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Improvements to Power BI apps, an increase in audiences and access control for hidden content

Headshot of article author Dustin Askins

The new version of Power BI apps with audiences became generally available in March 2023. Since that release we’ve reached out to customers to discuss how they’re working for you, listened to your ideas, and followed up to comments here on the Power BI blog.

Based on your feedback we previously made improvements like adding a setting to collapse the app nav by default and enhanced app update reliability and performance.

And more recently we’ve made the following updates you asked for:

  • 🔗 The ability to copy item links from authoring view
  • ⚙️ A setting for granting access to hidden content
  • ✨ Increasing the maximum number of audiences to 25 (previously 10)

Plus, the previous roll out of custom messaging for handling app access requests. 📝

Read on for a recap of what we heard from you, in paraphrased fashion, and the updates made.

Customize the app nav to collapse by default

I’d like my content to be the focus when my colleagues land in the app…and sometimes I build my own navigation via links within the content of the app, so I want to make sure the navigation pane isn’t shown.

This was one of our more immediate updates after general availability of Power BI apps with audiences.

Go to Update app > Setup > Advanced settings and find the settings below for your app’s navigation pane to be expanded or collapsed by default.

Screenshot of Power BI app navigation pane settings, expand or collapsed by default

Legacy versions of Power BI apps had a setting to turn off navigation completely. We’re aware that some customers want this level of control over app layout and design (in addition to custom colors) and we’re looking to introduce this level of control in future versions of apps.

Custom messaging for handling app access requests

My organization has a specific process for getting access to apps and reporting. Depending on the app we need colleagues to email someone or submit a help ticket to get added to a security group for gaining access to an app.

Announced last December, you can now customize what your users see when they don’t have access to your app.
From the workspace your app is associated with go to App settings > Access requests, choose to replace with automated message, enter your message, and apply. Your users won’t see the default access request experience but your custom message instead. Learn more here.

Screenshot of Power BI app access request settings

We’ve heard from many of you already on how helpful this custom message setting is, and you’d like to see a similar setting for workspaces, reports, and more. We’re taking your feedback and will consider it all in future updates.

Copy item links from the authoring view

It’s great that Power BI apps with audiences now has share > copy link for content from the published view of the app, but as an app owner I miss the ability to grab links for app content from the edit view of the app.

Legacy versions of Power BI apps had a view for grabbing links by item, we brought the ability to copy links back in a new way right from the Content tab of the edit experience. Hover over the item you want a link for, click the “more” menu, and Copy link. And, of course, you still can grab your app link too. Learn more app links and item links here.

Screenshot of the ability to copy a link for an item from the Power BI app update view

Grant access to hidden content

We need to add content to the app and grant access to that content for app users but hide it from the app nav. Sometimes we link to items from within content itself and not the app nav because we want to control when and where that content is presented or linked to…not shown in the app nav. Also, some reports that have paginated report visuals within and need the source paginated report included in the app for the visual to work, I want to include the paginated report but don’t want to show it in the app nav.

Legacy versions of Power BI apps granted access to content hidden from the app nav. Many customers told us this was a security concern, so we changed the behavior in the new version of Power BI apps with audiences by not granting access to hidden content. After speaking with many of you about your scenarios and comfortability with security in apps based on the legacy behavior, we have introduced a setting for granting access to hidden content. Go to Update app > Setup > Advanced settings and find the setting for turning on access to all hidden content for all app users. This setting effectively mirrors the hidden content access behavior of legacy Power BI apps, learn more here.

Screenshot of the setting for granting access to hidden content in a Power BI app

Increased the maximum number of audiences to 25

I’m using the maximum number of 10 audiences per Power BI app, may we have more than 10?

The limit has been increased to 25 audiences per Power BI app!

Screenshot of 24 Power BI app audiences

Make more audiences for the additional unique contexts you want to serve.

Screenshot of Power BI app audiences

There are some considerations and limitations for apps with a large number of users (upwards of 10K), please read more here.

That’s the recap of our latest improvements to Power BI apps

Thank you to all the customers who posted feedback and worked closely with us to understand your scenarios. 🙌

If you have not already, please upgrade your legacy apps to Power BI apps with audiences.

We’ll continue to listen and we’re working on the future of apps now. Please submit your ideas and vote on others, comment below on this blog post, or sign up if you’d like to be considered for future Power BI app feedback opportunities like surveys, email outreach, or a call.