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Power BI Report Server January 2021 Feature Summary

We are kicking off 2021 by sharing an updated version of Power BI Report Server! With this update, we’re bringing visual zoom sliders, custom publish message and ArcGIS for Power BI support, amongst others. Read on to get the full details.

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Here is a complete list of the updates:

Reporting

 

Data connectivity

Reporting

Apply all filters is now generally available

We are excited to announce that the Apply all filters feature is now generally available. As a refresher, this feature was introduced to help optimize the filter pane for query reduction by applying all filter changes at once. Previously, you had two options for filter queries: apply basic filters instantly (the default option) or add an apply button to each basic filter. The first option to apply the basic filter instantly is ideal for those who prefer instant interactivity over query reduction. The second option, which added an apply button to each filter card, optimized for query reduction instead. However, it required an additional click every time you needed to apply a filter.
In May, we released a preview of an Apply all filters option for you to add a single apply button to the filter pane, essentially allowing you and your end-users to apply all filter modifications at once. This capability is useful if you want to defer when to apply filter changes, so that you only have to wait once after you are ready to apply any filter changes to the report or visuals.

 

Note that you can set this feature at a report-level; however, the feature will be off by default.
You can turn on this option in Power BI Desktop by going to File > Options and settings > Options > Query reduction > Filters and selecting the option to Add a single Apply button to the filter pane to apply changes at once.

As part of this general availability release, we have also made a few usability improvements:

  • You can now change the fill color for the Apply button in the Filter pane tab of the Format pane:

  • You can also specify the color in the theme itself:

 

  • We also improved the behavior for the Clear filter Previously, if you hit clear filter, the action would be instant instead of deferred, like other filter modifications. Now, when you hit the Clear filter icon, we will only clear the filter when you hit the Apply button on the filter pane.

 

Visual Zoom Slider


We are excited to announce that you can now add zoom sliders to your Cartesian charts! Zoom sliders give report creators and consumers an easy way to examine a smaller range of the data in a chart without having to use a filter. Further, using zoom sliders will not affect contextual information like calculated trendlines.

To use the zoom slider, simply click and drag endpoints to adjust the dimensions of the view window; and click and drag the bar between them to pan that window around. Following is an example of zoom sliders in action:

You can enable zoom sliders in their card in the formatting pane of supported visuals. As in the following screenshot, you will also see a few other options:

The X and Y axis toggles enable or disable the zoom slider for each axis. The slider labels toggle enables a new row of labels next to the slider indicating the full range of the data, and the slider tooltips toggle makes tooltips appear as you click and drag each endpoint, showing you the value of your selection as you work with the slider.

The zoom state of your visual will also be saved when you save and publish your report. When end users open the report, the endpoints of the zoom slider will default to whatever you have saved, allowing you to highlight a specific window of data while keeping its context immediately accessible.

Zoom sliders will be enabled for bar/column, line, line and bar/column combo, and scatter charts.

 

More granular control over certificate revocation check for web connections

In November 2020, we introduced certificate revocation check for web connections in Power BI Desktop. The feature could be enabled (or disabled) by checking (or unchecking) the “Enable certificate revocation check” in the Security pane in the Options dialog in Power BI Desktop.

Since then, we have received feedback that you need to have more fine-grained control over the certificate revocation check. This month, we are making some changes to this experience to give you precisely that by introducing a “basic” check. The “basic” check will accept certificates whose revocation status is unknown, for example because the certificate does not specify it. This is important for some organizations that use corporate proxy servers. Next to that you can still disable the revocation check or enable it in comprehensive mode, which will not accept certificates with unknown revocation status.

To summarize:

Certificate revocation info status Comprehensive Basic None
Revoked
Unknown
Not revoked

Unfortunately, however, the checkbox mentioned previously will still be shown in Power BI Desktop. We aim to update that in the next update for Power BI Desktop to align with the three options mentioned above.

To use the more fine-grained control today without having to wait for the user interface change, please set the following DWORD registry value: DisableCertificateRevocationCheck. You will need to set this in Power BI Desktop’s registry key, which is HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Microsoft Power BI Desktop or HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft Power BI Desktop depending on your systems configuration.

You can set the registry value to one of the following values:

Value Setting Configuration
0 Basic Certificates that have an unknown revocation status will be accepted. Equivalent to enabling the checkbox in Power BI Desktop)
1 Disabled Ignore all revocation checks. Equivalent to disabling the checkbox in Power BI Desktop)
2 Comprehensive Require certificates to not be revoked.

 

Feel free to configure this registry setting to take advantage of the more fine-grained control today. We aim to update the options in Power BI Desktop soon.

 

Selection pane is now available in the mobile layout view

Starting with this release, when you are building your report layout for mobile phones you can open the Selection pane and see the layering order of the visuals on the page. You can change the layering order to bring visuals to the front or back in the mobile layout. This makes it easier to work with visuals that overlay one another when you want to change their order (changing the order of visuals in the selection pane in mobile layout view affects their order in the mobile layout only – the original order in the web layout stays as is). You also can see an indication of the visibility state of the visual. Note, however, that you cannot change the visibility state in the mobile layout view – the visual inherits its visibility state from the web layout.

