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Announcing Power BI template apps general availability

Headshot of article author Teddy Bercovitz

Several months ago, we introduced Power BI template apps for public preview. Now, we’re happy to announce that Power BI templates apps are generally available!

Power BI template apps provide Microsoft partners a self-service capability to build a PowerBI app that can be installed by every PowerBI pro user and connected to their own data.

Template apps are enterprise-ready and come according to Power BI governance control standards which allow admins to control who can install and who can share a template app outside the organization.

A template app can be anything from a website analysis report to a full-blown heavy data modeling solution designed to understand selected business key parameters.

In the coming months, all previous content packs will be either deprecated or replaced by the brand-new template app experience. This means that for Microsoft partners who are new to Power BI and want to see it in action, or business analysts that want to bring new insights to their organization, template apps are the natural option.

Pro users – Install and experience

Every pro user can find and install template apps on AppSource, based on administrator governance settings. There’s already a respectful number of solutions waiting to bring value. You can get them here:

Since our public preview, we’ve been closely engaged with top Power BI customers and with the Power BI community, gathering valuable feedback from the various channels to help us add and enrich templates app capabilities towards general availability (GA).  Below is an overview of some of our important and newly added features.

Installation welcome page

This page welcomes the installer and describes the possible ways the app can be experienced:

By choosing ‘Explore app’, the user can understand what the app is all about and how it can enhance their KPI’s prior to connecting. The user can also choose to connect their data, which launches a wizard-like experience guiding them through the connection process. Lastly, the user can decide to customize and share the app which forwards them directly to the newly installed workspace for app customization and lets them publish the app as an org app in their organization.

Microsoft partners: Build and scale

Template apps were built from the ground up as a self-service solution, which means we made the app creation, validation, and AppSource listing a step-by-step process with progress transparency.

Everyone can build a template app and distribute for testing inside their organization.  Publishing it outside the organization via the ‘Release management feature requires PowerBI admin permissions. Once you hold a public link you can either share it, post it, or submit it to AppSource through Cloud partner portal offer (CPP).

Having your app listed on Appsource allows 3 major benefits:

  • High visibility to the Power BI community
  • Lead generation (opt-in through the CPP offer)
  • Usage: organizations are more likely to allow installations from AppSource listed apps as well as users receive an informative installation experience even from direct links such as this Github powerBI app link.

Smoother installation feature: parameters and sample data

Connecting to datasets can be confusing for the installer. To simplify the connection process, we’ve added a brand-new parameters tab:

This page is a place to define the default parameters for the installer or to require them to enter different input than the default value. Additionally, we added “This app uses sample data” to help the builder create apps that do not require a connection at all (the app welcome page also reflects this).

Multiple reports, dashboards and export to workspace

To allow a large variety of use-cases, template apps now allow multiple reports and dashboards.

Rolling back to the previous template app is now easier than ever with the extract capability which extracts a specific app version from various release stages into a new workspace.

What’s next?

Making Power BI template apps generally available is the first of many more milestones in bringing together the best of Power BI into a scalable deployable experience.  We’ll also soon release an update feature for template apps, as well as Admin API’s to streamline the installation of a template app as part of a bigger installation story.