The past two months have seen a number of updates and features added to Power BI service for developers. Here’s a summary of the changes…
Selective Publish for apps
The arrival of a Selective Publish feature for Power BI apps is perhaps the headline addition from the past couple of months. Previously, all content within associated app workspaces would automatically be published every time a Power BI app was updated. Now you can choose to leave specified reports and dashboards unpublished. Microsoft says this was one of their most requested features and can be useful if users want to tweak or update an app without sharing all the underlying content.
Guest user distribution with AD B2B
Another related feature is the ability to share apps with guest users that are not part of a business’s organisation. This can be done via the Azure AD B2B collaboration and allows chosen recipients to sign in using a personal email address or their own organisation’s security credentials.
Premium workspace management
The Power BI team say this is another heavily requested feature, giving Power BI and O365 capacity admins the ability to easily assign individual workspaces to Premium. This provides finer control than the bulk assignation of workspaces across the whole organisation.
AI app recommendations
The Power BI AppSource now leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to suggest relevant and interesting content to end users. App lists that were previously sorted alphabetically will now be sorted by relevance based on a number of critical factors.
On-tile UI update
This is one of those small but noticeable tweaks that really improves functionality. Rather than messing with different icons for on-tile actions, users can now access a more intuitive drop-down with the different actions they are able to perform on that tile.
Power BI apps email subscription
Once a Power BI app is installed, users can sign up for live updates on any report or dashboard contained in that app.
Single sign-on (SSO) for some data sources
Single sign-on (SSO) is now available for a number of data sources, including, Teradata, SAP HANA and SQL Server via DirectQuery. This means that queries will execute under individual users and shared data caching will no longer be needed.
On-premises gateway update
A number of gateway improvements were announced in November. There’s an updated Mashup engine and users can now trace Mashup engine logs through ‘Additional Logging’. High Availability support also allows admins to group multiple gateway instances together.
Granular control for Publish to Web
Finally, admins now have finer control over Publish to Web, with the ability to restrict this publishing to specified security groups, and also to view all Publish to Web embed codes throughout their organisation. These codes can be removed if required.