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Power BI paves the way for smooth Azure Analysis Services migrations

Headshot of article author Kay Unkroth

Power BI innovation never stops. For several years in a row now, we are positioned as a leader in the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms, furthest to the right for completeness of vision and furthest up in the ability to execute within the Leaders’ quadrant.

And the gaps are widening. Interactive reports, paginated reports, datasets, dataflows, deployment pipelines, scorecards, dashboards, metrics, data alerts, and much more, and recently announced in public preview, self-service datamarts. No wonder, customers are adopting Power BI at an accelerated pace to boost Office 365 productivity with Power BI integrated into PowerPoint and Microsoft Teams, connect to data anywhere with hundreds of built-in connectors, leverage industry-leading AI, go quickly from insight to action with the Microsoft Power Platform, and provide best-in-class mobile experiences with Power BI Mobile.

Of course, we are also committed to helping our Azure Analysis Services customers unlock these enormous capabilities of Power BI as a superset of Azure Analysis Services through a smooth migration path to Power BI. As part of this effort, we are happy to announce today that Power BI has reached yet another compatibility milestone with the introduction of explicit Dataset Write permissions.

In Azure Analysis Services, database permissions enable administrative functions. For example, a user with Full Control at the database level can perform just about every operation on the database, including database alters, except adding or deleting the database because that requires server admin rights. In Power BI, on the other hand, the workspace assumes the job of the server and workspace admins, members, and contributors are therefore implicit server admins because these roles have Write permissions to all artifacts in the workspace. And because there was no explicit Write permission, it wasn’t possible to grant a user the ability to alter a dataset unless through server roles. Until now!

As the above screenshot highlights, workspace admins and members can now grant the Write permission to other users on a single dataset. From the dataset context menu, click Manage permissions, then click Add user, and you can see the new option Allow recipients to modify this dataset. You no longer need to add a user at the workspace level to a role with edit permissions thereby inadvertently granting them full server admin rights with the permissions to add, modify, and delete any dataset in the workspace.

With support for an explicit Write permission, you can now assign granular dataset rights comparable to the permission levels of an Azure Analysis Services database. This will make it easier to move Azure Analysis Services databases to Power BI as you can grant non-server admins the right to modify a dataset without having to elevate their status to a server admin equivalent. So don’t delay. Migrate your Azure Analysis Services database today to unlock all the advantages and benefits that Power BI has to offer as a superset of Azure Analysis Services and as a world-leading analytics and business intelligence platform!