Introducing Cross-tenant Power BI Dataset Sharing
Our new cross-tenant dataset sharing capability is now available in public preview! This exciting capability allows customers to share their Power BI datasets with external users (consumers) in a way that allows these external users to access the datasets in their own Power BI tenant. This is in-place sharing, meaning that from their own tenant, consumers can discover and connect to live data from providers. They can then work with these shared datasets in their own tenant and create composite models by meshing the shared datasets with their own internal data. The composite model can then be published on the service for reporting purposes.
With in-place sharing, the shared data remains in the provider tenant. Consumers query the shared datasets directly in the source data systems. Consumers can connect to external datasets using the Direct Query method and build their own composite models and reports on top of the shared data, eliminating the need to manually transfer data between organizations. These composite models built on top of external datasets can also be analyzed in excel. This capability is particularly useful when you want to share data with external partners, customers, subsidiaries, vendors, consultants, and other business partners. We’ll be excited to see how you use this capability to enable enriched data collaboration with your external partners and unlock further value through data!
Recognizing the need to provide governance over external sharing, the dataset sharing capability has two tenant settings that enable Power BI admins either to disable cross-tenant data sharing entirely or to control which users and/or user groups are allowed to share datasets across tenants.
These controls enable organizations to better manage dataset access and sharing in line with their data policies.
To initiate dataset sharing with external users, the specified dataset owners need to go to dataset settings and enable “External sharing” (see image below). This provides additional granular control over which datasets can or cannot be shared externally.
Once external sharing is enabled in the dataset settings, the external users who have access (minimum build) to these datasets will be able to discover these datasets in Power BI Desktop, as illustrated in the following image. These external users need to have a registered Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) guest account in the provider tenant so that they can be granted required permissions to the dataset.
External users can connect to the external dataset, and then build composite models by adding either other external datasets or their own internal datasets. These new datasets can then be published to the Power BI service. Once published, the external users can access the new datasets in the Power BI service in their own tenant and build further reporting on top of them. These reports can be shared with other users in their own organization, provided that those users also have the requisite Azure AD guest credentials on the original provider tenant.
Along with enabling cross-tenant dataset sharing, we are also making it easier to find reports, datasets, folders, dashboards, metrics, and other items shared with you by an external user. When you log into your Power BI service, you will see a new tab on your home page called “From external orgs” that will list all the artifacts shared with you by external tenants. This experience allows you to filter and sort to help you quickly find the content you need. The list will even show which organization shared each artifact to help you keep track and stay organized. When you click on an artifact, a new window will open and take you to the relevant provider environment for access.
Look out for more improvements to business-to-business (B2B) sharing in future releases! Learn more about cross-tenant dataset sharing feature here and about B2B discoverability here.