Tag Archives: feature

New File Share Witness Feature in Windows Server 2019

This blog discusses a new feature in the upcoming release of Windows Server 2019.  Currently, Windows Insiders receive current builds of Server 2019.  We urge you to become an Insider and play a part in making Windows Server 2019 the best that it can be.  To do so, go to this link and sign up.

One of the quorum models for Failover Clustering is the ability to use a file share as a witness resource.  As a recap, the File Share Witness is designated a vote in the Cluster when needed and can act as a tie breaker in case there is ever a split between nodes (mainly seen in multi-site scenarios).

I don’t want to go through the list of all the requirements but do want to focus on one in particular.

  • The Windows Server holding the file share must be domain joined and a part of the same forest.

The reason for this is that Failover Cluster utilizes Kerberos for the Cluster Name Object (CNO) to connect and authenticate the share.  Therefore, the share must reside on a domain member that is in the same active directory forest.

There are scenarios where this is not possible.  These scenarios are:

  1. No or extremely poor Internet access because of a remote location, so cannot use a Cloud Witness
  2. No shared drives for a disk witness. This could be a Storage Spaces Direct hyper-converged configuration, SQL Server Always On Availability Groups (AG), Exchange Database Availability Group (DAG), etc.  All of which do not utilize shared disks.
  3. A domain controller connection is not available as the cluster has been dropped behind a DMZ
  4. A workgroup or cross-domain cluster where there in no active directory CNO object

We have had a lot of requests over the years for how to get around these scenarios and there wasn’t a good story for it.  Well, I am here to tell you we listened, and we produced something better than a workaround.

In comes Windows Server 2019 and the new File Share Witness feature to the rescue.

We can now create a File Share Witness that does not utilize the CNO, but in fact, simply uses a local user account on the server the FSW is connected to.

This means NO kerberos, NO domain controller, NO certificates, and NO Cluster Name Object neededWhile we are at it, NO account needed on the nodes.  Oh my!!

The way it works is that on the Windows Server you wish to place the FSW, create a local (not administrative) user account, give that local account full rights to the share, connect the cluster to the share.

Let’s take for example, I have a server called SERVER and a share called SHARE I want to utilize as the File Share Witness.  For creating this type of File Share Witness can only be done through PowerShell.  The steps for setting this up are:

  1. Log on to SERVER and create a local user account (i.e. FSW-ACCT)
  2. Create a folder on SERVER and share it out
  3. Give the local user account (FSW-ACCT) full rights to the share
  4. Log in to one of your cluster nodes and run the PowerShell command:

Set-ClusterQuorum -FileShareWitness \SERVER\SHARE -Credential $ (Get-Credential)

  1. You will be prompted for the account and password for which you should enter SERVER\FSW-ACCT and the password.

Viola!!  You are done as we just took care of all the above scenarios.  The cluster will keep the name and password encrypted and not accessible by anyone.

Just as an FYI, the original demo of this feature was using a USB thumb drive holding the share plugged into an SMB router.  Not that we would recommend doing it, but does show how far you could take this.

Please try out this new feature and provide feedback through the Feedback Hub app.

Thanks,
John Marlin
Senior Program Manager
High Availability and Storage

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Clustering and High-Availability

Power BI Service and Mobile April Feature Summary

April turned out to be exciting month for the Power BI team. Mostly because we got to meet many of you, our awesome community members, at the Data & BI Summit in Dublin. Huge thank you for those who came. For those who couldn’t make it, not to worry, the Microsoft Business Applications Summit is just around the corner. We hope to see you there!

There were also a couple of features and announcements we made last month. Here’s a quick recap:

The European privacy law, GDPR, takes into effect starting this month (May 2018). To help you understand what this means for your organization and how it relates to Power BI, we released the Power BI GDPR Whitepaper. This paper provides high-level guidance on the different options you have in configuring Power BI to meet the requirements of this law across your organization. Download it for free: Microsoft Power BI Whitepaper.

We’re excited to announce that we’ve simplified the process for turning on audit logs to track activities for your Power BI service tenant.  Previously, we required you to go to your admin portal in the service and turn these on (in addition to turning on the functionality in the Office 365 Admin Center). Now, you can simply enable it in your Office 365 tenant and Power BI activities will show up without any configurations. Lastly, customers in sovereign cloud tenants also have auditing available in their environments. You can read more about Power BI audit logs in the public documentation.

We rolled out a new, exciting update for the Power BI On-premises data gateway for the month of April. The update includes a public preview of the custom data connectors support in personal gateways, single sign-on (SSO) support for SAP Business Warehouse Server (BW) using Kerberos, and an updated mashup engine. Try it out for yourself by installing the new gateway or learn more about the new capabilities here.

ddb1f6b4 182e 45f8 ac83 bacf46e05439 Power BI Service and Mobile April Feature Summary

You can now analyze your data and get more insights on the go by using the drill down and drill up feature on Power BI Mobile! Simply tap on a data point on a report visual to bring up the new tooltip, and if the drill options are available, look for the up and down arrows at the bottom of the tooltip box. Tapping on the down arrow will bring you to the next level in the hierarchy related to that data point. It’s that easy – try it out for yourself. Learn more

Want to see the new Power BI Mixed Reality app in action? Check out this demo video we’ve prepared just for you:

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Microsoft Power BI Blog | Microsoft Power BI

Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

This month we have major updates across all areas of Power BI Desktop. Along with many other reporting features, we have our biggest update to conditional formatting in while, the ability to format any fields, including strings and dates, by a different numeric field in the model. Drillthrough also gets a major update this month with the ability to carry all filters through to the destination page. We are also enabling enterprise level scalability through incremental data refresh.

5d7f8edd 60a2 45e6 8cd8 5a7fa35e97b5 Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

Here’s the complete list of May updates:

Reporting

Analytics

Power BI Premium

Custom visuals

Data connectivity

Data preparation

This month for our summary video we are featuring Adam Saxton from the Power BI CAT team! You can watch it here:

Before jumping into the details, we also want to encourage you to register for the Microsoft Business Applications Summit in July! There are going to be many great Power BI sessions and tons of chances to interact directly with the Power BI team.

de15fb20 e47e 4ad0 982b 05b889d8f9e7 Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

We are very excited to announce a major improvement for our conditional formatting experience, the ability to formatting a column by a different field in your model.

Now, whenever you open the conditional formatting dialog, you’ll see two new dropdowns. The first, Color based on, is where you can pick what field from your model to base your rules on, and the second, Summarization, is where you’ll pick the aggregation type for that field. There is also a Apply color to box that lets you know what field in your table or matrix is being formatted currently.

29f57498 e1ed 4e7b b114 ee9dbd4a6d64 Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

The field and summarization type to color by are auto-populated with the same column in your table you’ve chosen to format, so you won’t have to do any extra configurations unless you want to customize it.

When you do customize the field for the color to be based on, you’ll get a similar experience to the field list where you can expand and collapse tables in your model and search to help you find the field you’re looking for.

58e22a38 454a 412b abdb b88d572079d1 Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

In the below example, I’m using showing the total sales by product and coloring that column by the average net satisfaction of the product.

ec57bea2 7094 4d89 ab96 b47c89374d34 Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

You can also pick a new source of formatting when using the Color by rules version of conditional formatting.

With this update we are also opening up conditional formatting to text and date fields as well, as long as you choose a numeric value to format on.

34f40021 394b 4df6 8e8b c595277a49ea Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

A common use case for this would be to create a measure in your model that does your custom business logic, such as comparing target vs. actuals and the use Color by rules to format the text based on the result. For example, you could create a measure to return a -1, 0, or 1 if a product is under, at, or above its sales expectations, and then in Color by rules mode chose to format the product name red if the measure returns -1, yellow if it returns 0, and green if it returns 1.

here's now an Advanced section of Slicer syncing pane that allows you to create custom groups of slicers to sync. By default synced slicers will be put a group with a name that matches the field used in the slicer but you can override this with any name you want. This means you can create separate groups to sync slicers that use the same field; for example you’ve got two slicers using the same field on the same page, and you want to sync one of them with a slicer on another page.

You can also put slicers that use different fields in the same group; for example you’ve got two different date fields and you want to have the selected date sync between the slicers. If the value selected in the first slicer doesn’t exist in the second slicer, you’ll see it appear at the bottom of the list of values.

4ea78ff3 3d65 4a9e ab17 5f9fdbb4b8e0 Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

You can also check the Sync field changes to other slicers. With this option checked, if you swap the field used in the slicer, all the synced slicers will update to use the same field.

While we’ve supported log axis for a very long time, the support has been inconsistent across charts and could sometimes be hard to use. Hearing your feedback, we’ve greatly improved log axis in your cartesian charts.

You should now be able to select log scale for the numeric axis of any cartesian chart, including combo chart, when you have data that is completely positive or completely negative. Reference lines should also observe the log scale and will cause the scale to resize to accommodate them.

4db53706 eab3 4722 a294 d9a02b30692e Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

If you have data that crosses zero, you’ll now get a helpful warning in the property pane, and the scale type will revert to linear. Once your data is updated to no longer include both positive and negative values, the visual will start to use the log axis again.

5cd54fd5 b13e 4a68 8628 ad873f312461 Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

For this month’s formatting feature, we’ve added more control for data labels in funnel chart. You can now pick if each bar shows the actual value, the percentage of the first bar, the percentage of the previous bar, or the actual value and one of the two percentage options.

542e7743 80d6 49c8 a921 a44ff630bdc4 Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

The first bar will always show only the data value since the percentages are always 100%.

Another small formatting option we are adding this month is the ability to set the stroke width of lines to 0.

636e2cd5 34c8 41cc 9ff0 784625109720 Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

This works for combo charts as well as line charts.

9d5574ff 5765 442a 8278 09f269c2b452 Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

Back in September, we released a drillthrough experience that allows you to move from one page to another carrying specified filters through. You’d set this up by creating your drillthrough page (i.e. the page you want to land on) and then adding any categorical fields to the Drillthrough filters bucket in the filter pane as you want.

83ae329a 98ca 411e 98ef 19d90f4e251f Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

Any fields you put in this bucket would be tied to the page. Any chart in the rest of the report that uses that field could be right-clicked on to move to the drillthrough page.

This is a very powerful feature but was limited that only filters on the fields explicitly placed in the Drillthrough filters bucket would be carried through. There was no way to carry the entire filter context of your data point through the drillthrough page.

This month, we are closing this gap by allowing you to carry all filters through. When you are setting up your drillthrough page, if you want all filters to pass through and not just the fields placed in the bucket, you can turn the Pass all filters toggle on.

08a0235c e61e 4f20 9754 faa6155ef30c Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

Once the toggle is on, whenever you right click on a data point and drillthrough, all filter context from the source page is passed to the drillthrough page. You’ll be able to see a restatement of all these filters in the Drillthrough bucket.

e2010506 453a 44e5 a76f df84294f9750 Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

With the toggled turned off, only filters on the columns specified will be carried through.

