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Announcing you can now block classic workspace creation

Today we’re taking the next step in our roadmap for the new workspace experience. We’ve added a tenant setting for Power BI admins to choose if users can create classic workspaces. This helps organizations control workspace creation more effectively and prevent unwanted workspaces from appearing in Power BI when Office 365 groups are created.

 

Allowing Power BI Admins to block classic workspace creation

We’ve added a new Power BI tenant setting that can block classic workspace creation. By default, it’s disabled, so there’s no change to current behaviors for organizations.

Screenshot of a Power BI Admin portal tenant setting allowing organizations to block the creation of classic workspaces.

When enabled, here’s what happens:

  • Users can’t create classic workspaces in the Power BI service UI or through APIs.
  • Newly created Office 365 Groups won’t appear as classic workspaces in the Power BI workspaces list.
  • Classic workspaces in Power BI that were never opened by any user will no longer show in the workspaces list (more on this below).

 

A few things to keep in mind

Existing classic workspaces are not affected by this setting and will continue to work as they do today.  This is critically important so that there’s no interruption to how users are using their existing Power BI content.

You can switch from Disabled to Enabled and to back to Disabled. Be aware that whenever the setting is set to Disabled any Office 365 Group that were created will appear as workspaces for users. This could be a long list if you’ve had the setting Enabled for a long time.

When you first change the setting to Enabled, you might be surprised that empty classic workspaces created for Office 365 Groups don’t all disappear from the list. This is expected, though perhaps needs some explanation. When an Office 365 group is created, by default it’s automatically added to all user’s Power BI workspaces lists who are members of that group. If any of those users opens the classic workspace, it’s marked as an active workspace in the Power BI service. Since we won’t hide workspaces that are active, those classic workspaces are still shown to prevent any service interruptions. In the unlikely event that no user opened that workspace in Power BI, then it won’t be shown after the new setting is Enabled. This means that practically speaking the workspaces list won’t change much for most users when you enable the setting. You will start to see that Office 365 groups created after the new setting is Enabled won’t show in the workspaces list.

 

Workspace upgrade and cleaning up your users’ workspace lists

Generally, deleting a classic workspace in Power BI is not recommended because it also deletes the underlying Office 365 group, which can be very consequential.

However, once a classic workspace is upgraded to the new workspace experience, it is no longer ‘tied’ to the Office 365 group. This mean that after you upgrade the workspace, you can safely delete it if you’re not using it anymore. Deleting an upgraded workspace doesn’t change or affect the underlying Office 365 group.

This means organizations can now effectively clean up and simplify the workspaces lists for users by leverage the new block classic workspace creation setting, and working with Office 365 group admins to upgrade and delete unnecessary classic workspaces in Power BI. Unnecessary workspaces can be identified by comparing the workspaces list available through the Power BI admin APIs/UI with audit logs to judge when the last usage of that workspace occurred.

If a classic workspace is upgraded and subsequently deleted, it won’t re-appear in the workspaces list should the block classic workspace creation setting be set back to disabled.

 

 

We really appreciate all the customer feedback that helped us with the roadmap for the new workspace experience. We’re eager to hear how this new setting works in your organization. Head over to https://ideas.powerbi.com with your suggestions.

 

Next steps:

Block classic workspace creation documentation

Roadmap update what’s next for the new workspace experience upgrade in the coming months