Welcome to the June 2022 update. We are excited to announce the general availability of the new Format Pane, error bars and information protection updates, table navigation improvements, Connect to datamarts and Power BI Data Storytelling features. There is more to explore, please continue to read on.
- New Format Pane
- Updates to error bars
- Information protection updates
- Table navigation improvements
- Canvas Zoom in Teams and Quick create
- Connect to Datamarts (Preview)
- Anaplan (Connector Update)
- Azure Databricks (Connector Update)
- Databricks (New Connector)
- Dremio Cloud (Connector Update)
- FactSet Analytics (Connector Update)
- Hexagon PPM Smart API (Connector Update)
- SingleStore (New Connector)
- Snowflake (Connector Update)
- Vessel Insight (Connector Update)
- Workplace Analytics / Viva Insights (Connector Update)
- Hierarchy slicers support in JS APIs
- Support embedding Paginated Report with data sources containing single sign on (SSO)
- Support passing report parameters for Paginated Reports in JS SDK
- Power BI Embedded enables data model enhancements for ISVs/App owners’ customers with DirectQuery for Power BI datasets
- Service principal profile
- Define the privileged permissions your visual is requesting in the capabilities.json
- Improving the custom visual load time
- New visuals in AppSource
- Milestone Trend Analysis Chart by Nova Silva
- Inforiver Premium Edition now certified
- Zebra BI Cards 1.2
- Drill Down Waterfall PRO by ZoomCharts
- Coming Soon: Dataverse Display Name Support
- Power BI Desktop infrastructure update (WebView2)
- Improved support for single sign-on (SSO) for all users
Check out the video below for this month’s summary:
The new format pane is now generally available! This has also been shipped to the PBI Service. Thank you to all that have been providing valuable feedback throughout the preview to help us get to this point. This does not mean the improvements stop here. We’re still actively listening to your comments, please add those directly to this blog post or the community forum here.
Improvements made this month:
- Fixed a blocking bug to ensure analytics pane works for custom visuals where applicable.
- Fixed a bug that removed log scale applied to the horizontal axis. This affected line, area, stacked area, combo, or scatter charts set prior to April 2022 reports. The issue has now been resolved.
- When changing a blank page to tooltip size, we automatically flip the “allow use as tooltip” toggle on to save you a step!
This month, you’ll notice that we’ve revamped the error bars card in the Analytics pane to simplify the structure of the formatting options. With fewer sub-cards to have to scroll through, you can more easily find and customize the various elements you want to see on your error bars. The major changes are that line options have now been moved into the Error band sub card, and marker options have also now moved into the bar and band cards.
In Power BI Desktop, you can establish a live connection to a shared dataset in the Power BI service and create many different reports from the same dataset. If the dataset has a sensitivity label, Power BI will automatically apply the live dataset’s sensitivity label to the PBIX file to maintain the data’s classification and protection as it leaves the Power BI service. To learn more, check out our documentation.
This month, we are excited to announce several enhancements to the table visual for existing and new reports to improve performance, usability, and accessibility for all users.
These updates include:
- Overall performance improvements for scrolling and rendering, as well as the look and feel of grid lines and selection styles
- New keyboard shortcuts for easier navigation, including SHIFT UP/DOWN ARROW to select multiple contiguous rows, PAGE UP/DOWN for scrolling, and HOME/END to move focus to the first/last cell in the current row
- Enhanced row selection experience that includes a left indicator and improved contrast to help distinguish selected rows from non-selected rows
- A new two-toned focus outline so on any color background, the focus will always be visible even on darker themes meeting color contrast requirements
- Updated conditional formatting icons that are conformant with color contrast requirements and now announces alternative text with screen readers
- The ability to associate images with alternative (alt) text in the formatting pane to describe images to blind and low vision users
Learn more about consuming Power BI reports using accessibility features.
Last month we shipped the canvas zoom feature to Desktop and Service. This feature is now also available for Power BI in Teams and Quick create! For report readers, this is especially important for improving readability. For report creators, this helps magnify the canvas to make pixel perfect tweaks. Users can drag the slider to set the zoom level or click on the zoom % to launch the zoom level dialog and type in a custom input. Use the new quick “fit to page” button to get back to the default view.
Note: the zoom level is not saved with the report.
We are excited to announce you can create composite Power BI models by connecting to SQL Server 2022 Analysis Services tabular models! SQL Server 2022 is available now for public preview and when you upgrade or deploy tabular models to SQL Server 2022 Analysis Services this DirectQuery connection becomes available in Power BI Desktop starting with May 2022 release. Existing or new tabular models hosted on SQL Server 2022 Analysis Services can be joined with other data in Power BI Desktop to create a composite model.
