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Supporting Azure Active Directory shared device mode (preview) for Power BI Mobile apps

Headshot of article author Maya Shenhav

We in Power BI continue to invest in building features that help frontline workers to use data and insights in their work. In this month’s release, the Power BI mobile apps add preview support for Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) shared device mode 

Frontline workers make up most of the workforce in many organizations. These are the employees, such as retail associates, factory workers, healthcare staff, and delivery drivers, who work directly with customers, clients, or other recipients of services. Frontline workers don’t usually use their personal devices for work-related tasks but rather take out a work-related mobile device from a shared pool.  

The problem is that most mobile apps are designed for single users using their personal devices, which makes it cumbersome to switch between different accounts and apps on a shared device. This takes time, adds complexity, can lead to security issues, and impact productivity. 

Shared device mode was exactly designed to address these problems.  

What is shared device mode? 

Shared device mode is a device-level configuration that enables single sign-on (SSO) and device-wide sign-out for Microsoft Power BI and all other apps on the device that support this configuration. With shared device mode, frontline workers can securely share a single device throughout the day, signing in and out as needed: 

  • Once they sign in to any supported app, they will be logged into all other applications compatible with shared device mode as well, including the Power BI mobile app.  
  • Once the work is done and they need to return the device to the shared pool, they sign out of any supported app; all other applications integrated with shared device mode sign out as well, preventing unauthorized or unintended access by the next user.  

How to enable shared device mode for Power BI Mobile? 

Device administrators prepare the device to be shared by using a mobile device management (MDM) provider such as Microsoft Intune. The MDM pushes the Microsoft Authenticator app to the devices and turns on “Shared Mode” for each device through a profile update to the device. This Shared Mode setting is what changes the behavior of the supported apps on the device., including Power BI.

You do not need to do any specific action in the Power BI Mobile app to enable shared device mode. The app reads this configuration from the device itself. Once the device is enrolled as a shared device, the Power BI mobile app starts to listen and comply with “global” sign-in and sign-out events, making it simple for the user to start working with the device and to clear all their data when their shift ends and the device is returned to the shared device pool. 

Next steps

Shared device mode enables frontline workers to use shared devices to access Power BI content with ease and security. It leverages the capabilities of Azure AD and Microsoft Intune to provide a seamless and safe experience for users who need to switch between different accounts and apps on a shared device. 

Check these articles to learn how to configure shared device mode for iOS devices and Android devices.