Connector
When using the Fuzzy merge there now is an option to select the TopN matches when trying to match using the Fuzzy merge logic. This is great to ensure that you do not return too many matches
High contrast support is now available for all panes and report footer
And finally, there is an improved keyboard shortcuts dialog as shown below.
Here are the blog post details, and I would recommend watching the YouTube video: Power BI Desktop December 2018 Feature Summary
Data Flows Integration with your own Azure Data Lake
There has been a lot of interest with Power BI Dataflows since it was released.
That latest release now allows you to unify data across Power BI and Azure Data Lake.
This can now be done by creating CDM folders in the Azure Data Lake, and once that has been created not only can that be used by Power BI, but it can also be used by Azure Data Factory, Azure Data Bricks, Azure ML and no doubt more integration points over time.
There really is a wealth of information in this blog post.
Not only that but there also is a full tutorial which will allow you to test and end to end setup. That is SO COOL! (And I am going to set some time aside to get it working)
Here are the blog details: Power BI Dataflows and Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 Integration Preview
Business Applications Summit 2019
The dates for the Business Applications Summit have been announced on 10-11 June 2019, at this year it will be in Atlanta Georgia.
You can already buy tickets for this event, and I am planning on attending next year again. I found that going to these events are an invaluable way to do a lot of learning and networking with some incredible people.
All the details are here: Microsoft Business Applications Summit is back – join us June 10-11, 2019 in Atlanta!
Developer Update Nov 2018
There have been a lot of updates in the Power BI Developer space in November.
Power BI Embedded in Azure
You can now have Paginated reports and data flows in Power BI Embedded.
Not only that but there are also 2 new metrics to monitor your Power BI Embedded which are Memory per Workload and QPU per Workload. Both are important because now there are potentially 3 workloads in Power BI Embedded which would be Analysis Services, Paginated Reports and Dataflows.
There is also now Azure Health monitoring to ensure that all the resources are available as shown in the image below
There is now also the capability to have zero downtime when scaling your resources when scaling up or down.
This is done by using a script which creates a temporary capacity resource, and moves your current workspaces to this temporary capacity resource, until the scaling up or down is complete and then moves it back.
Usage metrics are now available for embedded reports and dashboards as shown below.
Automation and Life Cycle Management
You can now create a new App Workspace with the Power BI REST API
Custom Visuals with additional purchases are now supported, with In App Purchases
Here are all the details: Power BI Developer community November update
Windows App Update
There has been an update to the Windows App for Windows PC’s, Laptops & Tablets where you can now enter presentation mode which will allow you to have it as you are presenting.
Not only that but if you have a pen and compatible device you can also Ink this onto the report.
The blog details are here: Presentation mode in Power BI Windows App