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Power BI September 2022 Feature Summary

Welcome to the September 2022 update. We are thrilled to announce a variety of new features such as hierarchical axis by default, translations for composite models, mobile formatting options general availability and cross tenants’ datasets sharing. There is more to explore, please continue to read on.

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Reporting

Data connectivity and preparation

Service

Mobile Apps

Embedded Analytics

Visualizations

Other

Check out the video below for this month’s summary:

Hierarchical axis by default

One of Power BI’s Cartesian charts’ more useful capabilities is the option to visualize multiple categorical fields in a hierarchical x-axis.

The grouped x-axis is an organized way to add an additional dimension to the data in your charts, especially when dealing with subcategories that are specific to individual category fields or sequential subcategories such as more granular dates.

A different form of visualizing these additional dimensions, like using a legend or small multiples, would not be nearly as clear as the hierarchical x-axis.

Before this release, however, formatting a chart to use the hierarchical x-axis was a multi-step process involving:

  1. adding a new field to the X-axis field well and knowing to expand the visual down to the next level, or else nothing would change,
  2. turning off the concatenate labels option in the formatting pane, which would often still result in nothing happening because the user also had to:
  3. sort the visual by the axis fields rather than by value fields, or else categories and subcategories would not be grouped properly.

This month, we’ve adjusted some behavior to ensure that hierarchy axis is automatically turned on when a user drags multiple fields into the x-axis field well of charts which support the feature. We’ve turned the concatenate labels option off by default in the formatting pane, we will auto-expand charts down to the bottom of your hierarchy when you add fields to the x-axis field well, and we will also sort on category by default once you drill down. Here’s a little table to show you the exact changes in logic:

BehaviorDefaults Before Sept 2022Defaults After Sept 2022
Concatenate labels optionOn by defaultOff by default
Adding new fields to the x-axis field wellAdding new fields will not change which fields are shown on the visual (user must manually expand all).Expand to lowest level when:

  • the visual supports hierarchy axis
  • the axis is a categorical or datetime axis (note that numerical fields become categorical when they’re not the top level of a hierarchy)
Sort behaviorSort by measure when the user has not explicitly set a sort.Sort by category when:

  • the visual supports hierarchy axis
  • when the visual is expanded down in any way
  • user has not explicitly set a sort
  • an authoring action is taken (like adding or removing a field; notably, not manually expanding the visual)

Otherwise, sort by measure (or by user-set sort)

This only changes how Power BI responds to authoring actions, so existing reports should not be affected, and you should be able to recreate any previous sort or expand state after this release as well.

We know that adding new conditions to default behavior will create some inconsistencies in what happens when you perform an action. That said, we’re still making these changes with the hope that they will feel intuitive as you create new charts; and that they will save you clicks, formatting pane navigation, and internet troubleshooting by presenting you with the best settings for your needs right out of the box.

Let us know what you think about this update! As we continue to make progress toward both improving our visuals and smoothing out the authoring experience, we’ll need your feedback every step along the way to make sure we’re staying on course.

Improved display name for summarized fields

To improve comprehension for end-users and new creators, we’ve updated the display name for summarized fields to include the default or selected aggregation:

Previously, default aggregates would be dropped from the display name, and this applies to all aggregates not just the “Sum” aggregate. We’ve received numerous feedback both from end-users and new creators that dropping the aggregate leads to users misinterpreting what aggregate is being applied if any.

For example, in the table below Sales and Unit Price columns do not indicate to users how they are being aggregated. This may cause users to think both columns have a sum aggregate applied, which is not correct for the Unit Price column.

This improvement will be available on all new reports by default. If you want to enable this behavior for existing reports, you can navigate to File > Options and settings > Options > Default summarization and enable the setting: For aggregated fields, always show the default summarization type.

Conditional formatting for data labels

Last month, we released an update to conditional formatting for data labels to have them apply to each individual data point rather than all of them together. At the time, this improvement was limited to visuals without a field in the Legend field well. Now, we’ve brought that same behavior to those cases as well!

Since we’ve now improved this interaction, we’ve returned the conditional formatting button to the formatting pane for visuals with legend fields. Keep in mind that the conditional formatting rules for data labels that you’ve already set on current reports will still not be affected until you reapply the rule and publish the report again.

Translations support for Composite models on Power BI Datasets and Analysis Services

This month, we’re happy to announce that translations are now supported for composite models on Power BI datasets and Analysis Services. Translations enable you to show the tables and columns in your dataset in the language the user prefers. Up until now, if the source had any translations defined, they would be ignored when building a composite model on Power BI datasets or an Analysis Services model.

Starting with this release, however, any translations defined in the source will be exposed in the composite model as well so the table and column names will be translated to the user’s language, the same as in the source datasets.

You can also add translations in your composite model and to make sure your local translations are not overwritten by the translations defined in the source, you can set the ‘Altered’ property on the corresponding object to true. If you currently have translations defined in your composite model, we will set the ‘Altered’ property automatically once you open the model in this month’s Desktop release. In addition, you can use external tools to accomplish the same.

Mobile formatting options

Mobile formatting options are now generally available! Mobile formatting options allow you to style and format visuals in mobile-optimized layout without affecting their formatting in web layout. This gives you great flexibility and opens up a world of design possibilities for creating beautiful reports truly optimized for phone viewing.

A big thanks to all who provided valuable feedback throughout the preview to help achieve this milestone. This doesn’t mean though that we’re done making improvements! We’re still actively listening to your comments, and continually striving to improve and enhance the mobile formatting experience.

Information protection update

Using Power BI Desktop, you can build reports on a dataset in the Power BI service by creating a live connection to a dataset using either a connection string or the Get Data experience. If the dataset has a sensitivity label, Power BI will automatically apply the live dataset’s sensitivity label to the PBIX file to maintain the data’s classification and protection as it leaves the Power BI service. To learn more, check out our documentation.

Dremio (Connector Update)

The Dremio connectors have been updated. Please find below notes from the Dremio team.

This release contains a fix to provide more accurate error reporting when a connection error occurs.

It also contains a fix that prevents Dremio Software from displaying VDSs in reports in some cases.

Profisee (New Connector)

We are excited to announce the release of the new Profisee connector! Here are some notes from the Profisee team.

The Profisee Connector for Power BI makes it fast and easy to access clean, complete and accurate data to help organizations accelerate both operationalized BI and “ad hoc” analytics — even if they aren’t familiar with master data management (MDM) or the Profisee platform. With just a few clicks and through Profisee’ s simple ‘guided’ import experience, users can load data into Power BI from Profisee just like any other native data source, allowing them to easily model and leverage data directly in Power BI.

Starburst Enterprise (Connector Update)

The Starburst Enterprise connector has been updated. Please find below notes from the Starburst team.

  • Add support for new authentication methods: OAuth 2.0 Personal Access Token (JWT)
  • Add support for advanced filtering with the built-in regular expression filtering feature in PowerBI Desktop.
  • Added an optional Catalog field in connection dialog. Selecting a catalog with this field reduces the amount of metadata fetched from the cluster.
  • Added an optional Safe metadata read field in connection dialog. When enabled, queries will not fail on faulty catalogs, bu performance will be slower (by default disabled).

Cross-Tenant Dataset Sharing

Our new cross-tenant dataset sharing capability is now available in public preview! This exciting capability allows customers to share their Power BI datasets with external users (consumers) in a way that allows these external users to access the datasets in their own Power BI tenant. This is in-place sharing, meaning that from their own tenant, consumers can discover and connect to live data from providers. They can then work with these shared datasets in their own tenant and create composite models by meshing the shared datasets with their own internal data. The composite model can then be published on the service for reporting purposes.

With in-place sharing, the shared data remains in the provider tenant. Consumers query the shared datasets directly in the source data systems. Also, they can connect to external datasets using the Direct Query method and build their own composite models and reports on top of the shared data, eliminating the need to manually transfer data between organizations. These composite models built on top of external datasets can also be analyzed in excel. This capability is particularly useful when you want to share data with external partners, customers, subsidiaries, vendors, consultants, and other business partners. We’ll be excited to see how you use this capability to enable enriched data collaboration with your external partners and unlock further value through data!

Recognizing the need to provide governance over external sharing, the dataset sharing capability has two tenant settings that enable Power BI admins either to disable cross-tenant data sharing entirely or to control which users and/or user groups are allowed to share datasets across tenants.

These controls enable organizations to better manage dataset access and sharing in line with their data policies.

When external data sharing is enabled, to initiate dataset sharing with external users, the specified dataset owners need to go to the settings of the specific dataset to be shared and enable external sharing there (see image below). This provides additional granular control over which datasets can or cannot be shared externally.


Once external sharing is enabled in the dataset settings, data providers can share the datasets externally just as they would with internal users. External users need to have a registered Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) guest account in the provider tenant for them to be able to access the shared datasets. The external users can then discover these datasets in Power BI Desktop, as illustrated in the following image.

External users can connect to the external dataset, and then build composite models by adding either other external datasets or their own internal datasets. These new datasets can then be published to the Power BI service. Once published, the external users can access the new datasets in the Power BI service in their own tenant and build further reporting on top of them. These reports can be shared with other users in their own organization, provided that those users also have the requisite Azure AD guest credentials on the original provider tenant.

Look out for more improvements to business-to-business (B2B) sharing in future releases! We will be releasing this feature over the span of the next few weeks.

Auto-generate reports on existing datasets

You can now quickly create an automatically generated report off of the majority of datasets in the Power BI service. This makes it easy for you to explore all the datasets you have access to and can be helpful for jumpstarting report creation in the Power BI service.

On the Create page, if you select the ‘Pick a published dataset’ option, you’ll be able to pick if you want to auto-create a report or, through the split button, if you want to start from a blank report.

You can also access these options in the Datahub, through the Create a report dropdown, where you can access both the auto-create and from-scratch options.

There are still a few types of datasets we don’t yet support for auto-generated reports. In these cases, you’ll just have the ‘blank report’ option available to you.

Discoverability Feature for B2B Content

We are excited to announce a new feature that would make B2B sharing easy for the consumers. Power BI users who are guest users in any other tenant, will now see a new tab on their home page (in home tenant) called “From external orgs”. This interface will list all artifacts that you have access to as guest user (shared with you from external tenants). The interface will allow you filter and sort through to find the content easily. You can also see which organization is sharing a specific document with you. When clicked on an artifact on this screen, a new window will open and take you to the relevant provider tenant for that artifact access.

Power BI fonts now available on your mobile devices (iOS and Android)

Up until now, a Power BI report created with a font that was not available in the mobile device would display in the Power BI mobile app using the mobile device’s default font, rather than the font used by the report creator.

As of today, the Power BI mobile apps now support the full range of fonts available in Power BI Desktop. This means that in the mobile app, the report will look exactly as you designed it, with the same fonts that you chose when you created the report in Desktop.

Windows app: upgraded browsing experience with WebView2

The Power BI app for Windows is now aligned with the overall Power BI migration to Microsoft Edge WebView2, for faster performance and a better browsing experience all around.

To support WebView2, the minimum OS required by the Power BI Windows app has changed to Windows 10 version 17763. App upgrades will not be available for Windows devices running on earlier versions.

Screenshot of install WebView2 message in the Power BI app for Windows.

If you see one of these messages, please install WebView2. Read how in this article.

Power BI component for Vue.js

We’re excited to announce that a new library is available for embedding Power BI content in Vue.js applications.

The new library makes it easy to embed Power BI content and leverage Power BI embedded capabilities such as bootstrapping and phased embedding for better performance, applying styles to the embedded component, setting event handlers, and more.

The library is publicly available on npm and GitHub and also includes a demo application which you can run in just a few easy steps.

Learn more here.

Power BI & Jupyter integration updates

We’ve made some improvements to our Power BI integration in Jupyter notebooks, making it even easier for you to embedded Power BI reports in your Jupyter notebooks.

The Powerbi-jupyter library is a python IPyWidget that brings Power BI embedded capabilities to Jupyter notebooks, allowing users to tell complete stories with their data in their Jupyter notebooks. The library supports embedding existing reports for both viewing and editing, and creating new reports based on data available in Power BI.

The update includes changes to the available authentication methods and the report embedding process, minimizing the complexity, and making the embedding process simple and quick. Check out the updates here and learn more about the integration here.

Export paginated reports by a service principal with a Power BI dataset as a data source

It is now possible to export paginated reports with Power BI datasets as a data source when the caller is a service principal, given that all downstream data sources are SSO-disabled.

You can learn more about exporting paginated reports here.

New visuals in AppSource

The following are new visuals this update:

Shielded HTML Viewer by Nova Silva

All HTML rendered through the Shielded HTML Viewer is sanitized to keep your data safe.

The first HTML Viewer Certified by Microsoft now is part of the first Visuals you can buy and manage directly through Microsoft.

