Hopefully, you are either enjoying the start of the Microsoft Business Applications Summit or watching all the exciting news and announcements on social media! To go along with all those other announcements, we, of course, also have a big update for our June update for Power BI Desktop. There are a lot of new features and updates to the existing features this month. Some of the highlights include a top UserVoice ask, visual level filters for slicers, and more formatting options that can be changed based on expressions. We also modernized our side panes and added support in Power BI Desktop for shared and certified datasets, a much anticipated capability that will help our customers establish single sources of truth in their organizations and to continue driving a data culture based on collaboration and sharing.
Here’s the complete list of June updates:
- Updated pane design
- Visual level filters for slicers
- Sorting for the performance analyzer pane
- Visual header tooltips
- Table & matrix total label customization
- Sync slicer support for hierarchy slicer
- Consistent font sizes across visuals
- Manage aggregations dialog accessibility
- Personalized visualization pane (preview)
- SCADAvis.io Synoptic Visual
- PAFnow Process Mining
- Connect to shared and certified datasets
- Common Data Service connector is now generally available
- Azure Data Explorer connector is now generally available
- Enhancements to the Cosmos DB connector
For a summary of the major updates, you can watch the following video:
Updated pane design
We’ve refreshed much of our interface. We’ve updated all our panes, the footer, and view switcher to be a lighter color, updated spacing, and new icons. Our new look is much more modern and is the first step and refreshing the entire interface.
Watch the following video to see the new panes in action:
Visual level filters for slicers
This month you can now finally add a visual level filter to slicers. This has been a popular idea on ideas.powerbi.com. It works just like any other visual level filter. It will just filter the slicer itself and no other visuals. This can be useful for filtering out blanks or if you want to use measure filters.
The filter that the slicer applies to other visuals doesn’t change – it’s still just the selection made of the value in the slicer. In the example above, Power BI doesn’t also wrap the ‘Avg. Sales > 1000’ filter into the filter applied to other visuals.
Watch the following video to learn more about visual level filters on slicers:
Sorting for the performance analyzer pane
We have a small update to our new performance analyzer pane this month as well! You can change the sort direct and pick to sort between:
- Total time spent
- Order the actions occurred
- Time spent for the DAX query
- Time spent querying the source (for Direct Query)
- Time spent displaying the visual
Watch the following video to learn more about sorting on the performance analyzer:
Conditional formatting updates for formatting options
Visual background and title colors
We are extending our conditional formatting option to formatting features this month. First, we’ve added support for conditionally formatting the visual’s background and both the visual title’s font color and background color.
For the card visual you can now also conditionally format the data label and category label colors.
Lastly, you can conditionally format the fill color of the gauge. With all these updates, you now have a lot more expressive power when formatting your visuals. In addition, we have plans to add more expression-bound formatting options in the coming updates as well.
Watch the following video to learn more about the conditional formatting updates:
Visual header tooltips
We’ve seen users add helpful information for their end users to reports, such as hints on how to interact with the report or descriptions of the fields used in the visual. Setting that up though used to take a fair amount of work, so we’ve now added a way to add a tooltip directly to the visual’s header.
This option is off by default, but you can turn it on through the visual header tooltip icon toggle in the visual header card of the formatting pane. This is the one toggle within the card that affects if the icon shows in edit mode, as well as reading mode.
Once the toggle is on, you’ll see a question mark icon in the visual’s header, , and you’ll see a new formatting card in the pane called visual header tooltip. In this card you can add the text to show in the tooltip and the formatting of the tooltip. Alternatively, you can pick a report page tooltip instead if you need more customization.
Once you’ve added tooltip text or selected a report page tooltip, you’ll see it on hover over the question mark icon.
Watch the following video to learn more about the visual header tooltips:
Table & matrix total label customization
There was a lot of buzz in our community around a simple ask for allowing the total label for table and matrix to be customized. An engineer on our team saw the request and decided to squeeze the feature in on his free time to help out our customers! So now, you have the option to change the label under the subtotals card for both columns and rows.
You can also customize the label for each subtotal field when stepped layout is off.
Watch the following video to learn more about customizing the table and matrix total labels:
Sync slicer support for hierarchy slicer
The hierarchy slicer, one of the most used marketplace visuals, allows users to display a hierarchy within their slicer for optimized navigation. This is a very powerful visual, but until recently, it had a limitation where it couldn’t work with our sync slicer feature. With this month’s update, we’ve improved our sync slicer feature to support hierarchy slicers now. This support could also extend to other marketplace visuals, if those visuals add support for the right capabilities. Some things to be aware of are that you can’t sync two hierarchy slicers that have different columns from your model, and if you remove columns from one slicer, it will not remove it from the other synced slicers.
