BI-RoundUp – Power BI (On-Premise Data Gateway August)

This week has been rather quiet, but I have a feeling that if Power BI Desktop gets released next week, we will be back at it and have a whole host of updates.

Power BI – On-premise Data Gateway Update for August

In this month’s update there is additional improvements for Custom Data connectors.

And it also has got the August version of the Mashup Engine.

You can find all the details and content here: On-premises data gateway August update is now available

That is it for this week, short and sweet!

BI-RoundUp – Power BI (July Desktop Update – Admin APIs & PowerShell for Power BI – Multi Geo Support for Power BI Premium – Power BI & SharePoint – On-Premise Gateway Update for July – Developer Update for July)

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

BI-RoundUp – Power BI (Developer Update for June – On-Premise Data Gateway Update for June – Securing your connection between Power BI & Azure SQL Database)

I must admit that I have been a little quiet with regards to my BI-RoundUp and it is partially due to being extremely busy working. As well as preparing for SQL Saturday Sydney and my presentation at the Business Applications Summit in Seattle at the end of July.

As they always say, the show must go on, so here is my latest BI-RoundUp

Power BI – Developer Update for June

If you are using Power BI Embedded or the developer features of Power BI, there have been some recent updates.

Embed Capabilities

You can now set the slicer values through the Javascript API. This means that when the report loads it can have the slicers pre-set.

As shown in the image above, you now can use themes in embedded dashboards.

In the playground tool (which I suggest everyone go and have a look at), it is now a lot more interactive in terms of it now being able to show “Dynamic Report Layout” and “Capture and share Bookmarks”

Automation & life-cycle management

The documentation for the Power BI REST APIs has been updated in terms of their documentation which is auto generated from Swagger files. I had a look and I do like the look of how it all works.

Power BI Embedded in Azure

There is a note that Power BI Workspace collections are going to be depreciated will no longer be available.

And finally, the Custom Visuals support report themes.

All the details from the blog post can be found here: Power BI Developer community June update

Power BI – On-Premise Data Gateway Update for June

There is an update for the On-Premise Data Gateway, which includes a lot of bug fixes and improvements.

It also includes the June version of the Mashup Engine that is currently found in Power BI Desktop.

Here is a link to the blog post: On-premises data gateway June update is now available

Power BI – Data Gateway Update for June – Securing your connection between Power BI & Azure SQL Database

If you are currently getting data from Azure SQL Database, there is an option to “Allow access to Azure Services” which allows any Azure Service to be able to contact your Azure SQL Database.

In some scenario’s this is not secure enough.

In the link below it explains how to secure the connection between Power BI and your Azure SQL Database so that it can only be accessed by the On-Premise Data Gateway.

There is quite a lot to go through, which is detailed in the blog post: Securing the connection between Power BI and Azure SQL Database

BI-RoundUp – Power BI (Help Improve Power BI – Gateway Update for May)

Fortunately, there has not been a lot of activity in the Power BI space, which gives me a chance to catch up on some reading (Beginning DAX with Power BI  by Phil Seamark) and to have a bit of a rest.

Here are the updates for this week.

Help Improve Power BI

The Power BI Team has a survey out, in which they ask some questions to better understand how people use Power BI. There are also some sections where you can put in your own comments and help improve Power BI.

You can find the blog post here: Help Improve Power BI

Gateway Update for May

The monthly update for the On-Premise Data Gateway is here. And in this month’s update there are updates to Single Sign On (SSO) for Impala and SAP Hana.

As well as the Mashup Engine has been updated to match the May version of Power BI Desktop

All the details are here: On-premises data gateway May update is now available

BI-RoundUp – Power BI (On-Premise Gateway Update – Developer Community Update)

Here is this week’s BI-RoundUp. I am hopeful that by this time next week the latest version of Power BI Desktop will be released!

Power BI – On-Premise Gateway Update

By far the biggest news is the capability to use Custom Data Connectors in the Personal Versions of the On-Premise Data Gateway. The Power BI Team did indicate in the blog post that support in the Enterprise version will be coming in a few months. This is fantastic to see it being made available.

There now is single sign on support using Kerberos for SAP Business Warehouse Server

And finally, there is the updated version of the Mashup Engine to the April version of Power BI Desktop

Here is a link to the blog post: On-premises data gateway April update is now available

Power BI – Developer Community Update

As you can see above for the Developer community update there now is the capability to leverage Custom Report Tooltips and the Q&A explorer.

There is now also new Azure Resource Metrics which allows for better metrics to understand how your Power BI Embedded application is working with the following metrics.

