Reporting Services 2016, Power BI and PASS Summit 2016

What am I most excited about as I prepare for the PASS Summit here in Seattle this week?  A lot of things.  Preparing for my session, which will be on Thursday at 1:30, by far the most popular and interesting topics are about integration and tool choice.  Today’s public announcement on the SSRS product team blog about on-premises Power BI integration with Reporting Services is really big news.  It’s great to see two of the technologies I love working together.  Whether in the cloud or on-premises, Power BI and Reporting Services can be used together.

Thursday’s session is titled “Reporting Services 2016, the Force Awakens”.  The consensus among industry users is that Reporting Services was stalled and left alone for far too long.  Technology and industry trends have moved forward over the past five years or so but Microsoft have invested in other tools and products, aside from Reporting Services.  The SSRS server architecture is capable but the rendering and delivery components needed to be modernized.

The good news is that the modernization effort has been underway for quite some time.  Resources that were directed to other investments have been recommitted, not only to the Reporting Services product, but to integration across the product stack.  It’s really hard to build a reporting platform that addresses every need.  I think Microsoft have a history of creating false expectations by putting experimental and incomplete features  out in the industry that weren’t on the committed roadmap.  I know better than to believe that the pattern won’t ever be repeated but I firmly believe that there is a well-defined reporting and BI roadmap and product teams are making rapid progress against it.  It is once again an exciting time to invest in the Microsoft analytics, reporting and BI tool set.

I’ll publish the entire deck after the 2016 Summit.  Until then, here are some selected slides…

Comparing the progress of new features added to SSRS over the release cycles, the product really slept from 2010 until 2016.

2016-10-25 (1)

Microsoft’s reporting & analytic platform has shifted significant as they moved from products to services, and from servers to the cloud.  The dust is settling on this major refocusing effort.  Capabilities that were introduced in Azure, Cortana Analytics and Power BI are now becoming available to “the box”, on-premises or in hybrid cloud scenarios.  We can expect more announcements on this as the roadmap is played-out and gaps are filled-in.

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Reporting Services is a central player in the on-prem delivery of the BI, analytics and reporting tools offered by Microsoft.  These include Excel, Paginated reports created with SSDT/report designer or Report Builder, Mobile Reports and Power BI Desktop.

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…more to come!

check back for updates.

Power BI Dashboard In A Day Training in Richmond and Pittsburgh

I’m pleased to announce that I will be presenting two more Dashboard-In-A-Day training sessions in October.  These free, full day training sessions are co-sponsored by Microsoft and SolidQ.  I’ve had a blast teaching Power BI in lots of other locations.  What’s not to like?  It’s Power BI and it’s free.  That’s a pretty good combination.

If you’re in the area, please plan to take and day and get some great training.  Here are the dates and registration links:

October 11th
Richmond Microsoft Office in Glen Allen, VA

October 13th
Microsoft office in Pittsburgh, PA

What’s Dashboard-In-A-Day?

DIAD is designed to accelerate your Power BI experience with a comprehensive training program in a single day. A trained Power BI specialist partner will host you for the entire day – all you have to do is bring your Windows-based notebook and we will supply the rest – even lunch!* After registering, you will receive an email confirmation that includes a link to download the training materials you’ll need for the day.
With DIAD you get practical hands-on experience with SolidQ who specializes in the art and science of bringing data to life in a full-day of instructor lead report building. You will learn how to connect to, import & transform data from a variety of sources, build real data models, as well as author and publish Business Intelligence reports. You will learn how to customize and share your creations for collaboration with other groups securely inside your organization including mobile device sharing.

Reporting Services 2016 PowerShell CmdLets

…now that I have your attention…
there aren’t any yet.

We (along with Aaron Nelson, Data Platform MVP & Chrissy LeMaire, PowerShell MVP) are working with the SQL Server product teams to recommend the first set of CmdLets that we would like to see added to the PowerShell libraries.  Please help us by posting comments with your suggestions.  What are the most important SSRS-related tasks that you would like to automate using PS?  Give us your top five or so.

When asked to work on this recommendation, my first thought was to just duplicate the commands that are current exposed by the RE.exe utility.  That might be a good starting point but this effort should be more deliberate than just copying what was evolved through the past product versions.

Hera are a few suggestions to get us started: