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Category: Power BI

Power BI Premium Per-User Licensing

John White has some thoughts on a big announcement at Ignite:

The new Premium per user (PPU) license promises to solve this problem. Premium per user will be a new license that will include all of the capabilities of the Pro license, but will also include almost all of the features available in Premium. It will NOT include unlimited sharing. Users with this license will be able to publish content to a PPU workspace, and that content can be consumed by other users that have a PPU license.

The next question is of course going to be “great, so how much is it?”. Therein lies the rub.

This is why I’m interested, but not yet excited. I’d expect it to be more than $10 per user per month, as otherwise nobody would get a Pro SKU. But where, exactly, it lands above that is the key question. The number $50 per user per month comes to mind—the idea being that you save money up to 100 users, after which point it makes sense to switch to the fixed-price licensing. We’ll see what the real number looks like once they announce it.

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Connecting to Azure Databricks from Power BI

Gerhard Brueckl walks us through the Power BI connector to Azure Databricks:

I work a lot with Azure Databricks and a topic that always comes up is reporting on top of the data that is processed with Databricks. Even though notebooks offer some great ways to visualize data for analysts and power users, it is usually not the kind of report the top-management would expect. For those scenarios, you still need to use a proper reporting tool, which usually is Power BI when you are already using Azure and other Microsoft tools.

So, I am very happy that there is finally an official connector in PowerBI to access data from Azure Databricks! Previously you had to use the generic Spark connector (docs) which was rather difficult to configure and did only support authentication using a Databricks Personal Access Token.

Click through to see how it works.

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Refreshing a Power BI Dataflow without Refreshing Downstream Dataflows

Matthew Roche wants to limit the refresh zone of influence:

The email included a screen shot from the lineage view of a Power BI workspace, some context about working to troubleshoot a problem, and the question “We want to refresh this dataflow, and not have it refresh the downstream dataflows. Is this possible?”

I almost said no, and then I remembered this post and realized the answer was “yes, sort of.”

Click through to see how it all fits together. And I’m in favor of buying Matthew a sword—can’t have too many of those.

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Space Savings from Separate Date and Time Columns in Power BI

Shabnam Watson runs an experiment:

As you may have already heard, one of the easiest ways to reduce a Power BI model (dataset) size is by splitting DateTime columns into separate Date and Time columns but the question is how much space reduction can you achieve by doing so. As I show in this blog post, the reduction can be significant and up to % 80 or % 90 depending on the number and cardinality of the datetime columns.

That’s a lot of savings.

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Power BI Report Performance: Number of Visuals on a Page Edition

Chris Webb looks at some extreme scenarios:

You may have read the title of this post and guessed that I’m going to talk about reducing the number of visuals that display data from your dataset as a way of improving performance, but that’s not the case. In this blog post I want to show how visuals that do not display any data from your dataset can have a significant impact on report performance. Before we carry on I suggest you read the series of posts I wrote late last year on measuring the performance of reports in the browser using Chrome/Edge DevTools (part 1 is here, part 2 is here, part 3 is here) because I’ll be using techniques described in these posts in my testing.

Click through for an interesting demo.

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Connecting to an API with Username and Password in Power Query

Gilbert Quevauvilliers has a challenge:

In the blog post I am going to show you the steps that I took to get data from the XE.COM API which uses a username and password to log into the API

You might be thinking that I could put in the username and password when I used the Web Connector.

My challenge is that I wanted to create a function that I could pass through multiple currencies to the API. And in order to do that I wanted to store the details within the function.

Read on to see how Gilbert solves this.

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Understanding the Size of a Power BI File

Lazaros Viastikopoulos explains that finding the size of a Power BI file isn’t quite as easy as you’d think:

As you can see from the above screenshot, the size of the PBIX file is 1.2 MB (1,238 KB) by looking at the size in file explorer. Also, when we look at all the files we are ingesting into Power BI, the total size comes to 2.8 MB. However, when we ingest data into Power BI which is processed to memory, it can be bigger than the PBIX file size due to some compression that occurs and various other elements which again, are not displayed through the disk.

So, when we are getting various errors notifying us that our Power BI file is too large and we see that it is under the 1GB restriction on disk, it can leave us scratching our head. But, as I mentioned above due to compression and various other elements, once data is processed to memory it can be larger then what we see on disk, but still below the total size of the data source we are ingesting due to the compression.

Click through for information on two tools you can use to determine the in-use size.

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Power BI Icons for Diagrams.Net

Marc Lelijveld has some icons for us:

Previously, I used a simple PowerPoint slide when I drafted technical solution proposals. This took me a whole lot of time by copy-pasting all the images, make it look nice and connect the dots together. While tools like diagrams.net are built for this purpose, I always stuck with PowerPoint as there were no icons for all Power BI objects in this tool. Until now!

The online tool Diagrams.net allow you to quickly draft your solution architecture by dragging and dropping icons on a white canvas and easily connecting the dots together.

I’ve been a big fan of diagrams.net (nee draw.io), so thank you Marc for putting this together.

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Query Folding and the Power BI Dataflows Enhanced Compute Engine

Matthew Roche dives into Power BI’s enhanced compute engine:

I’ve been seeing more questions lately about the dataflows enhanced compute engine in Power BI. Although I published a video overview and although there is feature coverage in the Power BI documentation, there are a few questions that I haven’t seen readily answered online.

A lot of these questions can be phrased as “what happens when I turn on the enhanced compute engine for my Power BI Premium capacity?”

Most of my responses start with the phrase “it depends” – so let’s look at some of the factors the answer depends on.

Click through for those factors.

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