As a refresher, Datamarts in Power BI was officially announced in May 2022 as a new Power BI Premium self-service capability that enables users to perform relational database analytics and uncover actionable insights from their data. Please find more information about datamart in Power BI.
You can now easily discover and connect to Datamarts from the “Data hub” within the Power BI Desktop Ribbon. This feature allows users to discover datamarts that have already been created and reuse them to easily build reports.
You will be able to see datamarts that you have created or were shared with you by others in the organization. This will connect you to the datamart’s underlying auto-generated dataset (using live connect) so that you can easily create reports.
To create datasets on top of the datamart, you can use the Azure SQL database connector and specify the Datamart’s SQL connection string for Server name. If you created the datamart, you can get the SQL Connection string from datamart settings (context menu action from the datamart in your workspace).
If this datamart was shared with you, you can get the SQL connection string from the Datamart info page below from the Data Hub (in Power BI Service).
Up next, we will simplify the experience to connect to the datamart’s SQL endpoint so that advanced use cases can be easily served without the hassle of having to find the connection string.
The Anaplan connector has been updated. Below are release notes from the Anaplan team.
Bug fixes/Improvements: This version of Anaplan connector for Power BI supports Anaplan OAuth APIs for authenticating with Anaplan. Users will be able to use either Basic Authentication (User ID, Password) or the Anaplan configured IDP for logging into Anaplan from the connector, accessing & running Export actions. With this new connector option, customers do not need to be an Anaplan exception user to use Power BI.
The Azure Databricks connector has been updated. Below are release notes from the Databricks team.
- Fast evaluation option is removed from the UI and is used by default now.
- We made some performance improvements.
We are releasing a new Databricks connector. Below are release notes from the Databricks team.
This release contains a preview generic datasource `Databricks (Beta)` which supports OAuth authentication on AWS. The OAuth on AWS preview will support users managed by Databricks directly.
The Dremio Cloud connector has been updated. Below are release notes from the Dremio team.
- Users can now connect PowerBI Service to Dremio without needing Power BI Gateway
- Some customers may experience a back compatibility issue with their existing connections and reports. They may need to re-enter their credentials and possibly recreate existing reports once they have upgraded to this new connector.
The FactSet Analytics connector has been updated. Below are release notes from the FactSet team.
- Minor internal fixes for table representation
The Hexagon PPM Smart API connector has been updated. Below are release notes from the Hexagon team.
This update contains a fix resolving an issue where Okta authentication no longer worked with the WebView2 browser control.
We are excited to announce the SingleStore Power BI connector! Below are release notes from the SingleStore team.
SingleStore is the world’s fastest database for all data-intensive applications. SingleStore provides a single unified database for analytical and transactional workloads with multi-model support for text, geospatial, time-series and more. The SingleStore Power BI connector provides a live connection to the database with support for DirectQuery as well as the ability to import data into Power BI with standard and Custom SQL Import modes.
The Snowflake connector has been updated. This update contains a minor bug fix around mixed case database names and quotations causing compilation errors.
The Vessel Insight connector has been updated. Please find update notes below from the Vessel Insight team.
The new update in the connector enables a user to navigate through fleets with different asset trees when applicable and only sensors with data will be visible. Vessel Insight has a new version of the asset tree where the hierarchy structure has been updated. It is now possible to navigate through the old and the new asset tree or more, while the previous version of the connector only allows the user to navigate through one asset structure. Sensors without data will be hidden and ensure the user when selecting sensors for import that there will be no empty sensors.
The Workplace Analytics connector has been updated and renamed. Please find below notes from the team.
We’ve updated the Workplace Analytics connector and rebranded it as Viva Insights. The updated connector is now generally available. The connector includes a new optional parameter, which lets you import raw query output from certain data sources.
Last month we announced the public preview of Power BI Data Storytelling – an exciting new integration between Power BI and PowerPoint.
Power BI Data storytelling is a PowerPoint add-in developed by the Power BI team, which lets you add Power BI reports into PowerPoint slides and enjoy the delightful interactive experience of Power BI inside your presentations. With data storytelling, data will always be up to date in your slides, whether you’re building a presentation or presenting it live to others.
This month we are enabling Storytelling starting points inside the Power BI report experience, making it easy and simple for you to get started with storytelling directly from the report you want to use in your presentation.
First, open the report you wish to add to your presentation, navigate to the desired page, and make any data selection that reflects the view you want to use.