With this drillthrough update, you can also now use measures and summarized numeric columns in the drillthrough bucket. You can pick if you want to allow drillthrough on numeric columns when used as a category (e.g. a chart showing number of reviews by rating) or summarized (e.g. a chart showing average rating by category).

ca1c6142 452b 4d82 bc88 f0261be8b3d3 Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

The Pass all filters option is on by default for new drillthrough pages and off by default for existing pages.

You’ll also see this new experience for report page tooltip.

Incremental refresh will unlock very large datasets in Power BI Premium. You can define the refresh policy in Power BI Desktop to determine how data is incrementally refreshed when published to the Power BI service. Refreshes are faster, more efficient and more reliable because only the new data needs to be refreshed.

To leverage incremental refresh in the Power BI service, first filtering needs to be done using Power Query date/time parameters with the reserved names RangeStart and RangeEnd.

4b3f4ec9 4044 4fb7 a5de 2b0b0f156f84 Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

With the parameters defined, you can apply the filter by selecting the Custom Filter menu option for a column.

59d79d2a a74d 4c72 a2ea 049b75b80783 Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

And then ensure rows are filtered where the column value is after or equal to RangeStart and before RangeEnd.

92c41a80 bc5c 420f b326 3e59d3a15df1 Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

Once this is set up, you can Close and Apply the Power Query Editor. You can then set up your refresh policy by right clicking on the table and selecting Incremental Refresh.

cb69040f f151 47f0 b0fb cf1c5e41bfac Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

The incremental refresh dialog includes several options:

  • How long to store data for
  • The length of time to refresh data for
  • If the data should refresh only on data changes based on a date/time column in your data
  • If only completed periods should refresh

47ca0c72 7c4d 4fbe 9332 ed7da4e2ff1d Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

This is a preview feature, so you will need to enable it under File > Options and Settings > Options > Preview features. This feature is a Premium feature currently, so it will only work if you publish to a premium workspace. We will eventually enable this feature for Pro users as well, but for now, it is limited to Premium.

There are some things to be aware of when using incremental refresh:

  • Once you set up incremental refresh, it will not be possible to download your .pbix from the Power BI service
  • Your first refresh may take a little longer while we load the historical data, but subsequent refreshes will be much faster
  • Since re-publishing reports overwrites the entire dataset, you will need to reload the historical data again on the next refresh after the re-publish

Please see this article for more detailed information on how to use incremental refresh.

The Collage by CloudScope custom visual displays images in either a compact grid display or a larger detail view in a style similar to Instagram.

In addition to displaying an image from an image URL, you can optionally display any of the following field types:

  • Caption
  • Media date
  • Media type
  • Video url
  • Comment count
  • Like count
  • Permalink
  • Author profile image
  • Author name
  • Caption sentiment

In addition, you can provide any generic data fields that you wish and will automatically be formatted in the familiar Instagram style for numbers and dates.

6a9792be 7512 48e7 9fa4 fb6e3dc16fc5 Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

Download this visual from AppSource.

If you are using geographical data for China, you might want to try out the Chinese Color map custom visual. This map has several features:

  • Offline maps
  • One-click switching between a national China map and provincial maps
  • Rich visual formatting including shading, colors, and patterns
  • Arbitrarily set the latitude and longitude of the area you want to display
  • Gradient fill for regions on the map

3671a263 e678 4b50 a03b 8ae11a3abb7f Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

Try out this visual on AppSource.

One of the most differentiating connectors in Power Query is the From Web connector. This connector allows you to easily scrape data from HTML tables and import them into Power BI Desktop.

With this month’s release, we’re dramatically enhancing this connector by allowing any HTML data, not just tables, to be extracted. To do so, you can provide a few samples for the data that you want to extract, and Power Query will apply smart detection algorithms on top of the HTML page content to identify the entire set of rows to generate.

To try out this feature you need to enable it under the Preview Features tab in the Options dialog.

1f3dc2a8 5781 4a02 bae4 6006163dfa28 Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

After enabling it, you can find the Web connector within the Other category in the Get Data dialog.

8bb52b0b bc2e 4cfb 9c0b 9419d24d1c08 Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

You can specify the URL of the webpage from which you want to extract data. For example: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/top-paid/games/xbox?category=classics

5ddfcde5 5f5c 4e9a a694 338dd8118829 Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

You will be taken to the Navigator dialog where you would see a number of auto-detected tables (HTML tables). In this case, none of them were found since the data in this webpage is not exposed as HTML tables. With the new Web By Example enhancements, you can now access the “Extract table using examples” button in this dialog.

017b5207 813b 4445 bd24 11da470aa593 Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

This option brings you into an interactive experience where you can preview content in this page and specify sample values for what data you would like to extract.

1ce92f5d 375b 46fb acc0 5d0843d30fe2 Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

For example, in this webpage we would like to extract the Name and Price for each game. We can achieve that simply by specifying a couple of examples for each column, like showed in rows #3 and #5 in the following screenshot. After specifying these samples, Power Query is able to detect the rest of values to extract from this webpage based on smart data extraction algorithms.

2b0b6684 14fe 4714 8be7 0774d4171889 Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

Once you are happy with the data extracted from the webpage, you can click OK, which will take you into the Query Editor, where you can apply further data transformations and filters, or combine this table with data coming from other data sources.

b61e1517 952c 49fc a2d8 5d652ae0f649 Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

Over the next few monthly releases we plan to enhance this new Web By Example experience in a couple of ways:

  1. Allowing you to add one or more tables in a single pass, either multiple By Example tables, or a combination of auto-detected and By Example tables.
  2. Allowing you to specify examples by clicking at the relevant content in the Web Page preview, within the Add Table By Example dialog, instead of requiring you to type in the examples.

We’re excited about making this new Preview feature available to all of you. Last year, we released Add Column From Examples, which also allows you to apply data transformations based on sample output values on top of any table in the Power Query Editor.

With the new Web By Example feature we’re giving you an initial Preview of how Smart Data Extraction algorithms can be applied on top of semi-structured data sources like HTML webpages. We’re lining up lots of Smart Data Preparation capabilities within Power Query for many different scenarios. Expect to hear more details on this area very soon! In the meantime, we encourage all of you to try out this new Preview feature and share feedback regarding your experience, sample input webpages, etc. to help us make the feature even more powerful!

We’re adding a new connector this month to enable you to import data from you Common Data Service for Apps.

Common Data Service for Apps allows you to securely store and manage data that's used in apps you've developed or apps from Microsoft and app providers. Data within CDS for Apps is stored within a set of standard and custom entities. An entity is a set of fields used to store data similarly to a table within a database. You can learn more about the Common Data Service for Apps in this article.

The Common Data Service for Apps connector is available under the Online Services category in the Get Data dialog.

c1fcafa1 f28a 4c53 9895 20ec113199f1 Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

Azure Kusto is a big-data, interactive analytics platform that provides ultra-fast telemetry search and advanced text search for any type of data. Kusto is perfect for IOT, troubleshooting and diagnostics, monitoring, security research, usage analytics, and more.

Azure KustoDB is currently in Preview phase. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can do so from: http://aka.ms/kustopreview

With this month’s release of Power BI Desktop, we’re adding a new connector allowing you to connect to your Azure KustoDB data in order to analyze it and build reports.

The new Azure KustoDB connector can be found under the Azure category within the Get Data dialog.

2bf9b817 2836 4974 b9f2 c1be317122c1 Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

After selecting this connector, you can specify a Kusto Cluster and, optionally, a Database and Table or query to retrieve data, as well as other advanced options. You can then establish a connection using either Import or DirectQuery mode against your Kusto cluster.

4513723c c3e0 402b b39e 149cff0292d0 Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

We’re very glad to announce that two of the connectors that have been in beta for the past few months have now reached general availability.

The Google BigQuery connector can be found under the Database category within the Get Data dialog. You can find more details about this connector in this previous article.

The Azure HDInsight Spark connector is located under the Azure category in the Get Data dialog. And you can check out our documentation to learn more about this connector.

We want to thank everyone who has tried these two connectors and shared feedback with us during their beta phase for helping us taking the connectors into GA.

Based on customer feedback, we’re enhancing the Adobe Analytics connector in order to allow you to pull data from multiple domains.

In order to try out this connector enhancement, you need to enable it from the Preview Features tab within the Options dialog.

78488f44 71c6 4e35 b584 3ddf0222e17a Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

Upon enabling this Preview feature, you will be able to see multiple companies as top-level nodes in the Navigator dialog when using the Adobe Analytics connector.

We are excited to announce an easy-to-use solution for integrating Power BI with VSTS Analytics. The new Analytics views feature in VSTS makes getting work tracking data into Power BI simple, and it works for the largest accounts. Similar to a work items query, an Analytics View specifies filters that scope the result of work items data and the columns. Additionally, views allow you to report on past revisions of work items and easily create trend reports.

VSTS provides a set of Default Analytics views that work well for customers with smaller accounts and basic scenarios. Larger accounts can easily scope your data and history to exactly what you want to report on in Power BI. To learn how to create your own views, check out the dedicated VSTS blog.

Analytics views you create in the Analytics hub in VSTS are immediately available to select from the VSTS Power BI Data Connector.

59e9dca1 fcd9 4024 8851 1fe9a69b6e27 Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

In this month’s release, we’re enhancing the authentication options for the OLE DB connector, by adding the ability to provide alternate user credentials when using the Windows authentication type.

58a16590 2169 441b a50d 17262cf429a3 Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

When connecting to SAP BW, it was previously possible to see the SAP BW technical name of the dimensions, hierarchies and measures in the navigator (as well as the longer friendly name). With this month’s update, it is also possible to see those same technical names within the field list when connected using DirectQuery. These names will appear in the Description property for the relevant field, as well as in the tooltip caption for the field.

df54399e f7f7 4d93 9116 856c1b23782c Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

“Add Column From Examples” enables you to easily define new columns that derive data from existing columns based on data transformations, by providing a few examples of the expected output values and allowing Power Query’s smart detection logic to automatically infer which transforms should be applied.

This month we’re making significant enhancements to Add Column From Examples:

Composition of Data Transformations

With this month’s update, we’re making it possible for you to derive new columns from examples that require the composition of multiple column transformations. For example, extracting from Full Name and Job Title columns the Name initials followed by the uppercased version of the job title in parenthesis.

885c18c3 a3fa 4ec8 8473 47b3883e019d Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

Domain specific transformations

We’re enhancing the set of supported data transformations in this feature by including specialized, domain-specific transformations, in Power Query’s smart detection logic, such as additional Date extraction (5/8/2018 -> MAY-2018) and other similar transformations.

That’s all for this month! We hope that you enjoy these updates and continue sending us your feedback. Please don’t forget to vote for other features that you’d like to see in the Power BI Desktop. You can also download the .pbix file I used, and if you’re looking for a similar design for your reports, I was using the Sunset layout from PowerBI.Tips.