Microsoft announced this new functionality in July 2022. Currently in preview and requires Power BI Desktop July 2022 or later.

Obviously, this makes the purchase and management of licenses easier. Here are some of the main advantages:

  • Obtain fine grained control of the assignment of licenses.
  • (Re)assign each license to a user or group of users whenever you require.
  • Purchase a license for a single month or a whole year.
  • Make use of the optional auto-renewal feature.
  • No longer need to enter (or update) a license key. You manage your visual licenses like you manage any other Microsoft license.

Besides the Shielded HTML Viewer, all our visuals will support this new license option soon.

Try the Shielded HTML Viewer now on your own data by downloading it from the AppSource. All features are available for free to evaluate the Shielded HTML Viewer within Power BI Desktop.

Visit us at if you have any questions or remarks: https://visuals.novasilva.com/.

Drill Down Combo PRO by ZoomCharts

Drill Down Combo PRO offers plenty of customization options, enabling creators to visualize data in new and exciting ways. This visual also features cross-chart filtering along with intuitive on-chart interactions, making the data exploration process fun and engaging for even the most inexperienced Power BI user.

MAIN FEATURES:

  • Multiple chart types – create column, line, and area charts
  • Full customization – customize X and Y axes, the legend, outline and fill settings
  • Choose normal, 100% proportional, or zero-based stacking
  • Set up to 4 static and dynamic thresholds to demonstrate targets
  • Conditional formatting for advanced customization
  • Customize multiple series simultaneously with series and value label defaults
  • Touch-input device friendly

POPULAR USE CASES:

  • Sales and marketing – sales strategies, results, and campaign-by-campaign marketing metrics
  • Human resources – hiring, overtimes, and efficiency ratios by department
  • Accounting and finance – financial performance by region, office, or business line
  • Manufacturing – production and quality metrics

ZoomCharts Drill Down Visuals are known for interactive drilldowns, smooth animations, and rich customization options. They support interactions, selections, custom and native tooltips, filtering, bookmarks, and context menu.

Try Drill Down Combo PRO now by downloading the visual from AppSource.

Learn More about Drill Down Combo Bar PRO by ZoomCharts. 

Intelligent Narratives by Arria NLG

Arria’s custom visual for natural language generation just got better. In the 3.4.0.0 release of Arria for Power BI, you’ll find a redesigned UI, significantly increased control over the building of narratives, and formatting improvements for better readability.

Intelligent Narratives by Arria bring NLG to your dashboard, featuring a wide array of analysis types for generating plain-language reporting to complement your visuals. Arria’s out-of-the-box narratives are user-configurable – no coding necessary.

Drill down into all your dashboard’s underlying data to tap into insights that you might otherwise miss. From key-driver analysis to anomaly detection, trend analysis to correlations – you no longer have to sift through mountains of data to get the answers to your organization’s most important questions.

Choose the analysis type you need, then configure the narrative according to your business requirements. Narratives are generated instantly, based on your selections.

In addition to advanced natural language generation (NLG), Arria’s custom visual also provides natural language query (NLQ). You can ask questions about your data and get instant, precise responses.

Find the Arria add-in on AppSource.

Check out a showcase report.

Check out what’s new.

To learn more:

https://www.arria.com/business-intelligence/

https://docs.integrations.arria.com/BI/PowerBI/en/index-en.html

Paginated reports data preview

Recently we introduced data preview as a new action on the dataset details page. Data preview enables you to view selected tables and columns from the dataset, and provides entry points for exporting the data to supported file formats, customizing it as a formatted table, and saving it as a paginated report.

Show query is a new capability added to data preview. It allows you to copy to the clipboard the DAX query used to create the table preview. This may be useful for those who want to reuse the DAX query for future actions.

show query

Column resizing, an additional capability added to the data preview table.

With a rendered table, a user will be able to resize the width of the columns through a drag handle. This functionality makes the table preview more readable, especially for long column input values.

Old size

old column size

New size

new column size

That is all for this month! Please continue sending us your feedback and do not forget to vote for other features that you would like to see in Power BI! We hope that you enjoy the update! If you installed Power BI Desktop from the Microsoft Store, please leave us a review.

Also, don’t forget to vote on your favorite feature this month over on our community website. 

As always, keep voting on Ideas to help us determine what to build next.

We are looking forward to hearing from you!

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