Then, click Share>PowerPoint or Export>PowerPoint>Embed live data.
Check the “Embed report with data filters you selected” box if you want to make sure that the same report state will be added to the presentation.
This will open a new window, with two options:
Option 1: copy the link and paste into a Power BI add-in you added to an existing presentation.
Option 2: open a new presentation with the report automatically added to it and continue to build your presentation.
Read this blog to learn more on how you can enhance PowerPoint storytelling with data by including Power BI reports directly into a presentation with just few clicks.
We’re excited to announce the Data hub!
The Data hub is the evolution of the Datasets Hub that was announced in December-2020. In the Data hub, in addition to Power BI datasets, you can now find the newly released Datamarts.
The Data hub is a central location for data owners, report creators, and report consumers to manage, discover and reuse data items across all workspaces.
- Data item owners can see usage metrics, refresh status, related reports, lineage, and impact analysis to help monitor and manage their data items.
- Report creators can use the hub to find suitable items to build their reports on and use links to easily create the reports.
- Report consumers can use the hub to find reports based on trustworthy data items.
A major challenge we hear from customers about is that users often build similar data repeatedly, resulting in resource overload, governance complexity, and difficulty in identifying sources of truth.
The Data hub addresses these challenges by making it easier for users to discover existing, quality data and reuse it to answer business questions and gain insights.
Once you discover a data item that seems to have the right data, a click on the item opens the data details page. On the details page you can see the following:
- Metadata about the data item, including description, endorsement, and sensitivity label.
- Actions such as share, refresh, create new, and more.
- Related reports, which are reports that were built on top of the dataset/datamart.
When we think about data discovery best practices, before creating new reports, users should look at the existing related reports. If there are no such reports that are suitable, there are multiple ways to create a new report:
- Create report from template, if a template has been defined (a template is defined by adding the suffix “(template)” to a report built on top of the dataset/datamart).
- Create report from scratch to open a blank canvas and start creating your report.
- Auto-create a report. Note: This is currently supported only for single-table datasets. Moving forward, we’ll be adding support for datasets with multiple tables.
- Create a formatted table. Read more about this new functionality.
Data hub in Power BI Desktop
Power BI report creators primarily use Power BI Desktop to build new content and then publish it to the Power BI service.
When building new reports, instead of connecting to external data sources, the best practice is to connect to curated data available to them in Power BI.
In Power BI Desktop, just as in the Power BI service, we would like to bring all Power BI data items into a single experience. For this reason, we’ve brought the Data hub into Power BI Desktop.
With the Data hub, users can find datasets and datamarts side by side, filter and search to find the data they need, and then connect to create a report.
Read more about how to connect to datamarts in the Connect to datamarts section of this blog post under “Data connectivity and preparation” section.
We have a number of exciting updates to announce for Power BI metrics (feature formerly known as ‘goals’). This month, we have additions of multiple milestones that allow you to add date associated milestones within a given metric, categorical metrics that help you track non-numerical items, and enrichment of the bulk updating feature. We are also happy to announce that Power BI Metrics now supports customer managed keys.
Milestones is a highly anticipated feature that we are so excited to announce. Now, date associated milestones can be added to a metric to help track incremental progress toward an overall end goal. With this new feature, scorecards support more nuanced tracking scenarios such as cumulative monthly targets, stepped revenue goals, and more.
Each milestone you set is associated with a date so that you can accurately track your progress in your scorecard the way you do in the rest of your organization. In the setup process, you will have the flexibility to select whether you want to display the next milestone or the final target for your metric on the scorecard. This can be customized per metric.
You can see the milestones as well as the final target visualized in the details pane alongside your current progress, so that it’s easier than ever to get a snapshot of how you’re performing against your metrics.
Begin to track metrics that are not numerical. With categorical metrics, scorecards support scenarios like accessibility, NPS category scores (detractor, promotor, etc.), and many more! To get started, select categorical from the floating formatting bar when choosing the current and target values.
You will be able to select from existing lists of categories, or create new categories as I am doing here, with accessibility scores. After creating my categories, I can then fill out my current and target values with the appropriate selections.
And here you can see a group of metrics with accessibility scores B-D, with final targets of A.
With new additions to bulk updating, you will be able to:
- Assign owners
- Update statuses (if no rules exist)
- Create new or replace existing status rules
- Update start dates
- Update due dates
The ISVs and developers can now interact with hierarchy slicers using slicer APIs in JS APIs.
