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Announcing the New Viewer Role for Power BI Workspaces

We’re excited to announce we’ve started to roll-out the Viewer role for the new workspace experience, perfect for users who need to view content within workspaces without the ability to modify it.

 

The feature roll-out has started and should complete for commercial cloud customers 6/29/2019.

 

The Viewer role gives a read-only experience to its users. They can view dashboards, reports, or workbooks in the workspace, but can’t browse the datasets or dataflows. Use the Viewer role wherever you would previously use a classic workspace set to “Members can only view Power BI content”

Viewer role requires a Pro license or for the content to be in Power BI Premium. If your workspace is in Premium, users with Viewer role who don’t have a Pro license can view the workspace in the workspaces list, navigate to the workspace, and view the content without getting a Pro Trial prompt.

 

The Viewer role has several benefits:

  • It is easier to navigate in Power BI for users with read-only access.
  • It helps smaller teams that want stakeholders to have read-only access to all workspace content, but do not want to publish and maintain a Power BI app for this purpose.
  • Any row-level security (RLS) you have defined on the datasets in the Power BI workspace is enforced for users who only have the Viewer role.
  • You can stop using classic workspaces based on Office 365 Groups if you needed the Members to only view Power BI content option, known as “read-only workspaces”.

 

Let’s look at the experiences. When you grant access in a new workspace experience workspace, you’ll see a new role called Viewer in the roles option.

Screenshot of Power BI new workspace experience Access pane showing the Viewer assigned to a security group.

Users with the Viewer role get a read-only experience in the workspace. They can view dashboards, reports, or workbooks in the workspace. They can’t browse the datasets or dataflow or edit content in the workspace. This matches the experience users get in a classic workspace when they are set to “Members can only view Power BI content”.

Screenshot showing the workspace content list experience for users who have Viewer role.

One important difference with the Viewer role is how licensing is enforced. If the workspace is in a Power BI Premium capacity, users who have the Viewer role but do not have a Pro license can now navigate directly to the workspace and view the content. This helps smaller teams that want stakeholders to have read-only access to all workspace content, but do not want to publish and maintain a Power BI app for this purpose. It’s a really nice usability and efficiency improvement.

If the workspace is not in Power BI Premium or if the user without a Pro license has a higher privilege role, like Admin, Member, or Contributor, they will continue to get the standard Upgrade to Power BI Pro license dialog.

Screenshot showing the upgrade to Power BI Pro dialog.

 

The Viewer role grants only the Read permission to items in the workspace. This means that any Row-Level-Security you have set on the datasets in the workspace applies to users who only have the Viewer role. If you want these users to Analyze in Excel, or export data from the datasets in the workspace, also give them Build permission on the appropriate datasets.

Learn more about the new Viewer role