Watch the following video to learn more about sync slicer support for hierarchy slicers:
Consistent font sizes across visuals
If you’ve been building Power BI reports for a while, you may have noticed that when you set the font size to a specific size, such as “8”, the size might look different, depending on where you’ve been setting it. The reason for this is that different places were either using pixels or points to represent the font size, and 8 pixels is a different size compared to 8 points. With this month, we’ve updated all the formatting options within our visuals to always use points. There are still a few places using pixels, such as the textbox, and we will work to update those places as well in the coming months.
Key Influencers visual updates (preview)
Key Influencers with Live Connect to Power BI datasets
We’ve now added support for the Key Influencers preview visual when you are live connected to Power BI datasets in the Power BI service. When using a report that live connected to a Power BI dataset, the visual should now be enabled and work just like it does for imported models.
Key Influencers accessibility
We’ve also added support for accessibility feature this month. You can now navigate the visual using just a keyboard, use a screen reader to read off the information from the visual, and turn on high contrast mode and see the visual updated appropriately.
Some specific keyboard shortcuts include:
- Ctrl + right arrow to move focus inside the visual
- Enter/space to select whichever bubble is in focus
- When a bubble is selected, focus moves to the drill visual, and Esc will close it
Support for Cloud RLS
When viewing a report in different RLS roles, you can now use the key influencers visual and see the types of insights your consumers will get when viewing the report with the proper security applied.
Watch the following video to learn more about the key influencers visual updates:
Manage aggregations dialog accessibility (preview)
The manage aggregations dialog, which is part of our aggregations preview, is now accessible. You can use a keyboard to navigate around the dialog along with a screen reader to read off information about what’s in focus. High contrast modes are also supported.
Watch the following video to learn more about the aggregations dialog updates:
New DAX comparison operator: ==
Our DAX update for the month is the addition of a new comparison operator, ==. This operator is similar to the existing = operator except that it performs strict comparison to BLANK values. In DAX, 0 = BLANK() returns true so a filter like [Column] = 0 or [column] = BLANK() will return true for both 0 and BLANK(). We’ve introduced this new == operator to make it easier to differentiate between 0 and BLANK(). [Column] == 0 will return true only when the column value is 0 and [Column] == BLANK() is equivalent to ISBLANK([Column]).
Watch the following video to learn more about the new DAX comparison operator:
Personalized visualization pane (preview)
With this month’s update, we’ve tweaked the visualization section of the pane to allow for personalization. With the personalized visualization pane preview turned on, you can now pin any marketplace visual to your pane and have it show up automatically for you every time you open any report.
Any visuals you add to your report now show up below a dashed line.
If you plan on using any of these visuals across multiple reports, you can right-click on the visual to pin it to the pane.
Once a visual has been pinned, it moves up to live with the other built-in visuals. This visual is now also tied to your signed in account, so any new reports you built will automatically have this visual included, assuming you are signed in. This makes it very easy to standardize on a particular visual without needing to add it to every single report.
While this feature is in preview, you’ll only see your pinned visuals in Power BI Desktop. You’ll still have the older experience in the Power BI service. Additionally, you must be signed in for this feature to be available.
Watch the following video to learn more about the personalized visualization pane:
SCADAvis.io Synoptic Visual
The SCADAvis.io synoptic visual by DSC_Sytems is a powerful visualthat brings SCADA-like capabilities to Power BI. You can use the SCADAvis.io Synoptic Editor from the Microsoft Store to create vector graphics and tag data-linked animations directly in the SVG file. You can then upload the SVG to the visual. You can use the following animations:
- Vega specifications
Up to 35 animated objects per panel are free, and you can use in-app purchases to add more.
Download the visual from AppSource.
Watch the following video to learn more about the SCADAvis.io synoptic visual:
PAFnow Process Mining
The PAFnow Process Mining visual by Process Analytics Factory GmbH is a powerful flow chart visual to analyze your business processes based on event data. This visual lets you explore process variants, identify bottlenecks, discover root-causes, and much more.
While this is an in-app purchase visual, you can test drive the PAFnow Process Mining visual to accelerate your projects.