Using the slicer APIs, you can get and set the state of a Power BI slicer. In addition, you can use load configuration to change the slicer state when loading a report.
When the data source has the SSO option enabled and your users access reports built atop the data source, Power BI sends the related identity blob, which was received through the GenerateTokenV2 request in the queries, to the data source.
This option enables Power BI to respect the security settings that are configured at the data source level.
Now developers can set up parameters to paginated reports in Power BI by passing them in the Payload settings through JS SDK.
They can further customize how Power BI processes the paginated report by embedding parameters for filtering data that meets the parameters criteria. Read more in our documentation.
Power BI Embedded enables data model enhancements for ISVs/App owners’ customers with DirectQuery for Power BI datasets
Power BI Embedded ISVs and app owners can now enable their customers to create their own specific dataset that can be combined with a central dataset that ISVs/App owners use for all their customers.
The customers can combine their own data coming from any datasource connected to PBI in any fashion (including with SSO enabled for supported datasources) and create their own measures and calculations.
For example, ISVs can let their tenant customers create tenant specific measures via their code, using TOM over XMLA to the customer tenant specific dataset.
To embed Power BI report with a dataset which has a Direct Query connection to another Power BI dataset two separate things need to be done:
- In Power BI portal, set the “XMLA endpoint” to “Read Only” or “Read Write” in the dataset’s capacity – this only needs to be done once per capacity.
- Generate a Multi-Resource Embed Token with all relevant dataset IDs specified in the request and the XmlaPermissions set to ReadOnly.
Until now, ISVs and other Power BI Embedded app owners were able to deploy the embedded solution to production by using one of the following 2 options:
- Create one service principal for all their customers, where they have a Power BI limit of 1,000 workspaces per each service principal
- Create one service principal per each customer, where they have the burden of managing thousands of service principals
Now, we’ve added a new method that allows a much larger number of customers per one service principal by introducing a new entity named service principal profile. Each service principal profile can administer a customer, and the number of profiles per service principal can reach hundreds of thousands.
The service principal profile allows the ISV to build a scalable application that enables better customer data isolation and establishes tighter security boundaries between customers.
Using the service principal profile enables the ISV application to host multiple customers on a single Power BI tenant. Each profile represents one customer in Power BI. In other words, each profile creates and manages datasets, reports, dashboards, and other artifacts that are connected only to one specific customer’s data.
Check out this video for more information.
Please use the following resources to learn more about the service principal profile in Power BI Embedded:
- Service principal profiles in Power BI Embedded
- Migrate multi-customer applications to the service principal profiles model
- Power BI REST APIs – Profiles
Starting from API 4.6 and above developers must declare any privileged API calls their visual requires access to operate.
These currently include: web access and downloading to a file from the custom visual.
These privileges are granted in the capabilities.json file and will be displayed in the “About” dialog in the desktop and web when in edit model. The visual will be permitted to access any special privileges only if it was predefined in the capabilities.json. Admin may enable custom visuals downloading files through a tenant setting.
New APIs are introduced to allow visuals to query the host at runtime to determine which of the privileges is enabled.
With API 4.6 we have improved the load time for custom visuals considerably. Please make sure to update your visuals to the latest and greatest releases to enjoy the most recent enhancements.
Milestones in project management are points in time when important deliverables are due. Like begin/end dates of project phases, formal approvals, etc. Nothing new to most of us.
How can we use milestones to monitor the progress of our project(s)? The Milestone Trend Analysis Chart for Power BI.
Milestone Trend Analysis (MTA) is a simple method of early identifying deadline trends. It allows you to react in time with corrective actions. And it will raise the deadline awareness of all project participants and stakeholders.
Key signals in the Milestone Trend Analysis Chart are:
- Horizontal line: no change in the (expected) completion date
- Increasing line: delay in the (expected) completion date
- Decreasing line: (expected) completion date brought forward
All features of the Milestone Trend Analysis Chart are available in the familiar standard Power BI user interface. No need to learn a new interface. And of course, themes, interactive selection and tooltips are supported.
Don’t hesitate and try the Milestone Trend Analysis Chart now on your own data by downloading it from the AppSource. All features are available for free to evaluate this visual within Power BI Desktop.
Questions or remarks? Visit us at: https://visuals.novasilva.com/.
Inforiver Premium Edition, which delivers the fastest way to build Power BI reports, is now Microsoft Power BI Certified. The latest release incorporates several new features and enhancements and is available for download at Microsoft AppSource.
