As most of you guys know Power BI Desktop is released. I should say, it’s awesome. There are heaps of changes in compare with its preview edition Power BI Designer. I’ve written a series of posts regarding creating a report and dashboard using Power BI Designer before. You can find them here. Now I want to explain the same thing in Power BI Desktop. I’ll cover lots of new features in this post and I hope you enjoy it.
Open Power BI Desktop
Click on Get Data. You can also get data from recent data sources or even open a predefined report stored in pbix format
We use Adventure Works DW 2012 database as sample, you can open your real world data source
Click on “SQL Server Database” then “Connect”
In this sample we are connecting to a “SQL Server Database”
As you might already know Microsoft announced Power BI 2.0 General Availability, Power BI 2.0 GA, on July 24. In this post I explain some new features that are ready to use now. Now I can say Power BI is significantly improved during the preview period. We are able to refresh on-prem datasets, we can modify the look and feel of the reports, we can share resources and much more now. For instance go to Power BI website and the first thing you can see is the Power BI logo is changed from Power BI Preview to Power BI.
Let’s see what is new in Power BI.
Sign into Power BI
Click on Get Data button from the bottom of the left navigation pane
When we are talking about using a new technology we need to understand it first. Power BI Personal Gateway is not an exception. Despite you can easily install the Power BI Personal Gateway, knowing the following important points is crucial. I believe the following 5 points are significantly important to prevent you getting into troubles with the installation process as well as using the gateway:
Power BI Personal Gateway is only available on 64-bit Windows operating systems
Once you install Power BI Personal Gateway you don’t need to install another one as just one gateway works for any number of supported data sources
You CANNOT install the Power BI Management Gateway on the same machine as Power BI Analysis Services Gateway
If you’re trying to install the Power BI Personal Gateway on a network having Active Directory make sure that the account you’re using to install the Power BI Personal Gateway is able to “Logon as a Service”. In some cases the “Logon as a Service” policy is prevented on Active Directory for security reasons. The “Log on as a Service” should be applied to those accounts that are NOT under an Active Directory. So even if you are using a Local Account you should make sure that the local account is added to the local security policy “Log on as a Service”. If the account used to install the Power BI Personal Gateway is banned from the “Log on as a Service” policy you’ll get “Service ‘Data Management Gateway Service’ (DIAHostService) failed to start. Verify that you have sufficient privileges to start system services.” error message.
It’s been awhile that lots of us were waiting for this feature. And some of us like me just tried to build it in our way. I spent some time to develop something similar using OData in combination with IIS and Basic Authentication features. Well, it was sort of successful and unsuccessful simultaneously! I mean, I was able to refresh SQL Server data remotely, but, when it came down to refreshing the dataset uploaded into the cloud Power BI it just failed. It was mainly because of the method that Power BI uses to refresh data.
By the way, I’m glad to see that we are finally able to refresh an on-premises SQL Server database from Power BI website. Refreshing data is very crucial for every report and dashboard which is working on top of frequently changing database. So we need to be able to schedule a data refresh on the cloud. Yesterday Microsoft announced a new gateway specially designed for supporting data refresh for on-premises data sources as below:
SQL Analysis Services Tabular model (uploaded data, not live connections)
File (CSV, XML, Text, Excel, Access)
Custom SQL/Native SQ
As you see SQL Server is not the only one.
Installing Power BI Personal Gateway
It’s easy to install the Gateway. Just make sure that meet the following requirements:
The machine that you’re going to install the Gateway on it should be always up and running
You can NOT install the Gateway on the same machine as a Power BI Analysis Services Connector
It’s been awhile that we are waiting for a sensible improvements in Microsoft self-service BI. The good news is that finally there will be some cool new features added to the next version of Excel which is Excel 2016. By some, I mean, well, there not a lot new BI features, but, some. Something is better than nothing, not too bad though!
Integrating BI features with Excel:
Power View and Power Map:
As you know, Power Pivot was integrated as a built-it feature to Excel 2013. Now I’m really happy that the same thing happened to Power View and Power Map. So you don’t need to install them separately. You can now turn these features on from:
File–> Options–> Advanced-> (scroll down the page) Data-> Enable Data Analysis Add-ins: Power Pivot, Power View, and Power Map
Now it is time to take a step further and learn how to access our dashboards from our IOS or Windows devices. Microsoft designed a very good and handy app for IOS and Windows based tablets. At the moment the Windows app is only available for your laptop or on your Windows based tablet device. First of all you need to download the app on your device.
In this post I explain how to use your IOS devices to browse your dashboards everywhere that you have access to the Internet.