Power BI Updates - October 2019

Power BI Updates - October 2019

We implement Power BI for a wide range of solutions and are always looking for ways to incorporate the newest features. In this blog post we have summarised a few of the ones that have made a difference to our customers this quarter.  Power BI has rolled out several improvements to paginated reports, including commenting and URL Parameters. Azure Analysis Services has gained support for Data Lake Gen2 and new Capacity Settings permit greater control over resources. 

URL Parameters for Paginated Reports 

The URLs of your published reports are no longer simply navigational. With the addition of URL parameters, you can now initiate commands in your report. The Report Parameters, definable in the Properties screen can now be manipulated by adding them directly into the URL. Multiple parameters can be defined by stringing together statements. It works the other way around as well, with the new function to “Generate Link”, which will create a URL with all the currently defined Parameters already appended. This whole addition allows for quick and easy filtering and export formats to be applied when sharing reports to different stakeholders or user types.  

Azure Analysis Services Support for Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 

Azure Analysis Service can now take advantage of all the features of Azure Data lake Storage Gen2. The improved performance, accessibility and scalability that Gen2 offers with its hierarchical namespace object storage can now be brought to bear within the Analysis Service platform. When you have the flexibility of Blob Storage with the accuracy of an analytics-focused file system semantics, users can get more out of your Power BI by simply directly connecting to the Blob API when setting up Data Sources. 

New Paginated Report Features 

There are three new features that have been added to improve the experience of paginated Power BI reports. It is now possible to add commentary in a layer alongside the report. This is a feature that is very welcome, since our customers always seek improved feedback and communication channels. Collaboration directly within Power BI is more impactful and allows for faster turn-around-time on changes. 

A new tool now helps in migrating reports from SQL Server Reporting Services to Power BI. This is good news for users who were looking to move their existing paginated SSRS reports from local servers to a Power BI workspace. Any shared data sources are embedded in the report, relevant files are saved to the workspace and a full summary of asset migration success is provided. 

New Capacity Settings for Power BI Premium

For those who require close control over the small and subtle technical details of their Power BI resource management, there is now the option to define certain performance settings. The aim of this is to allow users to limit certain reports from consuming excessive resources and to ensure that processing occurs in a predictable manner. This is a great option if you have users new to DAX queries, who may inadvertently make extremely resource-intensive demands.  

Settings that can now be changed include Max Offline Dataset Size, which can be used to restrict large datasets from taking up memory resources. Query Memory Limit %, which enables the limiting of demanding DAX measures from pushing out other queries from the capacity. Max Intermediate Row Set Count, which permits more control over potential resource spikes from demanding DirectQueries involving huge amounts of rows. Similarly, there is Max Result Row Set Count, which provides control over the amount of rows returned in a DAX query, potentially optimising resource usage for multiple users across a capacity. 

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