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Power BI service October and November feature summary

Headshot of article author Nikhil Gaekwad

The past couple of months have been a whirlwind for the Power BI team! Our engineering team has continued to work hard to release many features that many of you have been anticipating. Here’s a quick summary if you aren’t caught up with the latest buzz:

Selective publish for Power BI apps

Power BI apps allow organizations to distribute a collection of purpose-built dashboards and reports to a large number of business users and empower them to make data-driven decisions. Since Power BI apps were launched in May, the response has been tremendous. Thousands of apps have been created in Power BI since, and hundreds of thousands of users have used these apps as the primary way to consume Power BI content with ease.

Today, we are taking it a step further and supercharging these apps by releasing one of the most requested features: selective publish of content.

Consider this scenario: You created a Power BI app that your entire organization uses to get a 360-degree view of the sales pipeline and you are working on adding a new dashboard to the app that focuses on sales forecasts.

Your end users request a minor improvement to an existing dashboard in the app. You would like to make that improvement and update the app without publishing the incomplete sales forecast dashboard.

This was not possible until now – with every update of a Power BI app, all the content in the underlying app workspaces gets published. But with today’s release, you can choose not to publish certain dashboards and reports in the app workspace.

Let’s see how it works.

In the picture below, I have an app workspace for Sales. I would like to make a small change to the Executive View dashboard and update the app. But I do not want my incomplete Sales Forecast dashboard to be published to my end users yet.

We have added new functionality to the content list to do just that.


I can just turn off the “Included in app” toggle for my Sales Forecast dashboard.


I can then update the app, and my Sales Forecast dashboard will not be included in the app. Now I can make incremental updates to my app without publishing my incomplete dashboards or reports. More information on this functionality is available in our documentation.

External User Distribution with AAD B2B

Continuing with our example above, there might come a situation where you want to share the sales app that you created to external users outside of your organization. Thanks to Power BI’s integration with Azure Active Directory (AD) business-to-business (B2B), you can seamlessly distribute Power BI apps and dashboards to guest users while maintaining control over the internal data. Recipients will be able to access your content with their own organizational identity. Check out this announcement post for more details.

Add specific workspaces to Premium

You asked, we delivered. We have now made it much easier for capacity admins (Power BI and O365 inclusive) to assign specific workspaces to Premium. Instead of bulk assigning workspaces for the entire organization, you now have more granular control on which workspaces make use of your Premium v-cores. Learn more


AI-powered app recommendations

The Power BI AppSource is now supercharged with AI, which is suggest interesting and relevant apps to end users. These suggestions are powered by a sophisticated model that takes into account a variety of factors, including the overall popularity of the app, and the actions of other users in your organization, and your relationship with those users. Check it out for yourself by clicking on “Get Apps” and see what Power BI might suggest for you! Learn more


Dashboard on-tile UI updates

You no longer have to experiment with the different icons on the on-tile actions for dashboard tiles! We have updated the on-hover experience to just contain the ellipses and when click on, you will see a more intuitive dropdown that describes the various actions that can be performed on that tile.


E-mail subscriptions for apps

Early October, we added support for e-mail subscriptions within Power BI Apps. With this feature, you can install any Power BI app, and then subscribe for email updates on any dashboard or report page contained within the app. You will then be notified of any changes to the data right as it happens, multiplying the impact of your Power BI solutions.


Single-sign on for SQL Server, Teradata, and SAP HANA

Power BI now leverages Kerberos to support single sign-on (SSO) when connecting to certain data sources such as SQL Server, Teradata, and SAP HANA via DirectQuery. With SSO configured for these data sources, queries will be executed under the identity of the user interacting with the service or mobile app. We no longer need to have shared data caching across different users – each user will be able to precisely query the data which they have permissions to in the underlying data source. Learn more

November update for On-premises gateway

Don’t forget to check out the November 2017 update of the on-premises data gateway. This gateway release is filled with enhancements. You can now group multiple gateway instances together with High availability support, trace Mashup engine logs under “Additional logging”, connect to IBM Netezza via the gateway, automatically fall back to communicating through Azure Service Bus using HTTPS if direct TCP fails, and an updated version of the Mashup engine. Read about these changes, and more in the November's announcement post.

Granular control for Publish to Web

Admins now have more control over Publish to Web in their organizations with two new capabilities. First, admins can now restrict Publishing to Web to specific security groups.  This is useful if some groups, like PR or Marketing, should be able to Publish to Web, but not everyone. Second, admins can now see all Publish to Web embed codes in their organization and remove codes if necessary. Learn more