Announcing V2 Of The “Planning A Power BI Enterprise Deployment” White Paper

It’s my pleasure to announce that version 2 of the white paper that I co-wrote with Melissa Coates, “Planning A Power BI Enterprise Deployment”, is now live and can be downloaded from here.

The title should give you a pretty good idea of the subject matter: the aim is to help anyone who intends to roll out Power BI within their organisation understand the different components of Power BI, the ways it can be deployed, how the licensing works, how it can connect to different types of data source, how it should be monitored and administered, how security works and so on. In fact, at 188 pages, it’s more of a book than a white paper and it is substantially expanded, updated and improved compared to the previous version. One of the aims that Melissa and I had when we started on this new version was to clarify certain topics that we know everyone struggles with, such as what the differences between the various Premium tiers are, what embedding is and what licenses are necessary to do it, and how sharing and collaboration should be managed. There’s also a certain amount of new information about how Power BI will be changing in the next few months (you should also read the very new October 18 release notes for Power BI and data integration if you haven’t done so already). I certainly learned a lot myself while writing it.

I would like to say a particular thank you to my co-author Melissa who was, once again, a pleasure to work with. She is extremely knowledgeable (especially about things like the new Azure data-related services that I know very little about), a great writer, very good at designing tables and charts (which I’m awful at), very reliable and above all very patient. I am also incredibly grateful to Adam Wilson and Lukasz Pawlowski from Microsoft who spent many long hours on calls with us explaining how things work in Power BI and what’s coming in the pipeline, and also to Meagan Longoria and the large number of other Microsoft employees who reviewed it.

I hope you enjoy reading it!

11 responses

  1. I am most interested in whatever you write & present. Your presentation y’day on PQ was M-amazing!

  2. This is, by far, the best document I’ve consumed on enterprise deployment models and scenarios for Power BI. Thanks for the update as the last version was helpful, but very outdated for all of the changes over the past year and a half. A couple questions for you:

    1) Regarding the use of Analysis Services vs. Power BI models in the “Centralized Corporate Reporting and Data Warehousing” scenario… is this still the case with the Common Data Model (CDM) and dataflows coming in October? Do you expect that we will see the ability for authorjng and publish enterprise “certified” datasets that are made available in a centralized dataset library? I’d like to see something similar to the “My Organization” AppSource, but it would enable a team (through Workspaces) or an individual in “My Workspace” to connect to a dataset published to a central CDM and enable users to build reports on top of it. Using Power BI CDM over SSAS would keep Power BI report authors in one environment rather than requiring a connection out to a separate SSAS server/serivce with the data. The Common Data Model library with Dataflows should be a great step in the right direction, but it appears that these will still be isolated to a single App Workspace, rather than making them centrally available to the enterprise.

    2) What is the best method today to enable business users to access an existing report, create a copy for themselves, and tweak it with the underlying dataset to make it their own. The challenge I’ve run into with App Workspaces is when you have many users in a department, the report library gets bloated with everyone else’s reports and everyone in the Workspace has the ability to change my report. I would love to see Sub Folders in the App Workspace to organize the report and dashboard library with additional level of permission control for reports I’ve authored in the App Workspace.

    Appreciate your post and the content that you and @MelissaCoates put together

    • Hi Bryan,
      To answer your questions:
      1) No, I don’t think dataflows change this at all, at least not now. I’m not sure I completely understand what you’re describing here but Premium might offer something like this eventually.
      2) I don’t think there is a really good solution to this right now, but if these are genuinely one-person reports then maybe My Workspace is the best place to publish them instead of the original workspace (assuming that users can download a report and the associated dataset in one file). I do know that Microsoft is aware of this requirement though, so maybe they will come up with a solution at some point.

  3. Pingback: Lots of Power BI updates and Business Application summit (July 30, 2018) | Guy in a Cube

  4. This is great stuff! I’m a little lost on what is needed to share for our org. I have a Pro license. I am building in a workspace that has been assigned premium capacity. I want to share reports with free license users by embedding in SharePoint Online. Can I just embed/share from the report or does it have to be put into an “app” and shared from there?

    • If you’re embedding you don’t need to create an App. You can also share as well without creating an App, but the complication is that Free users can never access an App Workspace directly; I believe they will only have access through the “Shared with me” section of the Power BI portal.

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