5d7f8edd 60a2 45e6 8cd8 5a7fa35e97b5 Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

Finally, don’t forget to register for the Microsoft Business Applications Summit in July! I’m excited to meet many of you there.

71889c7a 1c02 4854 8d66 623a80547912 Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Microsoft Power BI Blog | Microsoft Power BI

Power BI Service and Mobile March Feature Summary

March turned out to be another exciting and busy month for Power BI. We rolled out some highly anticipated features in the service and continued to make progress with many more that are set to release soon. Worried you missed something? Fear not! Here’s a recap of all the features and announcements we made last month:

We’ve now made it incredibly easier for report consumers to pick up right where left off in the Power BI service and mobile. All Power BI reports will now automatically retain the filters, slicers, and other data view changes made by the user. In the service, you will now see a new “Reset to default” button with a yellow icon in the top bar. This will light up whenever you make any changes to the report from the published version. The report state is captured after 60 seconds or immediately when you navigate away to another dashboard or report. Of course, you can use this button to revert to the published view at anytime. Note: Reports with custom visuals are not supported – for now. We are working with custom visual developers to enable these soon. Learn more

50c4fd95 48fb 42fb 8834 b15a958056ed Power BI Service and Mobile March Feature Summary

Since the release of the organization visuals preview last month, we’ve fixed many bugs and made improvements across the board. Admins can now update the package and its details (i.e. versions, etc.) for existing published custom visuals. Also, organization visuals are now supported in Publish to Web reports. We were so excited by these changes that organization visuals were made generally available, so you’ll also be able to import them directly from the service. Learn more

30551aea aec6 4dac a71b 8e648f2bac01 Power BI Service and Mobile March Feature Summary

At Power BI, we understand that organizations have a diverse set of compliance and regulatory requirements that need to be met concerning their data security and privacy. To add to our repertoire of 22 certifications and attestations and provide you with the reassurance, this month we announced that Power BI has now been certified under the HITRUST Common Security Framework (CSF) 8.1 certification criteria. Learn more

We teamed up with Microsoft Hololens to release a preview of the Power BI for Mixed Reality app. This app makes it easy to access your Power BI content while using HoloLens, allowing you to view and interact with report pages and dashboards on top of your real-world environment. Check it for yourself by downloading the app from the Microsoft Store or learn more from the announcement post.

04a7ed27 99cc 4c60 b0c5 625d322f6643 Power BI Service and Mobile March Feature Summary

As always, we rolled out a new update for the Power BI On-premises data gateway for the month of March. The update includes a latest version of the mashup engine and an update to make it easier for you to determine the release month of the installed gateway right next to the version. Try it out for yourself by installing the new gateway and continue to send us feedback on any new capabilities you’d like to see in the future.

6871a641 783b 4f84 87b8 937617c90fce Power BI Service and Mobile March Feature Summary

Power BI mobile now supports your favorite B2B feature! That’s right – you can now share dashboards and reports with users external to the organization, on the go. External sharing in enabled for both organizational and social accounts.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Microsoft Power BI Blog | Microsoft Power BI

Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop-Up Windows

Hello P3 Nation, welcome back to another exciting month of Power BI updates! This month’s release saw quite a few new updates and enhancements to the Power BI Universe. It’s like Christmas each month for us here at PowerPivotPro, where we get to open the latest updates article and see what the Microsoft Santa brought us this month. Data enthusiasts like us (and you!) can easily get swept up in all the bells and whistles features each month.

That’s where we come in. We’ll pass on to you our favorite new features each month. Before I discuss my favorite feature(s) this month, let me first give a nod to the honorable mention updates. One really useful update was the new DAX function COMBINEVALUES(). It’s a great move forward for Direct Query Models where multi-key relationships weren’t part of query folding previously…but now they can be! It’s also a great way to write a cleaner version of a nested CONCATENATE() DAX function. More about that feature can be read here.

Alright, let’s get to the good stuff…namely the important feature(s) this month! Specifically, there’s been some really cool updates to the Bookmarks Feature. Bookmarks have been around for about half a year now and started out as a way to add a button that acted as a slicer macro. Every few months it kept getting cooler and cooler though! A few months later they added the ability for any bookmarks to show/hide objects in the report! In fact, we wrote an article in December that covered those features!

Button Button thumb 2 Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop Up WindowsFast forward to today, and they added another set of key features to Bookmarks. The first one I want to discuss is the inclusion of built-in buttons. Now those of us who’ve been using bookmarks the last 3-6 months probably know that you’ve been able to add “buttons” with bookmarks since day one of its release. While that’s true, there were no button templates in Power BI Desktop. Most people found clever ways to make buttons in PowerPoint, Photoshop, or other image creation tool. It was EXTRA WORK to make them, plus it required some artistic talent, which not all of us have!
Power BI Button List thumb 1 Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop Up WindowsThankfully Microsoft added a BUTTON button on the ribbon, making it MUCH easier to add them to a report. While it doesn’t include every type of button you’d potentially want to use when designing bookmarks, it certainly covers most of the bases. Most scenarios like navigation, information, or help are covered with the built-in buttons. The best part about these is that you can utilize them to make a Power BI report seem more and more like a webpage with pop-up windows, actions, and hidden parts!

In fact, I’m going to show you how to utilize the new button feature to add an information pop-up window. Imagine a scenario where you’d want to include some information, glossary, instructions, or other miscellanies text in a report. Historically, I’d put that on a secondary Information / Glossary page. Otherwise, it’d take up TOO MUCH ROOM on my report! However, with Bookmark buttons, you can create a small button to show/hide an information pop-up window!

Example Report with an information button (Zoomed Image For Callout):

Enlarged section of PBI Report Bookmark Button thumb 1 Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop Up Windows

Clicking the information button brings up a text box, clicking the back button makes it hidden again (Zoomed Image For Callout):

Enlarged section of Information Box thumb Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop Up Windows

It’s all well and good to see the result, but I know you want to see how to make it! So let’s get down to it. The first thing you’ll want to do is add the new information button on your page. Navigate to the button drop-down on the home ribbon and select the Information button. This will add a new button object to your page (see below).

Newly created information button:Info Box Step 1 Add Button thumb Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop Up Windows

After you’ve created the information button, you can navigate to the View Ribbon to turn on the Bookmarks and Selection Pane. These will be needed to create the bookmarks for showing/hiding the information box that we’re creating. Next thing to do is to copy/paste the information button in the same spot where the current one is. When the text box is visible, this is going to be the back button! Also, the reason we’re copying/pasting is to ensure that the new button is the same size as the information button. To change to the back button, go the format settings on the newly copied icon, navigate to the Icon Settings, and change Shape to Back.

Changing the Icon from Information to Back:

Change to Back Button thumb Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop Up Windows

Now it’s IMPORTANT the order these buttons are in regarding which is in front vs. back. You don’t want objects to accidentally be on top or behind each other when designing this stuff. You can change the object order by A) selecting Bring Forward / Send Backward under Visual Tools Ribbon, or B) use the up/down arrow on the Selection Pane (see below for both).

Visual Tools Ribbon OR Selection Pane to access object order:

Button Order thumb Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop Up Windows

Next step will be to create the text box we’ll use to contain the information, glossary, etc.… There are a few steps involved in this one, so I’ll break it down as much as possible.

  1. Navigate to the home tab and add a new text box. The text box button is right next to the BUTTON button in the Insert section.
  2. In the text box options, turn on the background and set the transparency to 10%. The background color makes the text easier to read, and a slight transparency makes it seem MORE like a pop-up window! I typically just leave the color as White.
  3. Turn on Text Box Border
  4. MAKE SURE the text box is BELOW the back button on the Selection Pane! Otherwise, you’ll encounter issues if you ever click on the text box.
  5. Put any information you want in the text box. Added BONUS, you can hyperlink the text to a URL or Website too! I have my name link to the About Me page on PowerPivotPro.com

Text box setup instructions:

Setup Instructions For Text Box thumb 1 Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop Up Windows

You can even add a bit of flare and put an image, company logo, etc… “inside” the pop-up window as well. For this example, I’ll go ahead and throw in a picture of yours truly, and the PowerPivotPro logo for good measure. The add image button is located right next to the Text Box button. Once both of those images are in there, I’ll now have something that looks like what you see below.

Example of the completed text box.  Notice I made sure the back button is on top of the other objects in the Selection Pane:

Information Box with Images Logo thumb Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop Up Windows

After we’ve added everything to our “pop-up window” we’ll need to setup the Bookmarks. As a refresher, bookmarks can control multiple things. They can control both Data (E.g., slicers, filters, etc…) AND they can control Display (E.g., things showing/hidden on the Selection Pane). Now what we want to do is create two bookmarks, one that will make the text box pop up, and one to make the text box disappear. Let’s start with the bookmark that will be used to make the text box pop up! Here are the steps below:

  1. First, hide the InformationButton on the Selection Pane if our text box is visible (including the back button). We don’t want that other button showing in the background.
  2. Click Add on the Bookmarks Pane, and rename the Bookmark to something that mentions Info Showing.
  3. Make sure Data is NOT CHECKED! If checked, then it remembers your slicer/filter selection. We only want this bookmark to control what is visible. wlEmoticon smile Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop Up Windows

Info Showing Bookmark setup instructions:

Create Info Showing Bookmark thumb Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop Up Windows

The Info Hidden Bookmark is the almost the exact same steps as above, except the Selection Pane is reversed. It’ll be the same steps 1 through 3, but the only object you want visible (of the objects associated with this pop-up window) is the Information Button. Here are the steps below:

  1. First, hide everything EXCEPT FOR the InformationButton on the Selection Pane.
  2. Click Add on the Bookmarks Pane, and rename the Bookmark to something that mentions Info Hidden.
  3. Make sure Data is NOT CHECKED! If checked, then it remembers your slicer/filter selection. We only want this bookmark to control what is visible. wlEmoticon smile Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop Up Windows

Info Hidden Bookmark setup instructions:

Create Info Hidden Bookmark thumb Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop Up Windows

Now ALL that’s left, is to set up the buttons to associate them with the Bookmarks we just created! If you highlight the information button and then go to the Visualization Pane, there’s an option to set the Action. You’ll turn that on, set the type to Bookmark and set it to Info Showing. The same will be done to the Back Button, except that one will be set to Info Hidden. Once both are set up, you can test the way they’ll work once published, by holding the Control Key and clicking the buttons. It’s how they’ll work on Power BI.com, except when published you WON’T have to hold control.

