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Announcing designing custom navigation for Power BI apps is now generally available (GA) 

Headshot of article author Lukasz Pawlowski

Since it launched, the new navigation builder for Power BI apps has become the tool of choice for app authors. Now, we’re excited to announce this capability is generally available (GA). We’ve also  improved the experiences based on customer feedback to help authors and consumers get the best possible app experience.  

This feature has started rolling out and will arrive in commercial clouds by 4/13/2020 and national clouds by 4/25/2020. 

 Let’s take a look at the new capabilities for app consumers and authors.

Improved navigation for consumers 

The left navigation makes it much easier for content consumers to find their reports. It also looks good when designed well. Now, we’ve made a few improvements based on your feedback. 

Animation showing the new app navigation experiences for consumer including show and hide left navigation, single click to open report pages, and a new full screen experience that collapses the left navigation by default and allows users to expand it.


Here’s a summary of the new app navigation capabilities for consumer:

  • Show/Hide the left navigation – Consumers can use more screen space to view the content in the app. The new button at the top of the left navigation lets them collapse and expand the navigation pane.
  • Single click to open a report – Now users don’t need to click the report name and then the page name to view a report page, instead we just open the first page of the report. This saves users clicks, making it easier to use apps.
  • Expand report pages without changing pages  – As apps have more and more items in them, it becomes important to explore the sections in the app. So now you can use the down arrow icon to expand the pages list for a report, without changing switching to that report.
  • Hide page name for single page reports – when your report has just one page, we’ll only display the report name. This makes the left navigation clearer and makes apps nicer for authors who use bookmarks to build custom navigation within their reports.
  • Better full screen experience – when viewing content in full screen, the app left navigation now hides by default. The new bottom bar allows users to expand the navigation or exit full screen.


Support site is shown in the new look information card 

When you providsupport site for your app, it will appear in the information card the card. This will help streamline support for your apps.

 Screenshot of the new look for the Power BI service item information showing the app support site.


Improved permissions page 

We’ve updated the app permissions page to be easier to use. 

 Screenshot of the updated look of the Power BI App permissions page.

We made it easier to know when content in the app relies on shared datasets. An information bar appears, helping remind you that you need to work with the shared dataset’s owners to ensure your app users have access to the data for content in your app. 

 Screenshot of Power BI app permission page warning when a shared data set is used in the app.

Ability to control the share permission 

When content packs and apps first launched, they granted users the share permission on underlying datasets. Now, we’re making two important changes. First, new apps won’t give the share permission anymore by default. Second, we’re giving app authors the ability to stop granting that permission for new users added to your existing apps.

 Screenshot of Power BI app permissions option for selecting reshare.

For existing apps, you can uncheck the share option. When you do, new users won’t get the share permission. You can go to the manage permissions page for datasets in your workspace included in the app and remove the share permission as well.   


Continued support for apps that don’t use the navigation builder 

While most app authors today use the new app navigation builder for their apps,  some apps work better when you use a list of content as the default experience or when you show a specific item right when the app opens, without a left navigation pane. Those capabilities are not going anywhere. So, you can keep on using them. 


 Screenshot of Power BI app navigation option to not show the navigation.


We’re working on a few more updates to app experiences in the coming months that you can look forward to as well. We’ll post details when they’re available. Here’s the sneak peak of what’s coming:

  • Ability to customize contacts for the apps, like you can for items in workspaces and in the new workspace experience
  • A nicer look and feel to the content list used  in apps

As always, we’d love to hear from you how we could keep improving the app experiences in Power BI. Head over and submit an idea so we can keep track of your requests.


Next steps 

Learn more about publishing apps in Power BI