Watch the following video to learn more about the PAFnow Process Mining visual:
The DualCard visual by Inservit that is great for comparing two measures. Some key features of this visual are:
- Compare two measures, the first called data and the second called comparison measure
- Formatting options for data and comparison measure
- Display blank measure as a static value
- Support for large font sizes
- Conditional formatting for fill, background, labels, & categories
- Card orientation & fill options
You can try out this visual by downloading it from AppSource.
Watch the following video to learn more about the DualCard visual:
Connect to shared and certified datasets
As you work to build a data culture where organizations leverage insights every day at all levels, a key part of that is ensuring availability of standard, authoritative datasets that represent a single source of truth. This allows users to make decisions on trusted data and provides visibility and control of governance. To enable this with Power BI, we are previewing shared and certified datasets.
With Shared Datasets in Power BI, you are allowing a single dataset to be used by multiple reports, even across workspaces. You can either build new reports based on datasets in different workspaces or you can copy existing reports across workspaces. With Certified Datasets, organizations now have a mechanism to distinguish the most valued and trusted datasets. Certified datasets show up prominently so users can easily find these authoritative data sources.
In Power BI Desktop specifically, you can connect to shared and certified datasets directly. We have a new experience when connecting to Power BI datasets where you can sort on name, endorsement, owner, workspace or last refresh time. You can also search in the dialog too.
As part of this work, we are also making a licensing change. Going forward, free users will no longer be able to connect to datasets that are not in Premium. You can learn more about shared and certified datasets in our documentation.
If you are using one of the national clouds, this feature will start working a few days from now.
Watch the following video to learn more about connecting to shared and certified datasets:
Common Data Service connector is now generally available
We’re very glad to announce General Availability of the Common Data Service connector in this month’s release. The Common Data Service is a foundational component of the Microsoft Power Platform, enabling you to securely store and managed data that is used by business applications. It’s also seamlessly integrated with the rest of the Power Platform, so that you can very easily build PowerApps, Flows and Power BI reports on top of your Common Data Service data.
You can find the Common Data Service connector under the “Online Services” category within the Get Data dialog.
Azure Data Explorer connector is now generally available
With this month’s release, the Azure Data Explorer connector is now generally available. With this update, we’ve also improved query generation and added additional M function support (for example, Number.BitwiseXor, Number.Atan2, List.StandardDeviation, Table.RowCount and more).
All of this results in better performance and resource utilization.In addition, you can now provide set statements as part of the connection creation.
Enhancements to the Cosmos DB connector
This month we’re also making a lot of enhancements to the Cosmos DB connector, including:
- Query folding support – The connector now folds M expressions into Cosmos DB queries. Operations like projections, comparisons (arithmetic, logical), text operators (StartsWith, EndsWith,Contains) are all pushed down to Cosmos DB. This improves performance and resource utilization on clients by making effective use of Cosmos DB server-side resources.
- Resource token support – Instead of using the Cosmos DB master key which gives access to all the collections in the account, you can restrict access to a particular collection by using the resource token for that specific collection.
- General performance and reliability
improvements including improved handling for Cosmos DB throttles.
Entersoft Business Suite is a comprehensive and integrated business software suite for ERP, CRM, Retail, Mobile, E-Commerce and Business Intelligence applications. Entersoft Business Suite supports multi-company and multi-dimensional organizations in a single database. Through the Entersoft Power BI connector, in a few simple steps, data can be fetched into Microsoft Power BI either from the pre-packaged ready-to-use Entersoft Business Data Sets that span across all the entities such as Customers, Offers, Payable & Receivable Accounts, Sales, Leads, Opportunities, Tasks, Warehouse Operations, Field Sales, etc. or from custom made datasets and reports that can be added into the Entersoft Power BI Data Sets.
Improvements to M Intellisense
Based on recent feedback, we’re making additional improvements to the M Intellisense capabilities that we released a few months ago.
- Parameter hint support in formula bar – This previously only worked in the Advanced Editor and Add Custom Column dialogs. This month, we’re adding support for parameter hints in the formula bar.
- Hover support – Hovering your mouse cursor over identifiers (such as functions and query step names) will display its definition. This works on all M Intellisense surfaces (Advanced Editor, Custom Column and formula bar).
That’s all for this month! We hope that you enjoy these updates for the month. Please continue sending us your feedback and don’t forget to vote for other features that you’d like to see in the Power BI Desktop. For any preview features, you can always give us your feedback in our active community. You can also download the .pbix file I used, and if you’re looking for a similar design for your reports, I was using the Microsoft layout from PowerBI.Tips.