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Announcing deployment pipelines General Availability (GA)

Just four months ago we announced the deployment pipelines preview release. Today, we are excited to announce that deployment pipelines become GA, along with additional new features.

Deployment pipelines helps enterprise BI teams build an efficient and reusable release process by maintaining development, test, and production environments.

BI teams adopting deployment pipelines, will enjoy:

  • Improved productivity
  • Faster content updates delivery
  • Reduced manual work and errors

 

What’s new for Deployment pipelines?

  • Incremental refresh support– As part of the GA release, deployment pipelines can manage datasets* configured with incremental refresh. On top of that, we have solved one of the biggest customer asks for incremental refresh in Power BI. Until now, publishing a new version from Power BI Desktop would result in overriding all data and partitions, which requires a full refresh for data to become available again. Using deployment pipelines, you can make updates to a model with incremental refresh configured, and deploy it to production, while retaining both data and partitions! When developing in Power BI Desktop, you can use only a sample of the data for development, and use fast incremental refreshes in the test and production stages to show all data. When evolving the model with required changes, there’s no need to worry anymore about full and lengthy refresh. Learn more on incremental refresh support in Deployment pipelines.

*Only Datasets with the ‘Enhanced metadata formatswitch turned on.

  • Creation of pipelines from the workspace page- Workspace admins usually manage their content from within the workspace page. We have added the ability to start a new pipeline on the workspace page, which makes creation faster and easier. After clicking on the button, all you need is to choose a name for the pipeline, and the stage to assign the workspace into.

 

  • Improved user experience– the pipelines are not just a place to promote content updates, it’s a tool to manage the content inside it, across all stages. We have invested in a few features to make content management easier:
    • Better navigation and workspace tags- when a workspace is assigned to a pipeline, users will have the right context of the content they see through the development, test and Production tags. There’s also a button to navigate back to the pipeline, making navigation to specific content and back to the pipeline, much easier.

    • Better operations- all items managed in a pipeline now have their own menu actions, so item-level operations can be done directly from the pipeline page.
    • Better team collaboration- as deployment pipelines is built for BI teams to collaborate and manage content together, we improved the real-time updates of any action done inside the pipeline. Now, when your teammate is making changes to content, or deploying it, it will instantly be reflected to all other users viewing the same pipeline.
  • Government clouds availability– deployment pipelines is now available on all clouds that Power BI is available on.

 

What’s coming up?

As we continue to invest in deployment pipelines, we have few important features coming up in the future:

  • Automation and Azure DevOps integration– Deployment pipelines is an easy-to-use manual tool, which can provide powerful capabilities to any BI creator, without any technical background required. However, we are aware that Many enterprises use Azure DevOps or GitHub to manage their data products. Those enterprises will now be able to connect externally into a Power BI deployment pipeline and trigger content updates deployment. This enables plenty of use cases for deployment pipelines, such as deploying multiple pipelines at the same time, scheduling deployment to run at specific hours, or managing deployments through Azure Pipelines and leveraging all of its CI/CD capabilities.
  • Manage Paginated reports and Dataflows in Deployment pipelines– we are looking to close the gap on two main items that are now missing and make them first-class items in a pipeline. This includes comparing and detecting changes, deploying changes in those items, and setting rules to connect to data sources in specific stages.

 

There is more to come, please make sure to follow Power BI’s release notes to track latest roadmap updates.

Still missing important features? Please post ideas or vote for them so we can know what is missing for your team.