Associating the Information Button with the Info ShowingBookmark:

Turn on Action For Button thumb Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop Up Windows

Associating the Back Button with the Info Hidden Bookmark:

Turn on Action For Button Hidden thumb Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop Up Windows

There you have it folks, your very own web-like pop-up window! Each time you a user clicks the Info Button, the pop-up window will appear, and clicking the back button will make it disappear…You can go ahead and add “web” designer to your LinkedIn now! wlEmoticon winkingsmile Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop Up Windows

You’ll find the embedded Power BI report below. As with any of my reports, I love to throw in extra features in them. So if you’re curious about how I built the report, I’ve provided the article links to ALL the included features. Even better, now that we have these Bookmark Buttons I can include the links directly IN THE REPORT! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time!

My Top 5 Power BI Practices: Transforming Good to GREAT: Article talks about a lot of the Formatting and Design Practices you see above, plus the DAX Formulas table.

Power BI: Transforming Good to GREAT: Video that is an updated discussion & walkthrough of the article above. Discusses Formatting, Design Practices, What If Scenarios, and Forecasting.

DAX Reanimator Series: Moving Averages Controlled by Slicer (Part 1): Article talks about the What If Scenario. Specifically,  the FCST & BUD Adjustment Slicers in this articles report.

Using SELECTEDVALUES To Capture Slicer Selections: Article talks about the Slicer Selection Cards you see on the right side of the Tooltips page.

How To Connect One Slicer To All Your Power BI Reporting Pages: Article talks about the Slicer Landing Page I created, that filters other reporting pages.

Power BI Spotlight: New & Improved Tooltips: Article talks about the Mini Report Visual Tooltips. Currently, these new tooltips DON’T WORK in Embedded Reports, so you’ll only see them when you download the PBIX file here.

Video Version of This Article Available Below

I have a video version of the blog post for anyone interested. I know some of you learn better by watching, rather than reading. wlEmoticon smile 1 Power BI Feature Spotlight: Using Bookmark Buttons to Create Pop Up Windows

You can access that here

We like to think that is no accident.  We’re different.  First of a new breed – the kind who can speak tech, biz, and human all at the same time.

Want this kind of readily-absorbable, human-oriented Power BI instruction for your team? Hire us for a private training at your facility, OR attend one of our public workshops!

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

PowerPivotPro

Power BI Desktop April Feature Summary

This month, on top of our normal of visual & data connector improvements, we have two exciting features that lets report consumers interact with reports in a new way. The Q&A Explorer enables report consumers to ask their own questions about the data, and buttons let you add interactive elements on your reports.

5d7f8edd 60a2 45e6 8cd8 5a7fa35e97b5 Power BI Desktop April Feature Summary

If you’re on Windows 10, you’ll get directed to download Power BI Desktop from the Microsoft Store. That’s the best way to get it, as you’ll get automatic background updates when new versions get released. You’ll end up with both the Store and MSI versions of Desktop installed so we suggest you manually uninstall your current version of Power BI Desktop before getting the version from the Store.

Here’s the complete list of April updates:

Reporting

Analytics

Custom visuals

Data connectivity

For a summary of the major updates, you can watch the following video:

This month, we are adding a way to integrate a Q&A experience into your report for your consumers. If you want to let your users ask questions about the data in your report, you can set up an image, shape or button (see next feature) to launch a Q&A Explorer.

3d4c0fa4 7bff 415f 9a58 dad0613d6c90 Power BI Desktop April Feature Summary

You can assign this dialog to an image, shape, or button by picking Q&A in the Type dropdown of the Action card (formerly the Link card), which is where you also can assign bookmarks or the back action.

1746a0cb 368e 4fda a8d5 c71f0c81bc3f Power BI Desktop April Feature Summary

Once the Q&A action is set, while in edit mode, you can ctrl+click the button to launch the dialog and try out the experience.

While you are in edit mode, you can also add suggested questions. Any suggested questions you add will be available in the dialog for consumers to view. To add suggested questions, just type in the question you have and click the add button. This will add the question to the left suggested questions pane. If you decide later you want to remove a question, just click the “X” next to the question you want to remove.

b54a41e0 4a93 4c21 89cf 8eccd3367d0a Power BI Desktop April Feature Summary

Once done, select Save and close to save all the suggested questions you added. These questions are saved to that specific button, so you can add multiple Q&A Explorer experiences throughout your report with different suggested questions.

Now, whenever someone is viewing your report, they can click on the button to view the suggested questions you saved and ask any ad-hoc questions they have as well.

88ea572f 6e4c 445e b07d 00fd4384507e Power BI Desktop April Feature Summary

This Q&A Explorer can also return whole report pages back as answers. To do this, you will need to turn Q&A on for the page and give it some synonyms.

d26be8c8 481e 4eb4 bb7c 2023575c39af Power BI Desktop April Feature Summary

Now, when someone search for those phrases in the Q&A Explorer, the page will be shown.

2aed3f8d c790 49ec 8172 8ecce07c3635 Power BI Desktop April Feature Summary

Optionally, if your report has page level filters, you may want to set Require single selection.

201af098 71cc 44fd ac40 7a9878f35647 Power BI Desktop April Feature Summary

If you do this, you can use that filter in Q&A to filter the page. Since drillthrough filters automatically require single selection, they are automatically parameters for Q&A pages. When you create filter parameters like this, you will have to supply a value for the filter for the page to appear in Q&A.

3393817d 9959 419b b418 5e6071bb045d Power BI Desktop April Feature Summary

The Q&A Explorer will also carry filters from the source page through into the dialog. When this happens, you will see a notification at the bottom of the dialog. For example, in the below image I cross-highlighted by Computers right before opening the dialog, so that Category=Computer filter is being applied to the answer I’m getting back from Q&A.

54838cb0 8a15 41f1 a402 9b106b2e973a Power BI Desktop April Feature Summary

This is a preview feature, so if you assign the Q&A action to a button without turning on the Q&A preview feature under the Options dialog, the Q&A Explorer will not open in Power BI Desktop.

The Q&A Explorer does not appear for Publish to Web reports or in mobile reports. It will however work in Power BI Embedded reports.

Watch the following video to learn more about the Q&A Explorer:

Now that we have several different actions that can be triggered by just a click on a shape or image, we decided it was time to add a button control to Power BI as well. These new buttons are geared towards letting you create an app-like experience with interactive elements in your report.

84d44d10 ffa5 48c2 b80b 314032e9ddbe Power BI Desktop April Feature Summary

A button can be inserted from the ribbon, by picking on of several icons or selecting a blank button. Once on your page, you can choose to add text, change the icon, add a fill color or give your button an outline. You have lots of control around the look of the icon and text including size, color, and alignment. Once you pick your default look for your button, you can then use the dropdown to change how it looks on hover or when it is being clicked on.

098777c5 fe9c 4627 984a c7bdcd10c865 Power BI Desktop April Feature Summary

As with images and shapes, you can pick the action that will be performed on click through the Action card. Currently these actions include ‘back’, a specific bookmark, and Q&A. For certain icon types, we will have a default action assigned. For example, if you select the Q&A button, the action card will default to Q&A.

32e90dc6 b184 42f8 b08d b22119a43e4b Power BI Desktop April Feature Summary

Watch the following video to learn more about buttons:

Back in August, we added line styles and legend options for line charts, but at the time you could not use these new styles for combo charts. We are happy to announce that we’ve closed that gap, and you can now change your combo chart lines to different styles and have that optionally reflected in your legend.

2ddaa581 f9cc 42e8 ab4f 4e5896a03dc5 Power BI Desktop April Feature Summary

Watch the following video to learn more about line styles for combo charts:

One of our goals is to make it fast and easy for you to create beautiful, well formatted reports. Last month, we shipped improvements to our default visual placement, and this month we have another improvement geared towards ease of use. We’ve improved our default visual sort, so you won’t need to change it nearly as frequently.

Our new logic for sorting visuals is:

  1. If your visual uses a column that has an associated order-by column, we will sort by that by default (you can set this up using the Sort by column feature)
  2. Otherwise, if your field is a date field, we will sort in chronological order
  3. Lastly, if you don’t have an order-by column or date field, we will sort by the measure descending.

Of course, as always we will always respect any sort order you manually pick.

The numeric range is now generally available to use. You’ll see it a slicer type option for numeric column without needing to turn on a preview feature. Additionally, any newly created slicers using numeric columns will default to the between mode of the numeric range slicer. Thank you to everyone who used this feature while it was in preview and gave us feedback!

a4b48b11 fd10 4865 b8d3 06c4d0e57cb4 Power BI Desktop April Feature Summary

Now that we’ve integrated Q&A into both the report authoring and consuming experience, we wanted to give you a way to improve the results you get back when you ask questions. To help with this, we’ve added the capability export your linguistic schema in YAML format. You can then make edits to the schema such as adding phrasing and synonyms and otherwise customize the language model that Q&A uses to understand questions about your data. You can then import your modified schema back into Power BI Desktop.  

This capability is available under the Linguistic Schema button on the Q&A group at the end of the Modeling ribbon tab:

f56e152b 00c8 4a6a 8676 79015425622d Power BI Desktop April Feature Summary

We’ll be posting soon a dedicated blog post that will go in depth into the linguistic schema and all you can do with it.

This month’s update adds a new DAX function COMBINEVALUES(), that allows multi part keys to be handled in a more efficient way when using DirectQuery.  

Power BI doesn’t directly support relationships that use multi-part keys. For example, consider the relationship between Shipment, and OrderLine. If an OrderLine is uniquely identified by a combination of OrderID and LineID, then the relationship from Shipment to  OrderLine would need to use those pair of columns. The common workaround is to create a calculated column on each table, that combines the values with some separator. For example:

Key = CONCATENATE(CONCATENATE([OrderID],”:”),[LineID])

Then the relationship can be defined as normal. The problem with this workaround is when your using DirectQuery since now cases which require a join between the two tables will send a SQL query that joins on an expression. This often results in indexes no longer being used, and therefore a less efficient query.

Our new COMBINEVALUES takes as arguments a separator (e.x. “:”) and one or more expressions. It will concatenate the values of all the expressions, with the given separator. For example, in the case above, the calculated column can now be defined using the expression:

Key = COMBINEVALUES(“:”,[OrderID],[LineID])

This is still simply a DAX expression, and the calculated columns are still used in the relationship as before. The difference is that this is then optimized, such that upon joining using this relationship, the condition defined in the SQL query decomposes back to use the underlying columns [OrderID] and [LineID] directly. This generally results a much more efficient SQL query.

As another use case for this new DAX function, you might also want to use this function to join a set of values with a common delimiter without having a set of nested CONCATENATE() functions.

In February we released the Organizational visuals, a simple way to deploy and manage custom visuals inside organizations, in preview. We received a lot of positive feedback, and we are excited to announce that the organizational visuals are now generally available. This means it is available out-of-the box for both Power BI Desktop and the Power BI service.

6fe92d3f d3c5 422e b526 50fb3986edea Power BI Desktop April Feature Summary

Check out our documentation to learn how to import organizational visuals into your reports. Please note, that your Power BI administrator must add custom visuals to the organizational repository before you will be able to see any visuals in this experience.

