As any IT tool, Power BI is also often subjected to various updates in order to tweak some of its features and provide users with an even better user experience. March has proven to be a thrilling ride so far regarding Power BI updates. From enabling the choice to share your content via mail to numerous Power BI Desktop updates, Microsoft has given us more than enough to talk about this month. So without further ado, let’s dive into the news!
Content made shareable by mail
In order to improve content provider – client communication, Microsoft has given us the option to share content via mail. The reason this could prove extremely useful is the main goal of this update, which is to give users more options to share their work with their clients. Often times clients prefer using their personal mail such as Outlook.com or Gmail as opposed to receiving content via their work mail. With Power BI now offering the option to share content via mail, users are one step closer to fulfilling their customers’ wishes, making for a better overall work experience. How do you share content? With dashboards, you can simply by add the client’s mail address to the Share pane, and in the case of Apps, you add the address into the Permissions list on the Access tab. Once the invite is set, the client will receive a link inviting them to view it at their personal address. Quick note: in order to share content with clients, you’ll need to either place it in a Premium capacity or assign a Power BI Pro license.
Power BI Desktop update
This month’s update is truly expansive, so I chose a couple of the most interesting changes brought to Power BI Desktop this month. First up is the new general availability of bookmarks, which have been available as a preview since October. With the general availability now offered to all users, the need to manually turn on bookmarks through the Preview feature tab has been eliminated. Further on, you can now create bookmarks directly in the Power Bi service, whereas you previously had to create them in Power BI Desktop. This is another feature found in the Power BI service which encourages time saving through keeping the app switching to a minimum. Now you are saving time by being able to do most of your work in the Power BI service, you are left with more time to communicate with clients and do actual work.
Another time-saving feature added to Power BI desktop is the new system of reporting errors. Power BI previously prompted users to email the error information to Microsoft when faced with a problem, but troubleshooting has since been updated to allow users to send information directly through the app. Whenever you encounter an error, you’ll be able to report it through the new error dialog. Not only this, but users will also be able to see and search through all of their previous error reports. Hopefully this feature will allow users to better understand their user experience as well as build trust between users and Microsoft.
Concerning Power BI’s visual aspect, I found two updates to be of a great significance. The first is the added option to disable visual headers in reading mode for a report. When creating a report intended for customers, you often have a specific idea of how the customer should see the report. This is why the options to view visuals in focus mode or drilled down have previously often shown to be quite annoying to users who had a particular idea on how their reports were supposed to be viewed. In the newest update, Microsoft has offered users the option to completely eliminate the visual header in reading mode, allowing them to display their reports exactly how they want to.
Another interesting feature is the improved visual default placement in reports and dashboards, meaning that visuals will now more logically fill gaps in the page and create a more visually pleasing all around look.
Besides the updates I’ve already highlighted, Microsoft has added various updates concerning reporting, custom visuals, and data connectivity. You can find a full list of all the new updates here. With all of this news coming to us so far, we hope the rest of the year brings us even more fine tweaks to help customers improve their overall user experience.
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