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.


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.


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 (, 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