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Heads up: The Publish to web default is changing and it affects who can create public embed codes

Power BI publish to web enables users to quickly embed a report in a public website. It is not intended for users to share confidential or proprietary information. In the coming weeks we will roll out a change to our default settings that requires Power BI admins to allow public embedding before end users can create new embed codes. The change will not affect existing embed codes, which will keep working as they have been. We’re sharing this information now so you can understand the coming changes before they reach your organization.

 

This blog post describes functionality that has not yet been released. We expect the change to reach commercial cloud tenants the week of 1/27/2020 and government cloud tenants the week of 1/27/2020.

 

What is changing

By default, users will need to ask a Power BI admin to allow them to create a new publish to web embed code.

When a user attempts to create a new publish to web embed code through either the new look or conventional UI …

Screenshot showing the menu where users get a Publish to web embed code.

… they will see the following dialog box.

Screenshot showing the new dialog requiring a Power BI admin to enable the user to create publish to web embed codes.

If an embed code was previously created for the report, it will be shown as before.

Power BI admins will see a new option within the Publish to web tenant setting to Choose how embed codes work.

Screenshot showing the new choose how embed codes work option that needs to be configured to allow users to create new publish to web embed codes.

By default, it allows existing embed codes to work, which ensures no public web pages that host reports will be affected as we roll out this change. Users trying to create new embed codes will get the experience as described above. The Power BI admin can change the value to Allow existing and new codes if they desire people in their tenant to be able to create new embed codes.

It may also be helpful to establish a process for your organization to ensure your users know when it’s appropriate to use the Publish to web capability. You can even govern this process by selecting the Specific security groups option.

It is also valuable to periodically review reports published publicly from your organization. The Embed Codes section of the Power BI Admin portal shows reports published from your organization. The list shows embed codes created by all users and in all workspaces. You can export the list to run a review, view the report to check what it contains, or delete. Be mindful that when you delete an embed code, any users using it will lose access to it and it can’t be restored.

Screenshot showing the embed codes list in the Power BI admin portal, where admins can view and manage all existing publish to web embed codes.

 

Why we are making this change

For new organizations just starting out with Power BI, and for existing ones relying on it more than ever, we want to provide a default experience that empowers admins to choose how our public report functionality is used in their organization.  At the same time, we want to ensure that existing embed codes continue to work as we make the change to our defaults.

Organizations can already prevent creation of publish to web embed codes, choose which users to trust to use the feature correctly, block certain groups of users from publishing reports publicly, and review and manage existing embed codes. The publish to web setting  and the embed codes list available in the Power BI admin portal enable Power BI admins to perform these tasks.

 

How to prepare for this change

As a Power BI admin, familiarize yourself with the existing publish to web controls, and review existing publish to web embed codes. These are described in more details in other parts of this blog post.

As a Power BI user, you’ll need a Power BI admin to take action to ensure you can keep publishing reports to the web. If you plan to create a new embed code following the roll-out date, coordinate with your Power BI admin so you can create your embed code in a timely manner. If you’re not sure who is your Power BI admin, ask your internal IT team or internal support organization.

 

There are better options available for sharing reports internally

Power BI offers several capabilities that ensure authentication and permissions are enforced before displaying content to users.

You can share a report or dashboard with a user or group of users. This sends them an email with the link to the item you shared and gives the specific permission you choose. This is the preferred way for business users to share items, as it also appears in Shared with me and the Power BI mobile apps, making it easy for users to access and later find the items you sent them.

If you are sharing with external users, Power BI integrates with Azure Active Directory B2B to ensure the sharing is more secure and governable.

The embed in SharePoint Online option allows you to build modern pages with your content using the Power BI web part for SharePoint Online.

Our embed in website or portal capability makes it easy to add your report to your internal web pages. It handles the authentication and authorization so that only those users who should see the data can do so. It’s as easy-to-use as publish to web.

Screenshot showing the option to get and embed code that ensures only authenticated and authorized users can view the report.

 

If you’re a developer looking to integrate Power BI into a custom built application, you can use  Power BI’s rich JavaScript and REST APIs to embed your content.

A summary of the methods to share content with others is available in our documentation.

 

What best practices should my organization adopt when using Publish to web

As a Power BI admin, it is important to put in place a review process for embed codes. The embed codes list in the Power BI admin portal allows you to review and, if needed, delete any embed codes as needed.

One challenge users may face is knowing how to contact their Power BI admin. We suggest you publish “Get Help” information using the options available in the Power BI admin portal.  When the option is set, the Get Help link available under the “?” icon will direct users to a support page you provide. On that page, you can inform users how they can request to use the Publish to web feature.

Screenshot showing the Get Help option that can be customized to link to an organization specific support page.

 

It’s also important to train your users how and when to use Publish to web. Helping your users understand what kinds of data are sensitive, confidential, and to recognize personally identifiable information that should not be shared publicly will help your organization work more effectively with data.

 

Next steps

We know this change will impact some users. We hope that by sharing this information early, you’ll be able to prepare for the change.

As always, we’re keen to hear your feedback in the comments below and new feature suggestions at https://ideas.powerbi.com.


Updated on 1/27/2020 to reflect updated release dates. Previous to this edit, the blog said: “We expect the change to reach commercial cloud tenants the week of 1/6/2020 and government cloud tenants the week of 1/13/2020.” The updated dates are more accurate.