There have been a lot of important Power Apps and Flow announcements today, as well as the announcement about the Common Data Service for Analytics which is undoubtedly massive news for Power BI users, but buried in the very large “Dynamics 365 Spring ‘18 Release Notes” pdf file (downloadable from https://aka.ms/businessappsreleasenotes) are a number of equally significant revelations about the Power BI roadmap for the next few months. I’ve summarised them here, along with the relevant page numbers; I’ve also highlighted what I think are the most important ones.
- (P177) Control over linguistic schema – it looks like the phrasing and synonyms functionality for Q&A that was in the old Power BI service has been added back
- (P178) User experiences for Q&A in reports – report authors will be able to allow report consumers (I assume people who have had reports shared with them via Apps) to use Q&A, as well as to provide suggested questions
- (P178) Incremental refresh policies – the first sighting of incremental refresh in Power BI! But as the screenshot shows, this is for Premium only (which is not a surprise). It looks like it will be a lot easier to use than managing incremental refresh using partitions in SSAS.
- (P185) Performance reporting for Power BI Premium – seems to be more detailed metrics for Power BI usage and performance
- (P186) Data source setup improvements – better UI for configuring datasets and links to gateways
- (P186) Query acceleration for large datasets – this will allow you to create DirectQuery datasets but then create some in-memory aggregate tables to improve query performance
- (P186) Power BI metadata translations – translations like we have in SSAS Tabular today, I guess, allowing table and column names to be translated and users to see these translations when they connect
- (P187) Smart alerts – seemingly an improvement on the existing alert functionality, with some extra AI thrown in?
- (P187) Slideshow mode – cycle through pages in a report when the report is in full-screen mode
- (P187) Workspaces with Azure AD Groups – workspaces are being separated from O365 Groups (at last!) and instead permissions can be controlled using Azure AD security groups or Office 365 modern groups
- (P188) Report Snapshots for Power BI Premium – more subscription options for Premium users
- (P188) SSRS Reports in Power BI Premium – run SSRS reports inside Premium, with no separate installation of SSRS required. Azure Reporting Services has been resurrected!?
- (P188) Subscribe other users for email subscriptions – at last!
- (P189) XMLA connectivity for Power BI Premium – connect to Premium workspaces as if they were Analysis Services instances (which they pretty much are, I guess)
- (P189 and P209) Common Data Services for Analytics capability in Power BI – Iots more detail on this new service in this section than is available in the post on the Power BI blog linked to above
- (P192) Power BI Insight apps – pre-built Power BI solutions for services like Dynamics 365 and Salesforce
- (P194) Details on the roadmap for Power BI Embedded
- (P204) Details on the roadmap for the Power BI Mobile apps
Not in this document, but mentioned in this blog post today is the fact that the web-based version of Power Query that can be used to load data into the Common Data Service is out of Preview.
All I can say is wow – there’s so much to take in here, and it seems like the pace of innovation is only getting faster. It’s also nice to see Microsoft publishing a comprehensive roadmap document like this: it’s something many of my customers have wanted for a long time, and really helps them with their planning.