Power BI Roadmap Announcements In The April 2019 Release Notes

The latest version of the “release notes” document that details the roadmap for Dynamics 365 and the whole Power Platform – which includes Power BI – has just been released. You can view it online here:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/business-applications-release-notes/april19/

There are lots of very exciting announcements for Power BI. Here are a few of the features that are promised for later this year that caught my eye, that haven’t already been announced elsewhere (although some of them were discussed in public sessions at the last PASS Summit):

  • Expression-based formatting in Power BI reports – the ability to use a DAX expression to control properties such as colour and line style within a visual. One of those features that advanced Power BI users will love, and which will allow all kinds of interesting customisations.
  • Performance analyzer for reports – a tool in Power BI Desktop to tell you how long each visual on a page takes to refresh, making it easier to understand where your performance bottlenecks are. I wish we could have something similar for Power Query queries…
  • Customised navigation through apps
  • Shared and certified datasets – this is going to be incredibly useful! As the docs say “With shared datasets in Power BI, we are allowing a single dataset to be used by multiple reports, across workspaces”. I can’t wait. Lots of other cool, related features too here.
  • Deeper integration of paginated reports in Power BI – including the ability to create paginated reports on top of Power BI datasets.
  • Large-scale compute engine for dataflows – this is somewhat cryptic. The docs say “We are enhancing the dataflow calculation engine in Power BI Premium to enable high-performing large-scale data transformations (TBs of data).”. Are these enhancements to the Power Query engine, or is it being replaced with something else entirely (eg to make it more like Azure Data Factory?). I don’t know.
  • New dataflow viewer to visualize dataflow dependencies – I guess something similar to what we have in the “Query Dependencies” view in the Power Query Editor?
  • More new Q&A features: auto-suggestions and did you mean. I’m glad Microsoft is continuing to invest in Q&A, I think it’s going to be one of those features that suddenly goes from being a demo feature that few people actually use to something that will be very powerful indeed. In fact, I would argue that it’s already a lot more powerful than most people realise.
  • Python support in the Power BI service
  • Power BI Template Apps – the ability to create multiple apps in different workspaces from a single template. This was something that used to be possible with content packs (remember them?) so I guess anyone still using them should be able to finally migrate away. Useful for end-user customisation of apps.
  • Better integration between Flow and Power BI, for example integrated alert creation, and the ability to query a dataset and trigger refresh of a dataset from Flow. This last feature will be really important – there are lots of scenarios where you only want to refresh a dataset when you know the data is ready.

6 responses

  1. Regarding large scale compute engine for Data Flows – the original Data Flows whitepaper detailed *replacing* Mashup with another recalculation engine. I’m assuming (hoping?) Databricks, akin to what MS is doing with ADF Data Flows.
    Either way, whatever the tool is, it will put M one step closer to the Azure holy grail – as a useable component inside a Data Factory pipeine.

  2. Pingback: Power BI Roadmap, DAX Games, Gateway management and more... (January 28, 2019) | Guy in a Cube

  3. Pingback: Power BI Roadmap Announcements In The April 2019 Release Notes | GeekMustHave

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