The Premium Edition leverages a no-code/low-code architecture to deliver a wide variety of use cases
- Paginated reports
- Management, financial & IBCS variance reports
- Graphical tables (in-cell visualizations)
- Pivot analysis with expand and collapse for both row and columns
- Excel-like formulae at rows, columns, cell for visual-level calculations
- Manual data entry for plan, forecast or comments/cell level annotations
- What-if simulations with popular distributions and spread methods
- Formatted export to Excel/PDF
Inforiver Premium Edition is completely free for Power BI Desktop, with no feature restrictions. Inforiver pricing has also been simplified for wider adoption.
Key enhancements in this 1.5 release include:
- KPI Explorer / Slicer for Data Exploration
- New Chart Types
- Column Pinning & Freeze
- Column Filtering
- Show Measure on Rows
- UX enhancements
- Display and Formatting enhancements
- … and more
For more details on the latest release, visit the Inforiver Community
The 1.2 version of the Zebra BI Cards visual brings some exciting new features like the ability to display the year-to-date (YTD) value for the KPIs, more flexibility with different font settings for elements on the cards, and new interaction settings. All of this to make your reports even more actionable, flexible, and insightful!
With Zebra BI Cards 1.2 a user can now choose to display the YTD value for the KPIs. In practice, this brings several benefits:
- Seamlessly switch between different stages for each KPI: YTD total, total and last data point.
- Easily compare data with the same period last year
- Put your data in perspective by having all information about KPI performance on one page.
To create even more flexible reports, users can now apply their preferred font settings, like font style, size, and color. Card elements like KPI title, value, variances, and chart labels can be customized separately.
By adding the Interaction group of settings, the report designers now have more control over which interaction is allowed to the end-user once the report is published.
Discover other new features and improvements on our website.
Drill Down Waterfall PRO is a custom waterfall visual for Power BI. Now you can create stunning waterfall charts using vast customization options to control the look and feel of the chart. End users will find it easy to explore data using on-chart interactions, such as interactive zooming and clickable drilldowns.
- Column sequence – set the display order for the columns.
- Sub-totals – set display values in the dataset or let the visual calculate them automatically.
- Rich customization options – customize increasing, decreasing, and totals series separately (colors, outlines, column widths, column connectors, value labels and more).
- Static and dynamic thresholds – set up to 4 thresholds to demonstrate targets.
- Touch device friendly – explore data on mouse and touch input devices.
Popular use cases:
- Accounting & finance – profit and loss statements.
- Inventory management – opening stock, stock movement, and closing stock.
- Human resources – change in staff numbers over time.
ZoomCharts Drill Down Visuals are known for their interactive drilldowns, smooth animations, and rich customization options. They support interactions, selections, custom and native tooltips, filtering, bookmarks, and context menu. Use them to create visually appealing and intuitive reports that business users will absolutely love on every device.
With next month’s release, we’re planning to support display names through the Dataverse connector. Once released, you’ll see display names automatically applied to all columns in the model when creating reports using the Dataverse connector, in either Import or DQ mode.
This should save Dataverse users a lot of time, as you won’t need to manually name every column to match the friendly names end users are accustomed to seeing in their applications, like Dynamics. However, we did want to give everyone advanced warning of this change, as there will be some impact on existing reports once the change rolls out.
For all existing reports, you’ll need to open the report up in Power BI Desktop and refresh the model for display names to show up. On the first schema refresh, the display names will override any existing renames you’ve made in the report, so if you want to retain those unique names, you’ll need to manually reapply your name changes in the model. This will only happen when the display names are first applied, so future schema refreshes should not require any rework.
Overall, this change should reduce the amount of manual work you have to do to make your reports based on Dataverse data easily readable and familiar for your report consumers, so look forward to learning all the details of display name support in next month’s post!
Thanks for your patience while we switch to WebView2 as part of the infrastructure update. As we are getting closer to GA we want to make sure we have solved as many issues as possible. Starting with this release you will see the following warning every time you launch Power BI Desktop if you don’t have WebView2 installed yet.
If you see this, please install WebView2 and enable it. Read how in this blog.
Power BI Desktop will now prompt users to sign in and use SSO where applicable to better align with office. This is the first of many small tweaks the startup experience. In future updates, we will use signed in users to deliver more tailored experiences and allow users to consume files from the service.
That is all for this month! Please continue sending us your feedback and do not forget to vote for other features that you would like to see in Power BI! We hope that you enjoy the update! If you installed Power BI Desktop from the Microsoft Store, please leave us a review.
As always, keep voting on Ideas to help us determine what to build next.
We are looking forward to hearing from you!