  • It will show Memory usage being used
  • It will show when there is Memory Thrashing, which is defined as when a report is trying to be run, and it needs to evict another dataset in order for your dataset to be loaded into memory. And this only applies to imported datasets.
  • It will show QPU High Utilization which shows the Query Processing units every minute on your resources when it is about 80%

There is now the capability to set up alerts on your Azure resource.

Finally, there is a new learning channel to create custom visuals with a hands-on lab.

All the details of the blog post are here: Power BI Developer community April update

BI RoundUp – Power BI (March Desktop Update, Share Content with anyone via email, Persistent Filters, Mixed Reality App, Service & Mobile Summary for Feb, Data & BI Summit)

After getting back from the MVP Summit in Bellevue, which was an incredible experience the Power BI team has been extremely busy getting some great new features out the door.

Which means there is quite a lot to cover in this week’s BI-RoundUp.

Power BI – March Desktop Update

Once again, I must repeat what I have said before, the Power BI team has once again released some amazing new features. Which I think is continuing to make Power BI such a compelling and amazing product to not only use, but to show potential customers.

As I do with every month’s update, I will highlight the features which I feel are worth mentioning.

Reporting

Without a doubt the Report Tooltips is a game changer. Not only does it give an almost drill through type of feature, but it is context aware. So, when you enable the tooltip it will take into account all the filters that are being applied and apply that to the tooltip. This allows users to gain more insights without having to navigate to another page.

Bookmarking is now generally available, which means that it is now fully supported. As well as you will no longer need to go into the Preview Features in Power BI desktop to enable the feature.

Additional formatting improvements for this month is for the table and matrix, where you can now modify the display units to show it in a more meaningful way. As well as you can set the precision in terms of decimal points. One thing to note is that it will override the settings that were defined in your model.

You can now turn off the Visual headers for the entire report. This is particularly useful when you want to embed the reports. This will remove the Context Menu’s, the Focus Mode, drill down, and the option to pin the visuals. This could potentially also make the pages a read only style report.

When you are now adding in new visuals into your Power BI report, it will now look at the existing visuals and place it where it thinks it should logically go. This is great if there are already a few visuals where it can save you some time placing the visual where you wanted it to go.

Custom Visuals

There are a whole host of new Custom Visuals which are detailed below.


Mapbox visuals which have a lot of amazing options for viewing maps

User List by CloudScope

Timeline by CloudScope – Similar to a Twitter like feel

KPI Chart by Akvelon

R DataTable

Outliers Detection

Data Insights by MAQ Software

Dumbbell Chart by MAQ Software

Clustering using OPTICS by MAQ Software

Data Connectivity

There have been improvements to the SAP HANA connector.

Both the SAP BW Direct Query and Azure Analysis Services are now generally available.

Other

The error reporting has now been integrated with Windows Error reporting. What this means is that it now will contain more information. You can also view all your previous errors. As well as if you do not have the time to send the error report right away you can send it later.

You can find all the detailed information in the blog post: Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

Power BI – Share Content with anyone via email

You can now Share your Dashboards, Reports or Apps with any email address including Outlook.com (Live.com, Hotmail.com) and Gmail. This is really great when you have users or organizations that use the public hosted email addresses.

One word of caution, is to ensure that only the people who are required to send emails externally have the requirements. And other people that do not require it, have it disabled.

You can find all the details on how to share here: Share your Power BI content with anyone by email

Power BI – Persistent Filters

One of the time-consuming tasks in the past was, when you went back to a report, if there were multiple slicers and filters, you would have to reset them each and every time you went back to the report.

This is now a thing of the past with persistent filters.

Persistent filters will now remember your Filters, Slicers, Drill downs and sort order for your reports. So, when you go back to the report it will remember them.

This is a great feature and will make the reporting and analytics experience that much more enjoyable and quick to gain the insights you require.

All the details are here: Announcing Persistent Filters in the Power BI Service

Power BI – Mixed Reality App

With the use of the HaloLens and the Mixed Reality App there now is the capability to be able to Pin Power BI reports to physical locations or to have it tagged within the App.

What this means is that if there is a user on the factory floor, they can have a Power BI report pinned into the machine, so without having to look at their phone or open a laptop they can gain insights as they are moving around.

I think that this opens a whole new avenue and the things that you can imagine are almost endless.

The blog post details are here: Power BI for Mixed Reality app now available in Preview

Power BI – Service & Mobile Summary for Feb

Whilst some of the new features have been covered before here is a quick overview.

There is now the facility to automatically install apps.

A new feature that I was not aware of is now additional
Power BI Premium Capacities for P4 and P5, currently only available in West US and Southeast Australia.

Organizational Custom Visuals can now be controlled by the Power BI Admin

The February update to the On-Premise Data Gateway which has the latest Mashup Engine, and can also refresh data sources from both On-Premise and Cloud.

