As we start the new year, we’re excited to announce we’re rolling out report sharing to users worldwide. Now reports and dashboards have the same sharing features, making it even easier for Power BI users to collaborate with their teams and partners. These changes make it possible for users to share reports directly, add reports to their favorites, find them in Shared with me, and works great with the recently released Azure B2B sharing features for external partners. In this blog post I’ll give some details on how you can use the new feature and provide some guidance on somethings you’ll want to do now that the feature is available.
Before we get too far into the nitty gritty, I wanted to take a moment to mention that this is the first of a series of improvements in the collaboration area, there are more to come!
Sharing Reports makes collaborating with reports easy
Since we launched Power BI users could share dashboards which proved to be immensely popular. When a user shared a dashboard, they shared all the related resources that were added to the dashboard. So, when content from a report was pinned on a dashboard, by sharing the dashboard you could share the report. This was great but raised a few simple questions: what if the report isn’t on the dashboard and what if the report is all that is needed?
Well there’s good news! The report sharing feature works just like the dashboard sharing feature but allows you to share a report directly. The new sharing pane opens for a report, allows you to give access right to the report, and to send invites to the users you add. When you share with your colleagues, the report appears in their Shared with me and they receive an email is you select that option.
When you press Share, the Share report pane opens. You’ll notice it has the same capabilities as you have for Dashboards. When you share the report, it shares both the report and the underlying data set. It does not change any Row Level Security setting for the data set, so the recipient will only see they data they’re authorized to see.
Since it works like Dashboard sharing, you can share with individual users, Security Groups, Distribution Groups, and even with Shared with me, and works great with the recently released Azure B2B external users. Just like with Dashboards, you can send an invite email to the user with text you specify. You can also indicate if the user can re-share the report to others. This comprehensive sharing capability really makes collaborating with your colleagues and partners with reports straightforward.
The Access pane allows you to quickly see who can view the report. The search option makes it easy to confirm if a specific person has access to view the report even if many people have access. Next to each person there’s a “…” menu that lets you quickly change permissions for the selected user. If you need to change permissions for many users or understand how this report is related to other datasets or dashboards, you can click the Manage permissions link at the bottom of the pane which takes you to the permissions management UI.
One input we receive from users is that they would like to more easily find the data and content when they open Power BI. We’re already made several changes to make this easier – we added Recents, Shared with me, and Favorites.
Now as we continue our focus on improving collaboration, you can add reports to your Favorites list. Just click the star icon next to the report and it shows in the reports list. Then when you access your favorites the report is just a click away. You can also Favorite reports from any of the content lists we have in the product, such as directly from the Recents view, from the list of reports in a workspace, or even from Shared with me.
As you use the sharing feature, you’re building the list of users who have access to the report. As with Dashboard sharing you can see the list of users, security or distribution groups with access rights to the report directly in the Sharing Pane. Then you can use the Manage Permissions option at the bottom of the pane to review, remove or modify the permissions assigned to individuals or groups.
Re-evaluate your Publish to web usage
One thing we realize is that some users may be using Publish to web as a crutch to share reports with their stakeholders. Publish to web is designed for public reports that can be viewed by anyone in the world. The new Share Report feature is intended for secure sharing within organizations or with partner organizations. As you look forward, if you’re a IT administrator, you should consider reviewing the Publish to web embed codes created by your users and informing your users of the new Share Report feature. In the coming months, we’ll be making changes to the Publish to web UI to make this clearer, so users choose the secure option rather than just using Publish to web by habit.
We're excited that Report Sharing is rollout out globally and that the first users can already start using it. As always head over to ideas.powerbi.com to let us know how we can improve Power BI to meet your needs.