Microsoft launches Power BI ‘publish to web’ feature out of preview

Microsoft today is announcing that it’s making the “publish to web” feature in its Power BI cloud-based business intelligence tool generally available at no additional cost for both free and pro users. The feature lets users take data visualizations they’ve created inside Power BI and share publicly accessible versions with dedicated URLs and HTML snippets that can be incorporated into other websites.

Also today Microsoft is announcing that the Power BI Embedded feature for integrating data visualizations natively into other applications will become generally available on July 11.

Microsoft first announced the preview of Power BI “publish to web” in February and announced the public preview for Power BI Embedded at its Build developer conference in March.

“Power BI publish to web helps craft data stories from almost any data source to create compelling, interactive visualizations that can be published online or embedded in with a few simple clicks,” Barb Edson, general manager of data platform and Internet of Things product marketing at Microsoft, wrote in a blog post. “NGOs and non-profit organizations, news and media companies, sports & entertainment houses, local or national government bodies, academia, and public enterprises are already using Power BI publish to web to tell compelling public facing data stories.”

Embedded BI is something that many BI vendors eventually add in their product offerings, because sometimes the main application for querying and visualizing data just is not enough. Salesforce started down this path in September, when it announced that customers could embed dashboards into other parts of Salesforce.

To publish to web in Power BI, users can open the File menu and click “Publish to web.” It’s important to remember that doing this will make the dashboard and the data visible to anyone, so this is probably not the best choice for very sensitive information.

To give people a sense of what’s possible with the “publish to web” feature, Microsoft is releasing a gallery of visualizations made with Power BI.

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