 

ArcGIS for Power BI support

We have heard from many users they would love to be able to use ESRI’s ArcGIS for Power BI in combination with Power BI Report Server. Well, now you can!

To get started, in Power BI Desktop for Report Server, open the Options, select Security, and enable ArcGIS Maps for Power BI:

After a restart of Power BI Desktop for Report Server ArcGIS for Power BI will be visible in the Visualizations pane:

You can use ArcGIS for Power BI in Power BI Desktop for Report Server just like you can with Power BI Desktop. The same considerations and limitations apply.

When publishing a report that uses ArcGIS for Power BI to Report Server, the following requirements must be met:

  • Users must be signed in with an ArcGIS Enterprise account when creating the report
  • ArcGIS Enterprise must be version 10.7.1 or higher
  • User must have their ArcGIS Enterprise server configured and accessible to Report Server

If you do not meet all these requirements, the following message will be displayed:

Administrators can use a group policy to disable the use of ArcGIS for Power BI. This is the same group policy as used by Power BI Desktop, so if you have already configured it in your Active Directory Power BI Desktop for Report Server will honor the group policy. Note that there is no option to disable the use of ArcGIS for Power BI on Report Server itself.

Read more on ESRI’s blog.

 

New connection metadata format (preview)

We updated the way that connection metadata is stored in the .pbix file format in October. This is part of long-term journey to make .pbix files more programmatically accessible and editable. Starting with this release you will see the following notification prompting you to upgrade to the enhanced format:

Please note the following:

  • Existing datasets will continue to work, even without upgrading. They will get upgraded when the enhanced format is made generally available.
  • Power BI Desktop for Report Server will upgrade an existing dataset to the enhanced format for you automatically. Please do not overwrite existing reports on Report Server with this upgraded version in case you want to revert back to the previous format.
  • Joining this preview is optional, although we encourage you to try it out and give us your feedback! We aim to make the enhanced format generally available as the only option in the next release of Report Server.

If you want to disable this preview as an administrator, set the following DWORD value to 0 in the registry: AllowV3Models in either HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Microsoft Power BI Desktop SSRS or HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Microsoft Power BI Desktop SSRS.

 

Browser support changes

If you are using Edge Legacy or Internet Explorer 11, it is time to upgrade your browser. The Edge Legacy browser won’t be supported beginning 3/9/21, and Internet Explorer 11 won’t be supported beginning 8/17/21. Learn More.

 

New Product Icon

We have a new product icon in favor of new fluent design rolling across all Microsoft products to create brand consistency and modernized experience.

 

Data connectivity

Hive LLAP connector generally available

We are happy to announce the general availability of the Hive LLAP connector.

This connector provides both Import and Direct Query capabilities and the ability to specify Thrift Transport Protocol as ‘Standard’ or ‘HTTP’.

This connector can be found in the Other category of the Get Data dialog.

 

New connectors

Actian (beta)

Actian Avalanche is a fully managed platform with a hybrid cloud data warehouse. The cloud data warehouse was designed from the ground up to deliver high performance and scale across all dimensions – data volume, concurrent user, and query complexity – powered by a vectorized database engine. Using ODBC and / or JDBC connectivity, users of Avalanche can easily connect Power BI to an Avalanche cloud data warehouse.  Learn more about Actian Avalanche. You will be able to find this connector in the database category.

To download the Avalanche client drivers, please use the following link: https://esd.actian.com/

 

Anaplan

The Anaplan Connector for Power BI is a user-friendly native connector for Power BI. It allows you to easily connect your Anaplan data and models to Power BI to align with your specific KPIs and brand. The connector lets you load export actions saved within Anaplan models directly into Power BI. Learn more about the Anaplan Connector for Power BI. Find this connector in the other category.

 

Starburst Presto (beta)

Starburst Data provides accelerated data analytics at scale with PowerBI. The Power BI DirectQuery driver can be used to connect Microsoft Power BI Desktop and Microsoft Power BI Service to Starburst Enterprise. It allows users to connect PowerBI with Starburst’s distribution of Presto. This combination enables the query processing to be performed in Presto instead of moving data to Power BI for processing. The ANSI SQL MPP query engine offers fast access to massive volumes of complex data at source (consolidated or federated). PowerBI leverages that single point of access to data anywhere and enables users to analyze the data to make informed business decisions in real time. Starburst Enterprise includes numerous high-performance parallel connectors with global security, caching, autoscaling, cost-based query optimizer, and 24×7 support from Presto experts. Learn more about the StarBurst Direct Query Driver for Power BI. Please find this connector in the other category.

 

And that’s all for our January 2021 release of Power BI Report Server! We hope that you enjoy these updates for this release. 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.

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