Finally, Power BI general availability on the 24th of July

Power BI general availability

Self Service Business Intelligence is the holy grail for many organisations. The ability to let users explore data by themselves and “cut the cord” with the IT department enables data driven decision making to improve business processes and identify new opportunities.  Microsoft’s vision is cloud based, mobile friendly and priced very competitively – Power BI general availability was announced for the 24th July

After half a year with the beta version, Microsoft announced last Friday the good news and also added a full list of new features and capabilities.

Some of the exciting news are:

Power BI Desktop:

Currently the Power BI Designer is the preview of the Power BI Desktop. Contacts us for a free demo.

This is Microsoft’s new interactive reporting tool that includes powerful new visual data exploration and formatting.

The Power BI Desktop will be enhanced to include:

  • New visualizations including matrix, area, waterfall, and donut charts.
  • New visualization formatting such as color setting, titles, labels, and legends.
  • New data source support with Zendesk, Intuit Quickbooks Online, AppFigures, GitHub, Twilio, and SweetIQ.
  • Direct connection to SQL Server Analysis Services tabular models for data exploration.

Power BI web authoring and data exploration enhancements

The Power BI service has been enhanced with increased web-based authoring capability making it easier to create and format visualizations for dashboards and reports though the browser.

Power BI as an open source project

Microsoft is opening its commercial grade visualization framework and visuals built on D3.js, enabling customers and partners to easily extend and build custom visuals which will be available to use in Power BI in your dashboards, reports and content packs.

Power BI connects to other services

Due to his corporations with other companies, Power BI can easily connect to other services. A subscriber to a supported service can quickly connect to their account from Power BI and see their data through live dashboards and interactive reports that have been pre-built for them. One of them is the corporation with Mailchimp or Salesforce.



Direct connection to Apache Spark

Power BI users can connect directly to SQL Server Analysis Services, Azure SQL Database, and Azure SQL Data Warehouse, querying live against these data sources. Power BI now extends this support to Apache Spark for Big Data scenarios. Big data can be directly accessed with connected dashboards and reports that query live to the data from the popular Apache Spark open source framework.

Direct connection to Apache Spark

And here is a full list of features that will be available in Power BI

  • Globally available and localized to 44 languages
  • New visuals – Tree Map, Combo Chart, Funnel, Gauges, Area Map, Waterfall, Donut, Area Chart, Matrix and others.
  • Team collaboration and enhanced Excel support
  • Significantly enhanced Power BI Desktop (renamed from Designer)
  • Native touch optimized mobile apps for iOS, Android and Windows
  • Rich control over visual coloring, including conditional formatting in Reports
  • Visual formatting and customization  in Reports (Title, Background Color, Legend, Data Labels, and X/Y axis for Cartesian charts)
  • Support for Hyperlinks in Reports and report tables
  • Report publishing directly from Power BI Desktop to the service
  • New styling, look and feel
  • Simple and categorized Get Data Experience
  • A dozen ISVs delivered content packs for Power BI, providing rich, out-of-the-box reports and dashboards for a variety of popular business services (Acumatica, appFigures, Google Analytics, MailChimp, Microsoft Dynamics Marketing, QuickBooks Online, SQL Server Database Auditing, SweetIQ, Twilio, UserVoice, Visual Studio Online)
  • Four direct query sources enabling users to build Power BI reports and dashboards without the need to move data (Azure SQL Database, Azure SQL Data Warehouse, SQL Server Analysis Services, Spark on Azure HDInsight)
  • Easy import of CSV files
  • Support for connecting and refreshing from on-Premises data sources
  • Enhanced data modeling in Power BI Desktop  (Calculated Columns, Data Categorization, Smart DAX Formula Editor, 12 new DAX functions)
  • Enhanced data transformation and mashup capabilities in Power BI Desktop with ten new transformation functions
  • Direct report exploration over Analysis Services tabular model from Power BI Desktop
  • Building and publishing Organizational content packs
  • Power BI Groups to enable collaboration on a jointly owned set of datasets, reports and dashboards
  • Browser rendered Excel reports in Power BI
  • Power BI REST API
  • Support for real time dashboards over massive data streams through Azure Stream Analytics
  • Open source Power BI visualization stack to enable Developers to starting building custom visuals
  • Developer samples and test bed for getting started quickly using the REST API
  • New community forum site at
  • Many, many more small but impactful enhancements sprinkled all across the product


Also the Power BI app for Android is now available

Power BI Android App

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