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How to Integrate Power BI Reporting into .NET apps

Headshot of article author Jeroen ter Heerdt

Since the Report Viewer control was first introduced over a decade ago, it has been a key component that allowed developers to surface report content easily in their applications. But although the application development landscape has changed significantly since that time, support for the control is limited to both WinForms and WebForms. With the introduction of new, cross-platform options starting with .NET Core in 2016, we’re focusing our investments on new capabilities in Microsoft Power BI to fill this need for you and your customers moving forward.

As you move beyond the Report Viewer and transition to using the Power BI embedded capabilities, application developers can use a single set of APIs to bring both interactive and paginated reports to their modern applications, far surpassing the capabilities ever offered to date. Power BI also offers support for over 100 first- and third-party data sources, with connectivity for additional data sources added on a monthly basis to the Power BI service.

As paginated reports are the same reports you use in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), it’s easy to migrate them to the Power BI service. In addition to published migration guidance for you, we’ve built a migration tool that’s hosted in GitHub you can download and use to easily migrate your files to the Power BI service. Check out this video on YouTube from Patrick LeBlanc that walks through the tool and migration process.

We have also made several investments in Power BI embedded to help developers adopt and use both paginated and Power BI reports in the Power BI service for their needs.

  • On February 7th, we expanded support for paginated reports down to the A1 SKUs in Azure, which lowered the initial price point to get started by over 85%. It also has several benefits not available on-prem, including the ability to start at an A1 and start/stop the instance, plus you can seamlessly scale up as needed to meet your app’s demands as needed.
  • We also recently introduced Premium per user in Power BI, which provides the ability to use paginated reports and other advanced capabilities on a per user basis. Learn more about Premium per user by checking out the public FAQ.
  • We fully support the ability to leverage Azure Functions to handle what previously would have been with custom assemblies in SSRS. There is a great resource on GitHub with several samples you can check out.
  • ALM support in Power BI is coming for paginated reports in early 2022 as we integrate into the deployment pipelines capabilities in the service.
  • We have enabled first-party integration with both Power Automate and Azure Logic Apps to allow all developers to easily integrate with these capabilities in their applications. You can read more about this integration in this blogpost.

We’re continuing to invest heavily in paginated reports as we head into 2022, and we encourage you to continue engaging with us on this blog and our community to let us know where you’d look for us to invest in the future. We’ll also look to add additional blog posts on this topic in this community in the coming months.

We want to emphasize that we’ll continue to support the current Report Viewer control, and any applications dependent on it, with critical bug fixes and security issues as per the Microsoft Modern Support Lifecycle. Products governed by the Modern Lifecycle Policy will provide a minimum of 12 months’ notification prior to ending support if no successor product or service is offered. For reference, read more about the Modern Lifecycle Support Policy.