With this GA, we added support for organization visuals to be supported in Publish to Web and as well as support for the administrator to update the visual package and disable visuals.

Learn more about organizational visuals.

Watch the following video to learn more about organizational visuals:

The Overview by CloudScope custom visual is a presentation visual for list-oriented data, with the data appearing in a format similar to Instagram.

b3cc47a1 2d8b 42db a656 1860c14bd320 Power BI Desktop April Feature Summary

The control can display any of the following:

  • Image or icon
  • Screen name or headline
  • Account name
  • Account description
  • Clickable hyperlink
  • as well as multiple data fields

You can use this visual to cross-highlight other visuals on your report as well.

Download this visual from AppSource.

Watch the following video to learn more about the Overview by CloudScope visual:

The Icon Map by Altius visual allows you to show data bound images, lines and circles on a map.

cb1a47a5 9a8e 4e86 b916 33176bcee474 Power BI Desktop April Feature Summary

Some features of this map include:

  • Formatting control over the size of circles on the map
  • Show images in place of circles
  • Connect circles or images with lines
  • Select from different tile layers, include MapBox and Thunderforest if you have the appropriate API key
  • Add real-time weather layers with an OpenWeatherMap API key
  • Show the real-time daylight curve

650a6c55 f4c9 47ed ad3a 41e819d30154 Power BI Desktop April Feature Summary

You can find this visual on AppSource.

Watch the following video to learn more about the Icon Map by Altius visual:

The Hexbin Scatterplot custom visual by David Eldersveld displays points on top of hexagonal “bins”. Each hexbin’s color is based on the density of points within each bin, with darker bins showing more points. You can control with this visual whether the just the points, just the bins or both show up in addition to having formatting control over both.

b1a3e4a1 8357 44c7 bb72 830f9dad26fe Power BI Desktop April Feature Summary

Check out this visual in AppSource.

Watch the following video to learn more about the Hexbin Scatterplot visual:

This month we are very pleased to announce general availability of the Adobe Analytics connector, which has been developed in partnership with Adobe. The connector has been available as a Preview connector since the December 2017 release of Power BI Desktop.

The Adobe Analytics connector can be found in the “Get Data” dialog under the Online Services category.

49a9c0d3 853b 4a3e a8d9 4676c88657bb Power BI Desktop April Feature Summary

After selecting the Adobe Analytics connector, you can authenticate using your Adobe ID account credentials.

8f5037a3 8ba0 4381 ade3 8d520d593180 Power BI Desktop April Feature Summary

0888deb2 dd14 456b 8bcb 61656bf7ddf9 Power BI Desktop April Feature Summary

Once the connection has been successfully established, you can preview and select multiple dimensions and measures within the Navigator dialog to create a single tabular output. As part of this selection, you can also provide any necessary input parameters for the selected items.

After selecting the desired information, you can decide to directly load your query into Power BI Desktop or perform any additional data transformations and filters within the Query Editor UX upfront, via the Edit option in this dialog.

107f7535 4561 4b12 8c99 e1ef466b0803 Power BI Desktop April Feature Summary

We want to thank everyone who has tried out this connector while it was in Preview and shared feedback with us that helped evolve the connector until reaching general availability.

An improvement to the SAP HANA connector in this release enables users to explicitly select the port to use in order to connect to an SAP HANA server. In previous releases, Port could be specified as part of the Server input field. However, the default port when not specified would not distinguish between single-container and multi-container SAP HANA servers.

With this feature enhancement, users can now specify what type of SAP HANA server they are connecting to and get an optimized port default for it, or alternatively select the Custom option to specify a different port number.

2ee25090 aaea 482f bed9 4fad2aacd3b4 Power BI Desktop April Feature Summary

A new connector this month allows you to connect to Dynamics 365 Business Central, previously known as Dynamics 365 for Financials.

The new Dynamics 365 Business Central connector can be found under the Online Services category in the Get Data dialog. This connector is now also generally available.

f69afa63 711b 4500 8bcf ba94f5abadbb Power BI Desktop April Feature Summary

That’s all for this month! We hope that you enjoy these updates and continue sending us your feedback. Please don’t forget to vote for other features that you’d like to see in the Power BI Desktop.

If you check back in a few days, I’ll be adding a link to download the .pbix file I used, and if you’re looking for a similar design for your reports, I was using the Sunset layout from PowerBI.Tips.

5d7f8edd 60a2 45e6 8cd8 5a7fa35e97b5 Power BI Desktop April Feature Summary

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Microsoft Power BI Blog | Microsoft Power BI

Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

This month is a very exciting month for us! We are making several of our most popular connectors generally available, including SAP HANA. Bookmarking is also now generally available, which means you can start creating bookmarks from scratch in the Power BI Service. We are also previewing a powerful feature, report page tooltips, that lets you use visuals in your own custom designed tooltips.

5d7f8edd 60a2 45e6 8cd8 5a7fa35e97b5 Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

Don’t forget you can now get Power BI Desktop from the Windows Store if you’re running Windows 10!

93c19e74 2a63 4c95 9f0c 74b19bc9a29e Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

Here’s the complete list of March updates:

Reporting

Custom visuals

Data connectivity

Other

For a summary of the major updates, you can watch the following video:

We are very excited to announce the preview of our report page tooltips feature. This feature lets you design a report page to be used as a custom tooltip for other visuals in your report. This gives you full flexibility to design whatever kind of custom tooltips you want, from using cards to show detailed information to miniature drillthrough pages shown on hover.

To start creating your custom report page tooltips, first you have to design the tooltip you want to show. We recommend you use a smaller page size, so you don’t have to worry about the tooltip being too large to show on your normal report pages. We have added a new page size template called Tooltip to use as a starting point, but you can use any page size you want.

1b19a15d f655 4b4b 88b9 f5a6d39f1005 Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

While designing your tooltip, we recommend viewing it in Actual size, so you know exactly what your tooltip will look like on hover.

639b6a07 0322 4652 952b b104c661362e Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

Once you’ve finished creating your tooltip report page, you’ll need to mark the page as a tooltip so we know you want to use it as such.

d3e6ff32 4c8d 42e2 8364 82ab5c294f82 Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

From here, there are two ways you can start using this tooltip in your report. The first is to tie it to a specific field using the Tooltip fields bucket in the Filters pane. This behaves similarly to the drillthrough fields bucket. Any fields you put into the tooltip fields bucket will be tied to this tooltip. If you use this field in charts throughout your report, this tooltip will be used instead of the default Power BI tooltip. You can put both categorical and numerical fields in this bucket, including measures.

For example, if I put SalesAmount in the Tooltip fields bucket…

8632cf70 8b22 4b43 b971 29065626c2de Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

That page will be used as a tooltip in other charts using the SalesAmount field.

4cbe02e7 4af6 4202 a3f2 dc8aab3fdb0a Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

The other way you can tie a custom tooltip page to your charts is to manually set it. Visuals that support report page tooltips now has a Tooltip card in the formatting pane. In the card, you can set any page that’s marked as a Tooltip page, even if it doesn’t have anything in the Tooltip field bucket, to be the tooltip for this visual. This is useful if you want to design a tooltip to be used for a specific visual.

51d78220 4196 4e02 8344 32e341f0efe4 Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

Another use case is to manually override the automatically selected tooltip if we picked the wrong one to use. For example, in the chart above, if I had one tooltip tied to the Units field and one tied to the Category field (the two fields used to create the chart), we’d pick one of these tooltips to use automatically. If you didn’t like the tooltip we picked, you can use this manual override to pick the other one.

If you manually override the tooltip in this card, you can always go back to our “automatic” selection by selecting Auto in the dropdown list. You can also completely turn the report page tooltips off for a chart using the toggle in the Tooltip card. This will force a chart to use Power BI’s default tooltip, even if there are matching report page tooltips in the report.

9e353626 90fd 4b7d 9d1a c8e37d5881fa Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

There are a couple of other things to consider when building report page tooltips. First, when using these custom tooltips for line charts, you will only get one tooltip for all lines in the chart, as you do today. The field in the legend does not get passed through as a filter on the tooltip. In the example below, the tooltip is showing all units sold on that day across all three classes: Deluxe, Economy, and Regular.

e34821de 2d4a 41a6 9abc 7e7669637586 Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

Second, when a chart is being cross-highlighted, the report page tooltips will always show the cross-highlighted data, even if you are hovering over the “faded out” section of the data point. To see the unfiltered data in the tooltip, you will need to clear the highlighting.

358d91ae 48b7 46a2 8518 ecb8f19565a2 Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

This feature is in preview, so you will need to turn it on in the Options dialog (File > Options and settings > Options > Preview features). Currently report page tooltips are not supported when viewing reports in our mobile apps or in embedded environments, including Publish to web. In these cases, we will fall back to Power BI’s default tooltip. Report page tooltips are also not supported yet for custom visuals.

Please try out this new preview feature and let us know what you think!

Watch the following video to learn more about report page tooltips:

Back in October, we released a preview of bookmarking, a powerful feature that can be used for anything from storytelling to app-like navigation. Since then we’ve updated the feature to add more flexibility and we ran a contest that resulted in some pretty amazing submissions. This month, we are very excited to make bookmarking generally available. This means you will no longer need to turn bookmarking on through the Preview feature tab in the Options dialog, and you can now create bookmarks in the Power BI service without needing to first create a bookmark in Power BI Desktop. This also means that all the custom visuals that are published by Microsoft on AppSource support bookmarking. Other visuals in the marketplace are in the process of adding support to bookmarking.

Our formatting improvement this month is an improvement for table and matrix field formatting. For numerical values, you can now control both the display units and decimal places per column similar to what you can already do for data labels on charts. This setting will override any model-level formatting set for that field.

5f36843d 28d5 49b3 85c7 5fa15058d115 Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

Watch the following video to learn more about display units and precision in table and matrix:

Frequently, if you are embedding your published report, especially if it is in a webpage, you don’t want or expect your users to do many of the actions that currently show in our visual header, such as opening the visual in focus mode or drilling down. If this is the case, we now have a way to completely disable the visual header for your entire report when it’s viewed by consumers.

To turn off the visual header, you can check the Hide the visual header in reading view box in the Report settings section in the Options dialog. Once you’ve done this and published, you will no longer see the header for any visuals in your report when it’s being consumed. This includes Reading mode in the Power BI service, Publish to web reports, and any other embedding experience. Note that you will still see the header in Power BI Desktop (since it’s always in edit mode) and when editing the report in the Power BI service.

aee93dba 5e37 4080 b4c1 04f1babae1b6 Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

Watch the following video to learn more about disabling the visual header:

We’ve made some improvements to where we are placing visuals by default when you create them. You should notice that the automatic placement is now more logical and does a better job of filling in gaps that are available around already existing visuals.

