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Custom visual developer tool now Generally Available

Headshot of article author Sachin Patney

Thanks to everyone who tried out our ‘preview’ developer tool and built so many wonderful custom visualizations. Over the last few months, the Power BI extensibility team has been actively listening to you, and we've redesigned our developer experience based on your feedback. Today we’re happy to announce general availability of our new developer tool

So.. what’s new?


External Libraries

One of the biggest asks was to use external libraries. Since the new tool uses the standard typescript compiler, you can bring in any external library of your choice and use it within your visual. 


Visual Isolation

All custom visuals will run in a sandboxed IFrame. This will allow you to use particular versions of libraries and global styles, without the fear that you'll step on anyone’s toes.


Backward compatibility

By following clear versioning practices, we’re reiterating our commitment to stability and backward compatibility. Visuals created with the new tool will continue to work with all upcoming versions of the Power BI service and Power BI Desktop.


Command-line tools

The new developer tool is purely command-line based, and works across platforms with any IDE of your choice. Our web developer tools, while still functional today, will be deprecated in the future, so we recommend using our new developer tool instead. 

Developer Visual 

We have created a companion visual that allows you to test your visual inside a report with real data. It also allows you to inspect your data within the visual, as well as react automatically to code changes to refresh the visual code, styles, and data-bindings.


Source maps

With this new approach we are able to generate source maps so you can easily debug your typescript code in the browser or IDE. 



We have published a roadmap to help you understand where we’re going, and to provide us feedback on what you’d like us to focus on next.


New repositories

We have created a few new repositories to allow you to skip the bloat, and only enlist in what you need. 

PowerBI-visuals-tools -> Repository for online tools.
PowerBI-visuals-docs -> Documentation.
PowerBI-visuals-sampleBarChart -> Code for the sample visual documented in the tutorial. This is also the format we will be following in the future so each of our custom visuals has its own repository. 

Once again thank you for helping us reach this milestone, and we look forward seeing all of your amazing custom visuals!

Here are some resources to refer to as you explore our new developer experiences.