A few weeks ago, the Power BI team gave us the ability to freely embed Power BI reports, dashboards and other capabilities into a web frame for all the world to see. The next natural step, you might think, would be a way to to securely embed selected Power BI content and control users’ access to it – and you would be right. Today, at the Microsoft //Build/ Conference, they announced availability of “Power BI Embedded”, an API and tools to manage direct user access and embed live Power BI content into a custom web application.
Here’s a demo from Scott Hanselman and Josh Caplan on Azure Friday that shows the capabilities of this new feature:
The announcement from Nick Caldwell, General Manager, Power BI
This is pretty exciting news because ISVs and developers now have the ability to integrate the power and rich visual experience of Power BI into an application without directing users to a web site or giving them free access to content they want to control. This, with row-level security announced at the Microsoft Business Insights conference last week, provides an entirely securable and customizable analytic solution at very little cost.
Color coordination is important in report and dashboard design. We’ve seen theming and color pallet options in the prior iteration of Power BI but this is not yet a feature in the new version. No doubt, the product will continue to move forward and we’re likely to see some kind of “theming” feature in a future release. You can, however, use individual color selections to create coordinated and appealing reports. In this post from Ron Ellis Gaut from CSG Pro, he shares a selection of 12 report color themes which you can use as examples:
Color choices matter when building Power BI solutions. The aesthetics are important, but colors also help communicate. The color choices you make up front are cumbersome to change later on. We look forward to the day when we can easily apply color themes in Power BI, but we are not there yet. Therefore, we are left to applying custom colors manually. This can be done for visuals by setting the Data Colors from the Format options on the Visualizations panel.
Given that many developers (like me) are not professional UI designers. How can we easily choose a color scheme? How can we easily present options to our clients an get their input.
To this end, I have put some color schemes together and published these on my PBI site. Check it out HERE
I maintain all the HEX values for the color pallet in Excel. Let me know if you want a copy of the Excel and I’m happy to share it with you.
contact Ron through the Portland Power BI Meetup site
This is a reminder to compete the annual Business Intelligence product survey conducted by BARC Research. I’ve been participating in the survey for several years (as far as I know, as long as it has been running). As a participant, I receive a detailed copy of the results which are informative and insightful.
The survey takes 10-15 minutes and you can get started here.
Last year the BI Survey evaluated 35 products, with 3,267 survey responders. BARC conducts a credible survey and not a SPAM trolling exercise. To see the infographic with a summary of last years’ results, click the image below:
The Hands-On Power BI Workshop has been a great success and and a good opportunity to learn this technology first-hand. The following workshops are scheduled in the next couple of months:
This is a full-day learning event on the Friday before Huntington Beach SQL Saturday #497
This is a full-day learning event on the Friday before Phoenix SQL Saturday #492
PASS Business Analytics Conference 2 hour micro workshop. Tuesday, May 3rd 2:30 – 4:45
SQL Server 2016 RC0 hit the streets today and I just barely got it installed in my test sandbox. I’ve been using the CTP 3.2 & 3.3 previews and anxious to see if a few broken or missing features are working now …so here it goes…
The Mobile Report Publisher was (how shall I put it) a little fragile in CTP 3.3. Let’s see how it does in the release candidate:
First Thing – Mobile Report Publisher had some issues before this release but I had no problems building a simple report. No weird video issues…
But will it style? The color styling features didn’t work in the last version…
OK! Styling works with all the color palette choices! Nice.
The phone and tablet layouts were wonky in the previous version. Let’s see what happens if…
Tablet layout visualizes and seems to work as designed.
Last but certainly not least …phone…
WORKS, ding dig ding, we have winner!
Stay tuned. I promise more, later after I’ve had a chance to do some serious mobile report design and testing.
Every month I judge entries in the TechNet Wiki Guru competition SQL Server Business Intelligence category. Over the years, we have seen excellent contributions and insightful articles about advanced techniques and product tips. The next time you need to solve a particularly vexing BI problem, go to the TechNet Wiki and do a focused search. You’re likely to find useful solutions.
This month, there are three particularly good entries that I would like to showcase. These are all great entries and valuable contributions. The winners we will announced here: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/33351.technet-guru-contributions-february-2016.aspx
SSIS – Transfer data from Multiple tables using a single DFT
A framework for importing multiple tables and adapting to different column data types. This is a common challenge in large-scale ETL projects that often requires third-party products or deep programming. This approach solves the problem with out-of-the-box SSIS.
DAX: Dates Prior to 1900
A common issue when working with historical dates. These techniques work-around the native data type and DAX function limits with dates earlier than 1/1/1900.
SSRS Tips : Implementing OR Based Logic for Dataset Filters
SSRS report filters are powerful but not always intuitive. This technique applies OR logic to compound Boolean filters to work-around limitations of the designer.
I’m working on a series of articles about creating enterprise solutions with Power BI and the first article was published this past week in SQL Server Pro Magazine. I will republish the completed series but until then, I’ll post short excerpts from each article. In future posts, I’ll show examples and demonstrations.
Power BI is a bona fide sensation. It’s only been about seven months since the rebooted version 2 release and transition from Office 365 to PowerBI.com and Power BI Desktop. Since that time, Gartner has moved Microsoft to a leading position on the Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms. Like a young, prized race horse sprinting to the lead from the center of the pack; Power BI is being taken seriously and bigger players are considering the right timing to place bets.
Microsoft is rated by Gartner as the having the most complete vision while Tableau and Qlik rate slightly higher in their ability to implement. This makes perfect sense to me as “Microsoft BI” is not one simple product choice. This is my opinion: The Microsoft BI platform has many components and offers many choices, but is certainly comprehensive and scalable. Microsoft have always erred on the side of offering choices where some competitors have a monolithic product. Power BI is great single-product solution for simple projects, and with room to grow as needed. At scale, Power BI is delivering “the last mile” of data visualization beautifully on top of the robust foundation of SQL Server, Analysis Services, Integration Services, HDInsight, Stream Analytics, machine learning and all the other Azure services.
Three months ago I attended the first meeting of a new Power BI MeetUp group in Portland, Oregon. Last week we had a full house. Power BI groups are popping up all over the world as users, businesses and BI practitioners are embracing this product. The Power BI Community site currently lists 59 user groups! Capabilities added to the product each month are numerous and pace of development is increasing. The first wave mainly focused on features for self-service users and small group scenarios. The next wave will address larger-scale scenarios, security, administration and developer tools for integration. The SQL Server and BI product teams have made their intentions clear in recent announcements. Jen Underwood’s article, “Top Takeaways from Microsoft’s Reporting Roadmap” last month underscored that the new BI platform will address big business solutions in the cloud and on premises. We’ve seen tremendous momentum but there is more progress to be made.