Watch the following video to learn more about the improved visual placement:

Mapbox provides mapping and location tools for business intelligence. Their maps, search, and navigation APIS and SDKs seemlesly integrate into data visualization platforms like Power BI or can be extended to create custom dashboards or analytics tools.

With the Mapbox Power BI custom visual, Mapbox brings five powerful features for visualizing data with maps to Power BI:

  • Multiple visual types that allow you to choose from heatmaps, graduated circle maps, and cluster aggregation maps all within one visual

3abcd951 b2ec 490f a275 52f0f72bf9d7 Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

  • Vector maps that help you filter and understand big, dynamic data with tens of thousands of data points rendering at 60 frames-per-second

95577207 d8ef 4dfb 9d33 9725a9478d1c Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

  • Custom map design tools that allow you to control every element of your visualization, from color, to size, to min and max zoom

873df363 38ec 4645 a0c7 539dbb03a3f3 Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

  • Upload most types of custom map data from shapefiles, KMLs, to imagery GeoTiffs and drop them in your dashboard as a custom map style

456fab96 8754 4c73 98e2 8c74fc46e6b1 Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

  • Use cluster aggregations to understand spatial trends way beyond density by styling clusters based on a measure sum, min, max, or average value

06f69460 e562 4dee 8ad3 66740b9a72b7 Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

These features enable you to arrange and visualize data in new ways to help you understand your data better, all while leveraging Power BI’s infrastructure to uncover new insights.

To create this visual, you will need a free Mapbox account. As of now, you’ll get 50,000 map views free per month, then you’ll be billed for overages at $ 0.50/1,000 map views. You can always see the latest pricing information on Mapbox’s pricing page. Only the report creator will need an account, and anyone can view an existing visual.

Download this custom visual on AppSource and learn more by reading Mapbox’s documentaiton.

Watch the following video to learn more about the Mapbox custom visual:

User List by CloudScope is a specialized grid-style visual that allows you to display data about users, organizations or other data elements. You can view this list in either a compact or expanded format depending on your presentation needs. You can also cross-highlight other visuals when selecting on an item in the list.

The compact version of the visual can display:

  • Photo
  • Name
  • ScreenName
  • Verified status
  • and any number of generic data fields

The expanded list adds:

  • Background photo
  • Description

c1e930ae d3f6 40f5 8524 e96679755763 Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

Get this visual on AppSource.

Watch the following video to learn more about the User List by CloudScope custom visual:

The Timeline by CloudScope visual displays a list of social data information in a format similar to a Twitter timeline. You can create this visual by providing up to seven fields from your data model:

  • User picture
  • User name
  • User screen name
  • Created date
  • Text
  • Likes
  • Retweets

This will create a timeline visual you can use to integrate social media information into your report. Each status item in the timeline can be used to cross-highlight other visuals on your report page.

There is also an enhanced version of this that you can create by providing a property collection called TweetJson, which will allow you to display embedded tweet media, author verified status and distinguish between different tweet types (tweets, retweets, replies and quoted tweets). You can learn more about TweetJson on CloudScope’s website.

3f85030b 95af 4d10 898b cdbd47190b17 Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

Download the visual on AppSource.

Watch the following video to learn more about the Timeline by CloudScope custom visual:

KPI Chart by Akvelon is a single visual for visualizing and analyzing the correlation between two measures. It combines a line chart and a column chart with the same X axis to show a representation of the distribution of numerical data. Additionally, KPI Chart by Akvelon allows you to show static and dynamic background KPI regions that can characterize, for example, the level of success before reaching the target. This chart is simplified version of the standard Line and Clustered column chart with the added ability to create multiple lines and add horizontal regions to assess progress.

97329b34 4300 4b48 8e5e a46c1cd685c1 Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

View the visual on AppSource.

Watch the following video to learn more about the KPI Chart by Akvelon custom visual:

The R DataTable by David Eldersveld is an interactive R-powered table that helps you easily explore and filter data.

Some of the benefits of the R DataTable include:

  • Search – Global search field to filter data across all columns
  • Pagination – Use “Show # of entries” to choose between 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, or 1000 records to display per page
  • Column-level filters – Conveniently filter column values using the option below each column header

Some of the format options include:

  • Initial Entries – Choose the default number of entries/records per page
  • Filters – Choose where to position the column filters (Top, Bottom, None)

699d481b 7d74 419f 9b7c 85b3fc4b1429 Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

You can find the visual on AppSource.

Watch the following video to learn more about the R DataTable custom visual:

Use the Outliers Detection to find outliers, a data point a significant distance from most other points, in your data using the most appropriate method. This can help you find measurement errors or indicators of important occurrences or events. One such example is fraud detection, where outliers may indicate fraudulent activity.

There are many different methods to detect outliers, and in this custom visual you can use five of the most popular detection methods:

  1. Zscore – a standard deviation approach
  2. Tukey’s method – a interquartile (IQR) range approach
  3. LOF (Local Outlier Factor) method – computes the local density deviation of a given data point with respect to its neighbors. It considers samples that have a substantially lower density than their neighbors as outliers
  4. Cook’s distance – shows the influence of each observation on the fitted response values. An observation with Cook’s distance larger than three times the mean Cook’s distance might be an outlier
  5. Manual method – allows you to define your own upper and lower thresholds for the original data

In addition to the different detection method, the visual also supports three ways to visualize outliers:

  • Scatter plot
  • Box plot
  • Density plot

For each plot type, you can decide to visualize the original data or outlier scores.

90c456fb c6ba 4b95 8ce8 632e89ffae2a Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

Check this visual out on AppSource.

Watch the following video to learn more about the Outliers Detection custom visual:

Data Insights by MAQ Software allows you to view data in multiple formats. You can switch between a horizontal bar, a vertical bar, a brick, or a tabular format. With Data Insights by MAQ Software, you can easily explore, select, and view selected data in the format that best fits your individual business needs.

62cad2d1 312b 47a6 a4b4 bcb4f610a05f Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

You can download this visual from AppSource.

Watch the following video to learn more about the Data Insight by MAQ Software custom visual:

The Dumbbell Chart by MAQ Software displays critical measures and shows changes over a duration or across categories . The Dumbbell Chart helps you analyze changes in critical data. This visual is an excellent choice for illustrating the change between two data points and comparing the distances between them. The visual consists of a dual-axis combination chart, where one axis is marked by a circle and the other is marked by a line that spans data points you provide.

Key features include:

  • The ability to display the performance of multiple indicators.
  • The ability to compare the growth or loss of indicators across various categories.
  • Easy interaction with many data points using the zoom functionality.
  • Quick downloading of an image of the chart with the capture image widget.

dc37a47b 2567 4b2b b86b 98120ac4c1c2 Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

Download the Dumbbell chart from AppSource.

Watch the following video to learn more about the Dumbbell Chart by MAQ Software custom visual:

The Clustering using OPTICS by MAQ Software visual uses the OPTICS based clustering algorithm to analyze groups and hierarchies within a group. The algorithm works on density-based clustering, so you can also identify individual points that don’t belong to any of the groups. You can perform hierarchical clustering on your data to identify more closely-knit groups within larger groups. This visual also allows you to adjust the clustering parameters to control hierarchy depth and cluster sizes.

Key features include:

  • Ability to identify outliers based on convex hull plots
  • Data is scaled and pre-processed automatically so no need to do so externally
  • Add your own dataset for tooltips
  • Ability to identify sub clusters/hierarchal clusters in your data
  • Ability of hover tooltips and zoom effects
  • Capability to manually adjust the parameters of the clustering model
  • No need to define the number of clusters

59c1fd78 0db3 473b 8bbb 322000385a7e Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

You can find the Clustering using OPTICS by MAQ Software visual on AppSource.

Watch the following video to learn more about the Clustering using OPTICS by MAQ Software custom visual:

This month we’re making a couple of enhancements to the SAP HANA connector:

DirectQuery multidimensional support is now generally available

Last month we released a preview of the new SAP HANA DirectQuery multidimensional connector. A few weeks ago, we enabled Power BI Service support for the connector (via the On-premises data gateway February update). This month we are glad to announce that the new DirectQuery multidimensional connector has hit general availability. Note that you can still opt into using the DirectQuery relational connector by enabling the option under “File -> Options and Settings -> Options -> DirectQuery -> Treat SAP HANA as a relational source”.

SSL certificate validation support

In this release, we’ve enhanced support for connecting to SAP HANA servers with SSL encryption by surfacing the SSL Certificate Validation options in the Power BI Desktop Credentials prompt. Note that you may need to remove or edit already stored credentials for a given SAP HANA server that you connected to before in order to leverage these new options. Support for these new options will become available in the Power BI Service (via On-premises data gateway) in one of the next few Gateway updates. Stay tuned!

a02484d0 3d89 4b10 8d5f f99b81516e56 Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

You can learn more about our SAP HANA connector in our documentation.

We’re announcing general availability of the DirectQuery mode for SAP BW, which was introduced as a Beta feature a few months ago. Thanks everyone for your feedback during this Beta period, which helped us enhancing the connector and getting it into GA status. For this connector, it is important to discard existing preview DirectQuery reports. Errors will occur on old reports when you try to refresh the report.

You can learn more about our SAP BW DirectQuery connector in our documentation.

Another connector becoming GA in this month’s release is the Azure Analysis Services connector. We want to thank all of you for the feedback and encourage you to continue using this connector as it becomes generally available.

If you ever get an error while using Power BI Desktop, you’ll no longer see the old send-a-frown experience where you email us the information. We’ve upgraded our error reporting experience to use Windows Error Reporting. Now whenever you hit an error, you’ll be able to send us the information directly through this new error dialog. In addition to being able to submit errors in Power BI Desktop directly, another benefit of our move to Windows Error Reporting is that you now have a centralized place to see and search all your Windows diagnostic data that you’ve reported to Microsoft, which you can learn about in the Windows privacy blog.

0b173e3c d4cb 4628 bdf0 a33e6f2222be Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

Since we are now using Windows Error Reporting, you can also view any errors you’ve previously encountered while using Power BI Desktop. To do this, search for ‘problem reports’ in your start menu.

d77020d0 e5a4 4b2f b077 262251950e41 Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

If you select View all problem reports, you’ll get a dialog showing all your errors and you can double click any issue in the list to view the details that were sent to Microsoft, including any screenshots.

453e3d78 2084 40cc b288 e0b7235b1b71 Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

If you chose to not submit a report initially, you can always get all the information from here to send to our support team later, if needed. Just click View a temporary copy of these files and save anything you need to send to our support team.

522e4856 3eb2 4da4 b4c4 f431e375af67 Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

That’s all for this month! We hope that you enjoy these updates and continue sending us your feedback. Please don’t forget to vote for other features that you’d like to see in the Power BI Desktop.