And finally, updates to the mobile app where you can now share from the Mobile App, you can drag your finger across your screen to get the tooltips and improved hyperlinks

All the details are here: Power BI Service and Mobile February Feature Summary

Data & BI Summit in Ireland

The Data & BI Summit in Ireland will be happening from 24 – 26 April 2018.

They have recently announced the keynote speaker John Doyle, Senior Director of Product Marketing on the Cloud & Enterprise team at Microsoft.

This looks to be a great conference and would be well worth attending if you are able to.

All the Summit details are in this blog post: Data & BI Summit announces keynote: The Next Era of Analytics with Microsoft Power BI

BI-RoundUp – Power BI (Microsoft Leader in Analytics & BI – Push Apps to Users, On-Premise Data Gateway Update, Developer Update)

It is already the start of March, where has this year gone?

I always look forward to the first week of every month when the imminent Power BI Desktop release is about to happen. But with that being said there are some updates already.

Let’s dig in

Microsoft Leader in Analytics & BI

As you can see above, Microsoft is clearly ahead in the Completeness of Vision and I would say an extremely close second in the Ability to Execute.

This is why I love working in the Power BI space, continually innovating as well as watching the competition.

All the details with regards to the Gartner Magic Quadrant are here: Gartner recognizes Microsoft as a leader in Analytics and BI platforms for 11 consecutive years

Power BI – The ability to push Apps to users

One request that I have seen both in the Power BI Community as well as from users that I engage with, was the capability to be able to push an app to users.

This has now been delivered!

I know that this will make the data exploration, as well as data analysis easier and seamless for users.

You can find more details here: Automatically install apps

Power BI – On-Premise Data Gateway Update

The new feature which now allows for the combination of cloud and on-premise data sources to be refreshed is a game changer. In the past there had to be a work around, or to try and manually bring data down from the web. Now this can easily be achieved with the latest version of the On-Premise Data Gateway.

Along with this there is also Improvements for DirectQuery over SAP HANA.

As well as this version gets the February 2018 Mashup Engine version.

All the details are here: On-premises data gateway February update is now available

Power BI – Developer Update for Feb

As you can see from above there is always a lot of work that goes into the Power BI Development space.

Under Embedding capabilities, it is great to see even faster loading times, mobile layout support for when an embedded app is being viewed on a mobile device. As well as visual-level filters which allow visuals to be filtered via the API.

Under Automation & Life-cycle, you now can use the Custom Data function in Azure Analysis services, Power BI Premium capacity now also has an API which also allows you to clone a workspace, connect to a customer’s data source and assigning a customers cloned workspace to dedicated capacity.

Along with this having the Query Parameters in the API means that you can now change the connection string for your report, change a query parameter and measure parameters. Also more data source connections.

Under Power BI Embedded is now generally available for the Government Cloud Community. And finally, you can now use the Azure Monitor Resource Metrics, which will allow you to see in real-time data on the status or load of your Power BI Resources. This is great if you want to understand and view how your resources are being used.

All the details are here: Power BI Developer community February update

BI-RoundUp – Power BI (Nov On-Premise Data Gateway Update – Weekly Hot Topics – Project Online Content Pack)

After very quiet in the previous week, here is this week’s round up details.

Power BI – November On-Premise Data Gateway Update

Whilst it might not appear as though there is a lot with regards to the November update to the On-Premise data gateway there IS!

The first thing is that they have now implemented High Availability. This is really great news, because it means you now can have the On-Premise data gateways in a cluster. So that if one of the servers fail, it will automatically move over to another one.

It appears to be really simple to setup. And then when you are in the Power BI Service, all the gateways in a cluster, appear as one. Which makes it again really easy for people who are Gateway Administrators to just use the gateways as they previously did.

There is also now additional logging for Mashup Engine Traces, so that you can see what the Mashup Engine is doing.

Now if the On-Premise Data Gateway cannot connect via TCP, it will automatically fall back to HTTPS, making the gateway that much more redundant to ensure that your data gets refreshed.

And finally, the Mashup Engine for the On-Premise Data Gateway has been updated with the November version.

You can find more details here: On-premises data gateway November update is now available

Power BI – Weekly Hot Topics

There is now a weekly hot topics blog post from the Power BI team, which will highlight members from the Power BI community who have helped out the most.

Also, it highlights the Top 10 Viewed Threads and the Most Active Threads.

Go and have a look here: Weekly Hot Topics

Project Online Content Pack

As you can see from the screenshot above there now is the capability to use a Project Online Content Pack if your organization is currently using Project Online.

The content pack has got a lot of default reports and great information out of the box.

There have been quite a few additions to the previous version of the Content pack, so it would be a great idea to get this newer content pack.

You can find all the details here: A new Project Online Content Pack for Power BI