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Power BI Developer community October update

Headshot of article author Nimrod Shalit

This blog post covers the latest updates for Power BI Developers community. Don’t forget to check out the September blog post, if you haven’t done so already.

Power BI Embedded

Here is the list of October updates for Power BI Embedded

  • Power BI Embedded – capacity based SKUs in Azure
  • Q&A embedding
  • Additional filter support


Power BI Embedded – capacity based SKUs in Azure

As of this month, Power BI Embedded SKUs can be consumed in Azure. With the new SKUs, ISVs and developers can enjoy the full elasticity and flexibility that an Azure resource provides, while managing it in a familiar environment.

We have a lot of resources out there for you on how to use the Azure SKUs, so we gathered some of the most important ones here:


What’s still puzzling

Answers to some of the frequently asked questions in the Power BI Embedded developer community. In this post we will focus on the changes introduced with the renewed Power BI Embedded in Azure.

Q: Power BI now offers three SKUs for embedding: A SKUs, EM SKUs and P SKUs. Which one should I Purchase for my scenario?

We got some questions around the differences between the SKUs and how do they fit in to customer scenarios. So here is a table that summarizes all the SKUs for embedding scenario:

Note- in all use cases, you must have at least 1 Pro license to be able to share content. 


A SKU (Power BI Embedded)

EM SKU (Power BI Premium)

P SKU (Power BI Premium)

Purchase through Azure portal Office Office
Use cases 1. Embed content in your own application 1. Embed content in your own application

2. Share content with Power BI FREE users outside and embed in other SaaS applications (SharePoint, Teams)

1. Embed content in your own application

2. Share content with Power BI FREE users outside and embed in other SaaS applications (SharePoint, Teams)

3. Share content with Power BI FREE users through

Billing Hourly Monthly Monthly
Commitment No commitment Monthly/ Yearly Monthly/ Yearly
Differentiation Full elasticity- can scale up/ down, pause/ resume resources in Azure portal or through API Can be used to embed content in SharePoint Online and Microsoft Teams Combine embedding in applications and use the Power BI Service in the same capacity

Q: What happened to the legacy Power BI Embedded Workspace Collections product in Azure?

The Azure gallery item for Power BI Embedded has been renamed to Power BI Workspace Collections. The resource itself was called Power BI Workspace Collection and remained as is. Power BI Workspace Collections will denote the previous service in documentation and UI, and it’s on a deprecation path. Those who are already using ‘Workspace Collections’ solution can continue to use it till end of June 2018. The new Power BI Embedded solution has many new features, and we highly recommend starting migration to it.

Q: I’m still using the Power BI Embedded Workspace Collection and didn’t migrate to Premium yet. What should I do now with the new SKUs in Azure?

We’ve now made it even easier to migrate to the new Power BI Embedded. You can continue to use the Azure portal and your subscription to manage and deploy your Power BI Embedded solution. When you’re ready to migrate to the new service, follow the steps in How to migrate Power BI Embedded Workspace Collection content to Power BI Embedded.


Q&A embedding

Power BI Embedded now enables ISVs to incorporate Q&A into their own application, allowing their end-users to explore data using intuitive, natural language capabilities and receive immediate answers in the forms of charts and graphs. Learn more about Q&A.

Q&A will be embedded separately from dashboards or reports, so it can be added seamlessly into the ISV application and maintain the native look and feel while giving the developer more control on the behavior of Q&A.

As the developer, you can control the level of interaction your end-users may have with Q&A, as well as full visibility to the type of questions your users asks. This way you can learn more about your users and what interests them, adjust the data and visualizations they are consuming and offer them a more personalized and beneficial experience when interacting with your application.

Try it yourself on our Power BI Embedded Live Demo tool.

Q&A embedded modes

The developer can choose how to show Q&A to his end-users. The definition is done in the Load configuration properties, so it is defined per user and even per session. There are 2 modes:

1. Interactive mode– this mode shows the end-user the question box. With the built in smart question box, an end-user can type questions and receive immediate feedback with a resulting visual. The developer can choose to embed Q&A with a default question, giving the end-user an initial visual to interact with. For example, when a predefined question is “This year’s sales by store type by postal code as map”, the user will see the following embedded Iframe:


The developer can also choose to start with a blank pane, so that the end-user can set up the first question, rather than altering a default one. The user will see the following embedded Iframe:


2. Result-only mode– in this mode only the ISV application can set and change the question, while the end-user can only see the resulted visual, without the ability to edit and interact with the question. This mode opens tons of options for the developer to create on-the-fly visuals tailored to his users. For example, he can save the end-user’s previous questions and automatically show him the generated visual once he enters a certain page, or drill to specific results according to end-user actions in the application. The app can also suggest the end-user to choose from popular queries that were made by users like him.

The user will see the following embedded Iframe:


Here’s a code snippet for JS SDK usage:

// Embed configuration used to describe the what and how to embed.

// This object is used when calling powerbi.embed.

// You can find more information at

   var config= {

    type: ‘qna’,

    tokenType:   models.TokenType.Embed | models.TokenType.Aad,

    accessToken: access token value,

    embedUrl (groupId to be appended as query parameter if required),

    datasetIds:  array of requested data set ids (we support one dataset only at the moment),

    viewMode: models.QnaMode.Interactive | models.QnaMode. ResultOnly,

    question: optional parameter for Interactive mode and mandatory for Result-only mode 


// Get a reference to the embedded QNA HTML element

  var qnaContainer = $(‘#qnaContainer’)[0]; 


  // Embed the QNA and display it within the div container.

  var qna = powerbi.embed(qnaContainer, config); 


Q&A available interactions

Set Question- This method enables the developer to change the question during the session, immediately showing a new visual to the end-user that matches the given question. This method can be triggered according to specific user’s actions or choices, and enrich the user interaction with the ISV application. The method can be used in ‘Result-only’ mode.

Visual rendered event– Event that notifies the application for any change in the visual, triggered by end-user typing a new question. Listening to this event will give the app info on the data the end-user looks for, and later enhance and target the right data to that end-user.

Learn more on how to embed Q&A into your application.


Additional filter support

We have added support to set new filters dynamically:

Relative date filter– Programmatically set relative date filters on any time-based data model. You can apply the filters on a report/page level. Here’s a code snippet for setting a relative date filter:


    “$schema”: ““,

    “target”: {

    “table”: “Time”,

    “column”: “Date”


    “filterType”: 4, // corresponding enum value is ‘RelativeDate’

    “operator”: 1, // corresponding enum value is ‘InThis’

    “timeUnitsCount”: 1,

    “timeUnitType”: 3, // corresponding enum value is ‘Months’

    “includeToday”: true


‘Include/Exclude’ & ‘Top N’ filter– these filters will now be visible when a ‘dataSelected’ event is invoked, under the ‘filters’ property. Learn more on how to handle events.


Custom Visuals

API 1.8 is available, the following functionality was added:

· Gradient colors support in the capabilities schema

· ApplyJsonFilter now also supports clearing the filter

· Support for more properties in the window() object

Custom visuals are now listed on AppSource. This will enable us to provide additional modern services to the developers of custom visuals in the future, stay tuned.

Submission of visuals is still done from the Office developer portal.

We were very excited to hear that Narratives for Business Intelligence custom visual won Best Business Value award in the Office store’s App Awards 2017. Read the blog and see the awards here.


That’s all for this post. We hope you found it useful. Please continue sending us your feedback, it’s very important to us. Have an amazing feature in mind? please share it and vote in our Power BI Embedded Ideas forum, or our Custom Visuals Ideas forum.