By Amir Netz – Technical Fellow

A couple of weeks ago, James Phillips announced that Power BI will be generally available on July 24th.  We are now only a day away and the Power BI Desktop team is very excited. In the coming weeks we will cover in detail many of the key improvements that are a part of the July release, including:

  • Expanded new data sources (Zendesk, Quickbooks Online, AppFigures, GitHub, Twilio, SweetIQ)
  • Direct report exploration over Analysis Services tabular model
  • Visual formatting and customization  (Title, Chart background, Legend, Data Labels, and X/Y axis for Cartesian charts)
  • New visual color formatting with fixed and data driven settings 
  • New visuals (Area chart, Waterfall, Donut, Matrix)
  • Support for hyperlinks in reports and report tables
  • New model-based Data and Relationships views
  • Easy publishing directly from Power BI Desktop to the Power BI service

General availability will usher in a host of important new features and improvements, but GA is just the beginning, as we will continue to evolve and improve the Power BI Desktop.

One important leap forward in Power BI Desktop innovation resulted from our work with Pyramid Analytics to help in the development of the Power BI Desktop. Pyramid Analytics is a great long term partner of ours. Pyramid Analytics offers a turnkey enterprise analytics solution that makes it easy to self-serve and share trusted BI content.

Pyramid Analytics brings technology that complements Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services and leverages all of the features of the Microsoft BI stack. Pyramid Analytics has a proven record of partnering with Microsoft to deliver analytics solutions to meet the needs of our joint customers.  

The output of this collaboration is a range of new features in the Power BI Desktop, some of which are being delivered at GA on July 24th. You may also notice at GA an option to publish a Power BI Desktop file to Pyramid Analytics Server. This feature will enable an ease of integration between the Power BI Desktop and the Pyramid Analytics Server.

“Organizations vested in the Microsoft data platform choose Pyramid Analytics for our best-in-class ability to optimize multi-dimensional and in-memory tabular models in SQL Server Analysis Services,” said Omri Kohl, co-founder and CEO of Pyramid Analytics. “Our solution fulfills IT’s and Business User’s needs for agile, easy-to-use, and self-served analytics coupled with governance, security, and scalability.”

We anticipate that our work together with Pyramid Analytics will help accelerate the development and delivery of innovative features and capabilities that customers value. I’ve been thrilled with the progress and collaboration gained from working with Pyramid Analytics on this exciting journey of accelerating Power BI Desktop.

In addition, James demonstrated at WPC that we’re enabling developers to easily add custom visuals into Power BI for use in dashboard, reports and content packs.  To help you get started, we’ve published the code for all of our visualizations to GitHub. Along with the visualization framework, we’ve provided our test suite and tooling to help the community build high quality custom visuals for Power BI. All of this is available as an open source project on GitHub.

This is an amazing time for Power BI. The collaboration with Pyramid Analytics as well as the open source initiative are adding fantastic velocity to our already great momentum. With only a one day to go until GA, I can hardly wait!