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Power BI Service and Mobile January Feature Summary

Headshot of article author Nikhil Gaekwad

The Power BI service and mobile team is thrilled to kick off the first feature summary blog for 2018! With a new year in full swing, we’ve been hard at work on features to make it easier for you to achieve more with your data. In January, we released some highly anticipated features in the Power BI service and mobile apps. Here’s a quick recap in case you missed it:

Share and favorite Power BI reports

Dashboards and reports provide two distinct ways of presenting information in Power BI, each with their own advantages. Since we launched the product, dashboards have been the primary way to share content with others in the service. However, there has always been an overwhelming ask from our community and users to extend the same capability to reports – and that’s exactly what we delivered in January. Yes, you read that right – you can now share reports directly with others in Power BI!

The feature works just like dashboard sharing. Simply head to any report, look for the “Share” option in the top bar, and select it to launch into a familiar pane experience where you can select the recipients that you want to share the report with and choose to give them re-share permissions.


After you share a report, it will appear in their “Shared with me” page and receive an e-mail if you’ve selected it.

In addition, we have also made it easy for you to quickly find and access Power BI content by allowing you to favorite reports, paralleling the functionality in existing dashboards. Just select the “Favorite” option with the star on the top bar of a report, and it should immediately appear in your Favorites content list. Learn more

It doesn’t stop there. You can also access reports that are shared with you on to go using your Power BI mobile app and even favorite them for quick access!

OAuth2 and DirectQuery Single Sign-on Support for Azure SQL Database and Data Warehouse

Starting in January, dataset owners can choose to use AAD OAuth credentials when connecting the Power BI service to Azure SQL databases. With this update, Power BI can leverage all the security features of AAD when connecting to Azure SQL – including multi-factor authentication, when its configured. The OAuth authentication method is supported when connecting for both import and DirectQuery. In addition, when connecting to these data sources via DirectQuery, the Power BI service can now be configured to connect to the data source with the end users’ credentials, allowing the service to respect the security settings configured at the data source level. Learn more

In-region Auditing

We’re pleased to announce that Power BI customers around the globe who enable auditing in their tenant will now have these audit logs stored in the same Office 365 region as their tenant.  This region is determined for each tenant, based on the country selected during initial signup for the first Microsoft service in the tenant, such as Power BI or Office 365. Specific audit log locations can be found in the Office 365 trust center by finding the Exchange Online locations based on your tenant country. Another benefit of this change to how audit logs are handled is the data will be available much sooner than it was previously, where customers would often not see events in their audit logs for up to 24 hours after they originally occurred.  Now, these same events will be available within an hour or so, and often times even sooner.

Announcing general availability of SharePoint Online report web part

We are excited to announce the general availability of embedding interactive Power BI reports in SharePoint Online. This feature enables SharePoint authors to easily embed Power BI reports directly on their page without any code! Since the introduction of this feature almost a year ago, we have made significant improvements based on your feedback to ensure reliability and performance.


To learn how to use the Power BI web part, see Embed with report web part in SharePoint Online on the Power BI documentation site.

Custom visuals admin control

We are giving IT admins more control over whether users in their organization can  view reports containing custom visuals. Please note that the setting cannot be limited to specific groups and applies to the entire organization. Learn more


Scheduled refresh support for Azure Analysis Services

Power BI has had seamless connectivity to Azure Analysis Services since it was first launched. However, we only supported live connections – until now. We are excited to announce that Power BI now supports imported data from Azure Analysis Services and for the scheduling of those imports to be refreshed.

January update for On-premises gateway

We continued to make enhancements and shipped a new update for the Power BI On-premises data gateway in January. The update includes a beta release of the PowerShell Cmdlets to manage on-premises data gateway in the public PowerShell gallery, configuration that lets you control the number of mashup engine containers that can run in parallel, and a new version of the Mashup Engine. Try it out for yourself by installing the new gateway and continue to send us feedback on any new capabilities you’d like to see in the future.

Improved hyperlinks support on Mobile

We’ve continued to improve your mobile experience by now allowing you to directly navigate to links within custom visuals and open them on your favorite mobile browser.