5d7f8edd 60a2 45e6 8cd8 5a7fa35e97b5 Power BI Desktop March Feature Summary

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Microsoft Power BI Blog | Microsoft Power BI

The New Auto Number Feature in Dynamics 365

New Auto Number Features 300x225 The New Auto Number Feature in Dynamics 365

Auto numbers or unique alphanumeric strings are usually needed by CRM users to uniquely identify records in UI. We have developed plugins in the past, which would generate unique identifiers for us by using counters or random strings.

Microsoft has released an “Auto number” attribute in the 9.0 version of Dynamics 365. Adding the attribute from UI is not allowed yet, but it will be soon. Until then, we can add the attribute via API.

Let’s add one.

1. Create a console application in Visual Studio.

021518 1842 TheNewAutoN1 The New Auto Number Feature in Dynamics 365

2. Add the Dynamics 365 V9.0 dlls as references. Currently, the preview version of the dlls is available in NuGet.

https://www.nuget.org/packages/Microsoft.CrmSdk.CoreAssemblies/9.0.0.4-Preview

3. Create a connection to your organization and call the CreateAutoNumberAttribute function from the Main() function.

using System;

using System.Collections.Generic;

using System.Linq;

using System.Text;

using System.Threading.Tasks;

using System.Configuration;

using Microsoft.Xrm.Sdk;

using Microsoft.Xrm.Sdk.Query;

using Microsoft.Xrm.Sdk.Client;

using Microsoft.Xrm.Sdk.Messages;

using Microsoft.Xrm.Sdk.Metadata;

using System.ServiceModel.Description;

static
void Main(string[] args)

{


string orgServiceUrl = ConfigurationManager.AppSettings[“orgServiceUrl”];


string userName = ConfigurationManager.AppSettings[“username”];


string password = ConfigurationManager.AppSettings[“password”];


Uri oUri = new
Uri(orgServiceUrl);


//** Your client credentials


ClientCredentials clientCredentials = new
ClientCredentials();

clientCredentials.UserName.UserName = userName;

clientCredentials.UserName.Password = password;


//Create your Organization Service Proxy


OrganizationServiceProxy _serviceProxy = new
OrganizationServiceProxy(

oUri,


null,

clientCredentials,


null);

CreateAutoNumberAttribute(“account”, “new_accountnumber”, _serviceProxy);

}

4. Following function creates an auto number attribute of “string” type in “Account” entity.

“AutoNumberFormat” is the new property that has been added to the AttributeMetadata class to help us add the auto number attribute.

public
static
void CreateAutoNumberAttribute(string entityName, string attributename, OrganizationServiceProxy _orgServiceProxy)

{


CreateAttributeRequest newAttributeReq = new
CreateAttributeRequest

{

EntityName = entityName.ToLower(),

Attribute = new
StringAttributeMetadata

{

AutoNumberFormat = “ACC-{RANDSTRING:6}”,

LogicalName = attributename.ToLower(),

SchemaName = attributename.ToLower(),

MaxLength = 150,

RequiredLevel = new
AttributeRequiredLevelManagedProperty(AttributeRequiredLevel.None),

FormatName = StringFormatName.Text,

DisplayName = new Microsoft.Xrm.Sdk.Label(“Account Number”, 1033),

Description = new Microsoft.Xrm.Sdk.Label(“Unique alphanumberic number for each account”, 1033)

}

};

_orgServiceProxy.Execute(newAttributeReq);

}

5. Time to check out the new attribute!

021518 1842 TheNewAutoN2 The New Auto Number Feature in Dynamics 365

6. Let’s create few accounts and check the auto numbers!

021518 1842 TheNewAutoN3 The New Auto Number Feature in Dynamics 365

7. 9.0 version of Dynamics 365 supports the following tokens for Auto numbers:

Static String
DATE:[format]
SEQNUM:size
RANDSTRING:6

There you have it! We’re happy to have this feature added to Dynamics 365. Be sure to check out our blog for more updates, news, and tips for Dynamics 365!

Happy Dynamics 365’ing!

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

PowerObjects- Bringing Focus to Dynamics CRM

Data as a Feature: The New Differentiator for Software Builders

iStock 639637200 e1517933445411 Data as a Feature: The New Differentiator for Software Builders

It is a great time to be alive if you are a technology consumer. The era of “there’s an app for that” has quickly evolved into the era of “there are 10 apps for that”, meaning users have more choice than ever over which applications they adopt. Lower barriers to developing and providing an application have lowered the common denominator for software builders.

With an influx of new applications, product managers are having to find creative new ways to differentiate their offerings from the pack. User experience has proven to be one of the new differentiators and, in many in cases, is perceived as more important to users than core features and capabilities. In the new era of software, the best applications—the ones that stick—are those that pair great user experience with the powerful potential that lies within data. The best applications treat data as a feature of their product or service.

What exactly is “data as a feature”? It is the act and process of treating data as a core component of an application in a way that delivers value to the end user. One of the primary drivers for any product manager is to build a product that helps users achieve a goal or set of goals. When designed and packaged in the right way, data is a potent asset that allows users to reach goals and appreciate the full value of an application.

Need proof? Look at consumer applications like Mint.com and Strava—two of the most successful apps in their respective domains. Mint.com took the traditionally difficult task of deciphering financial information and made it easy for virtually any user to intelligently manage their finances. Strava accomplished the same feat in the world of personal fitness by allowing users to train smarter and reach cycling and running goals. Both applications provide highly visual interfaces that allow users of any competency to intuitively interact with data. Having these data experiences within the context of the application allows users to not only consume helpful insights, but act on those insights at the point of consumption.

And although data as a feature started in consumer products, business applications are capitalizing on the same practice as well. The HR & Finance application, Workday, uses thoughtfully designed charts and visualizations to give its non-technical, non-analyst users the power to make data-driven decisions around recruiting and workforce management.

Software product managers are a rare breed. Not many people have the creative vision, technical chops, and pragmatic decision-making skills that come with the job of product management. To meet demands of the next generation of application users, product managers must employ all of these weapons and look for new ways to differentiate their products from an increasingly crowded market. With a surplus of data at our disposal, many software builders are unknowingly sitting on gold mines of untapped data that can be unlocked for their users. By treating data as a feature, product managers can make stickier applications by helping users reach goals faster and more confidently with data.

 
To explore the concept of data as a feature and learn key considerations around embedded analytics, download the complimentary new O’Reilly eBook, Data as a Feature: A Guide for Product Managers.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

The TIBCO Blog

Power BI Desktop February Feature Summary

There are two themes for this month’s Power BI Desktop update. The first is a focus on some of your major asks including multi-selecting data points across multiple charts and syncing slicer values across multiple pages of your report. We also have a major update to our SAP HANA connector. Our second theme is a focus on performance improvements across three different areas of our product.

5d7f8edd 60a2 45e6 8cd8 5a7fa35e97b5 Power BI Desktop February Feature Summary

Don’t forget you can now get Power BI Desktop from the Windows Store if you’re on Windows 10!

c36916c4 7a57 41f0 9e2f 5ba0ce3db9ed Power BI Desktop February Feature Summary

Here’s the complete list of February updates:

Reporting

Analytics

Custom visuals

Data connectivity

Other

For a summary of the major updates, you can watch the following video:

We are very excited to announce the release of one of our most highly asked for features! You can now ctrl+click on data points in multiple charts and have the cross filters applied to your entire report. As you select data points across multiple charts, we will apply both those filters together. For example, if you select Computers in a column chart and Regular in a pie chart, then all the charts on your report page will be filtered to products that are computers and regular.

1f2cc058 0fce 45d0 a098 dbf643eab96e Power BI Desktop February Feature Summary

Watch the following video to learn more about multi-selecting data points:

Another huge ask from the community is to have slicers that apply to multiple pages. To meet this request, we’ve added a “Sync slicers” pane that will let you select slicers to stay in sync across multiple pages. For instance, selecting “Red” on a product color slicer on page 1 will be reflected in the product color slicer on page 2 if the two pages are synced. You can reach the Sync slicers pane from the View tab.

Once you’ve opened the pane, select a slicer to see the options. You can quickly make the slicer apply to every page by clicking the ‘Add to all’ link. A hidden slicer will be put on every page, synced to the currently selected slicer. You can also use the right column to pick if the slicer is visible on each page or not.

3f76256d 598a 45c0 9349 cc13bbf4d7af Power BI Desktop February Feature Summary

Watch the following video to learn more about syncing slicers:

We also have a minor improvement to our numeric slicer preview visual. Now if you create a range slicer using a whole number column, it will snap to rounded values and not apply decimal filters.

8be77bce e748 46d1 85e1 7592ba1fbbb5 Power BI Desktop February Feature Summary

Watch the following video to learn more about syncing slicers:

Starting this month, we are planning on flighting a new, faster way to geocode your map data. This new method can have up to a 6x improvement on your geocoding speed depending on the amount of data you have. While you shouldn’t notice any changes to the actual location results you are getting back, the results will come back much faster. We wanted to be very safe with this change, so we are choosing to flight this feature. This means we will be releasing it to a small group of users and will over time slowly increase the number of users getting the feature. When we flight features, they only affect the Power BI service, not your Desktop reports, but we wanted to share the feature details here so everyone is aware of the changes.

By default, Power BI will hide your data labels if you place them inside the data points and they don’t fit. This month we added a formatting option that lets the data label overflow past the edge of the data point, like the experience you’d see in Excel. Note that we will still automatically hide data labels that would collide with others to prevent overlapping text.

f44dc7ec fc8a 4248 9aad 877e17e821ff Power BI Desktop February Feature Summary

Watch the following video to learn more about the overflow formatting option:

 

We have so many options now in our formatting and analytics pane that it can sometimes be hard to find the option you are looking for. To help with this, we’ve added a search box that will filter down the options to only those that match your search terms.

1205cb1c a526 49cd 88cb 332b2eedd935 Power BI Desktop February Feature Summary

Watch the following video to learn more about searching the formatting pane:

Until now, you could only bring your own date tables by importing from Excel (using PowerPivot) or through LiveConnect (SSDT). Now in Power BI, you can mark a table as a date table. This will enable date hierarchies and time intelligence for the selected table.

In order for a table to be marked as a date table, it must contain at least one column of type ‘Date’, or ‘Date/Time’.

You can mark your own table as a date table either through right-clicking on the desired table or using the ribbon button.

22180020 9248 4c8b bd6b 36dfcb862353 Power BI Desktop February Feature Summary

When marking a table as a date table, you must select a date column to be used as a primary date column. Make sure that the column you pick for this:

  • Contains no null values
  • Contains unique values
  • Contains contiguous date values (from start to end)
  • If it is a date/time column, the timestamp must be the same across each value

markAsDateTable Power BI Desktop February Feature Summary

When a table is marked as a date table, all our built-in date tables associated with this table will be removed. If you later un-marked it as a date table, our built-in date tables will be re-created for the date columns in the table.

Watch the following video to learn more about marking a custom date table:

Our quick measures feature is now generally available and no longer requires the preview feature switch to be turned on. Additionally, thanks to the above feature to mark your own custom data table, you no longer need to use Power BI’s date hierarchy for the time intelligence quick measures. You can use the date field from your own date table in any quick measures. 

We’ve added two new DAX functions this month that help if you’re working with date-time data across timezones. DAX has long supported the NOW() and TODAY() functions that return time and date in the timezone that the function’s being used – so if a .pbix file is passed to someone in a different timezone they’ll see different results. UTCNOW() and UTCTODAY() will always return the current time or date in UTC so you can guarantee consistent results wherever you are (and also when you upload the workbook to the Power BI service).

Custom visuals enable developers and users to visualize their data in the way that best helps them understand the data and gain insights from it. Often, these visuals are specific to the organization’s needs and the way that it runs its business. The organization typically doesn’t want to publish the visual to the public. Nevertheless, there is a real need to get those visuals into the hands of data analysts inside the organization, the ones that build and maintain the analytics reports and dashboards. It’s especially important that it’s easy for them to discover the appropriate visuals and to know they don’t need to maintain and update these visuals to use them.

Your organization’s Power BI admin can deploy specific visuals as part of your organizational repository. This means you’ll see these deployed visuals under a new section of the Power BI custom visual store integrated into Power BI Desktop called My organization. Since these visuals have been vetted by your company, you can have confidence that they are well made.

d236c9a2 cf4a 4c22 b991 1a5fbb0ce0df Power BI Desktop February Feature Summary

This feature is currently in preview, so you’ll need to enable it from the Options menu (File->Options and settings->Options->Preview features).

Learn more about organizational custom visuals.

If you are a Power BI admin, you can add new custom visuals to this part of the store by going to the Admin portal in the Power BI service and selecting Organization visuals tab. From there you can click the Add a custom visual button and upload the .pbiviz file for the custom visual you want.

ebf9eaf0 b9e7 40bd 8d4b 9caa2f768154 Power BI Desktop February Feature Summary

Learn more about deploying and managing organization custom visuals.

Watch the following video to learn more about organizational custom visuals:

The Network Chart by ZoomCharts has the ability to visualize data as a network structure and filter data through a variety of gestures and smart touches on all devices. The network structure lets you have multiple vertice types (more than two), making it possible to see the connections among many categories. The box select feature lets you easily select multiple nodes within the chart to filter your other visuals. Visualizing the data as a network structure lets you see the implied connections in data making important decision making more efficient and obvious.

5f4ee9d7 366c 4ad9 8782 a4728b9b9f87 Power BI Desktop February Feature Summary

Some practical use cases of the interactive Network Chart and Filter visual are:

  • Customer segmentation
  • Cost and revenue analysis
  • Log/Event analysis

There are two versions of this chart. The free version is available on Microsoft AppSource and the customizable paid version can be purchased on the ZoomCharts website.

Features of the free Network Chart visual include:

  • Fully depict data as a network structure with the ability to filter the data from within the visual
  • Smooth connecting visuals
  • Cross-category filtering
  • Dynamic force feedback layout
  • Expanding/collapsing vertices
  • Hide/Unhide vertices
  • Select one or multiple vertices
  • Category-coded colors for vertices (non-configurable)
  • Inner and outer labels for vertices (non-configurable)
  • Dynamic radius for vertices (non-configurable)

Paid features include:

  • Legend control
  • Customizable vertices
  • Support for images inside vertices
  • Value-based gradient colors for vertices and edges
  • Inside/outside label configuration
  • Configurable dynamic radius for vertices
  • Configurable dynamic width for edges
  • Edge decorations
  • Up-to 9 categories

Watch the following video to learn more about the Network Chart:

Slope Chart by MAQ Software allows you to analyze trends in data at a glance. This visual is useful for comparing interactions between two data points based on time or other user-chosen parameters. A slope chart is most useful if there are notable changes to highlight or for showing comparisons between groups.

Some key features of the visual include:

  • Quick comparison of indicator growth or loss across categories
  • Easy interaction with many data points using zoom functionality
  • Quickly download an image of the chart with the capture image widget

794c88a4 3075 45cd 9241 ddf7d45dfcf3 Power BI Desktop February Feature Summary

Watch the following video to learn more about the Slope Chart:

The Filter by List visual lets you bulk apply filter values for a report. Currently if you want to filter a report with a large number of categories, such as 100 products, you’d need to check each box in the filter pane one by one. With this visual you can do this immediately by pasting the entire list of products into the slicer visual.

201cd90b 2b68 4328 8aac d34215c6223f Power BI Desktop February Feature Summary

Watch the following video to learn more about the Filter by List visual:

This visual helps you find overlaps and gaps of dates in your data. This is useful for showing things such as team vacation schedules or project plans.

1e58f689 297f 44b6 bb3f 90280f05c8cf Power BI Desktop February Feature Summary

Watch the following video to learn more about the as Timeline visual:

T-accounts are used by most accounting professionals to understand difficult accounting journal entries and with this visual you can now create T-accounts in Power BI directly.

d6aaf731 1bee 499f 90af 395b9ee7e49a Power BI Desktop February Feature Summary

Watch the following video to learn more about the as T-Accounts visual:

Power BI has long supported SAP HANA, both for import and DirectQuery. However, the DirectQuery support largely treated SAP HANA as a relational source, meaning that care had to be taken to ensure that measures aggregated correctly when dealing with non-additive SAP HANA measures like Counters or ratios and to ensure that the reports had good performance.

There is now a preview of a new approach to SAP HANA that will treat it as a multi-dimensional source by default, in a similar manner to SAP Business Warehouse or Analysis Services. You’ll need to turn on the “New SAP HANA connector” preview feature switch under File > Options and Settings > Options > Preview features.

When connecting to SAP HANA using this approach, a single analytic or calculation view is selected, and all the measures, hierarchies, and attributes of that view will be available in the field list. As visuals are created, the correct aggregate data will always be retrieved from SAP HANA.

It is still possible to use the old approach to DirectQuery over SAP HANA. This is controlled by selecting File > Options and settings and then Options > DirectQuery, then selecting the option Treat SAP HANA as a relational source. Check this option to create a DirectQuery report over SAP HANA using the old approach.

Note that this option controls the approach that will be used for any new connections created. It has no effect on any existing SAP HANA connections in the current report, nor on connections in any other reports that are opened. This means that any reports connecting to SAP HANA that were created prior to February 2018 will continue to treat SAP HANA as a relational source.

Given the completely different behavior between the two approaches, it’s not possible to switch an existing report from one approach to the other.

The two approaches are described in detail in our documentation.

While in preview, reports created using the new multi-dimensional approach can’t be published to the Power BI service. Doing so will result in errors when opened within the service.

This latest update includes a large number of improvements to the performance of reports using DirectQuery. We expect some improvement to many queries and substantial improvement in particular cases. The key performance improvements are:

  • Combining additive and non-additive aggregates into single query. Power BI will now combine both additive aggregates (e.g., SUM, MIN) and non-additive aggregates (e.g., DISTINCTCOUNT) into a single SQL query to the underlying source, rather than sending two queries. This will improve the performance of any visual containing both DistinctCount and another additive aggregate.
  • Improved handling of queries with a large number of literals. The performance of any query involving a large number of literals has been improved, such as queries that involve measure filtering, TopN filtering, or bi-directional relationships.
  • Use of a single SQL query rather than multiple for some visuals and calculations. Power BI used to send several SQL queries using DISTINCTCOUNT for certain kinds of visuals and calculations. For example, this could occur when using bi-directional relationships, or using a quick measure, or in a measure using CALCULATE of DISTINCTCOUNT. Now, a single SQL query is sent, resulting in an order of magnitude improvement in some cases.
  • Optimized queries to reduce post-aggregation. In some scenarios, Power BI used to send SQL queries at a lower granularity than needed for the visual and perform post-aggregation locally. Now, it pushes all the joins and post-aggregations down to the underlying source, improving performance. For example, this applies to any visual where the underlying measure column is directly related to only a subset of the columns being grouped by (and there is some non-trivial filtering), and most quick measures.
  • Optimized use of TREATAS in calculations. Power BI will optimize common patterns for the use of TREATAS in calculations to combine into a single query. For example, a visual containing the following two measures:

    CALCULATE(SUM(Table1[Col1], TREATAS(VALUES(Table2[Col3]), Table1[Col3])) and
    CALCULATE(MIN(Table1[Col2], TREATAS(VALUES(Table2[Col3]), Table1[Col3]))

    would previously have resulted in two separate SQL queries, but will now result in just one.

  • Fewer SQL queries are sent when there is multi-column tuple filtering. For example, if Include or Exclude is used to filter out data items based on multiple columns, e.g., to exclude the items (“USA”,”Old”) and (“France”,”Young”) from a visual.

We’ve made improvements to our performance when opening and saving files, especially when your files are quite large. In some cases, you can see between a 40% and 60% performance improvement.

We’ve done some work to improve the Show items with no data feature.

1df339d1 7bc8 438a b2c0 e576b4cae245 Power BI Desktop February Feature Summary

Some visible improvements you’ll see are:

  • For visuals that have Show items with no data enabled, you’ll see major performance improvements for visuals with columns or filters directly related in the model (as in they have one to many relationship). On average we improved the performance by 100%.
  • Filters related to columns that have Show items with no data enabled now respect model bidirectional cross filtering

We are planning to release a new feature for reports in the Power BI service very soon where we will persist filters, slicers, and other data view changes as your report consumers last left them. This will be unique to each of them, so they will no longer need to spend their valuable time setting up or filtering the reports on every visit. Instead, they can pick up right where they left off!

In order to give you more control over this feature when it does get released in the service, we have added a new option under Report settings called “Persistent Filters” in this month’s release. The feature is on by default, but you can choose to disable it here.

61a4ec49 7854 4bc2 9d14 642529b665b6 Power BI Desktop February Feature Summary

Watch the following video to learn more about the persistent filters option:

From the new Consulting Services resource on the Help ribbon, you can explore a wide variety of curated fixed price, fixed scope, and fixed duration consulting services from our vibrant partner community. These affordable packaged briefings, assessments, workshops, proof-of-concept, and implementation offerings can help you get started with Power BI, take your skills to the next level, or help set you on the path to solve difficult business problems. 

Watch the following video to learn more about the Consulting Services resource:

That’s all for this month! We hope that you enjoy these updates and continue sending us your feedback. Please don’t forget to vote for other features that you’d like to see in the Power BI Desktop.

5d7f8edd 60a2 45e6 8cd8 5a7fa35e97b5 Power BI Desktop February Feature Summary

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Microsoft Power BI Blog | Microsoft Power BI