Power BI

Power BI Sentinel: Backup, Documentation, Change Tracking And Lineage Tracking For Power BI

A few weeks ago at SQLBits I had a demo of a very interesting new tool for Power BI users called Power BI Sentinel. The website, with all the details, is here:


It helps solve several problems that everyone managing a Power BI deployment has to deal with. It can:

  • Backup reports and datasets (as .pbix files) direct from your App Workspaces to Azure Blob storage on a schedule, so you are able to access earlier versions and roll back if you need to.
  • Generate documentation on your datasets, including the DAX calculations used.
  • Identify what visuals and filters have changed in different versions of a report, and when those changes took place.
  • Track which data sources are used by which datasets and, in turn, which reports use those datasets.


It’s still a very new tool and adding functionality all the time; there is also a lot of functionality that you’d want from a tool like this that Microsoft hasn’t built the APIs to support yet. It’s definitely worth checking out though and (in my opinion) quite reasonably priced. I dare say Microsoft will build some of this functionality into Power BI at some point, but I don’t know what it will deliver exactly or when that will happen.

Full disclosure: I’ve known the owners of the company for a long time through their involvement with the UK SQL Server and Power BI community, and I was given a free licence for Power BI Sentinel by them.

2 thoughts on “Power BI Sentinel: Backup, Documentation, Change Tracking And Lineage Tracking For Power BI

  1. Hi Chris,
    We have datasets which are 2-3 GB in size.
    As we have nightly jobs which import data to database and then refresh datasets, we are interested to add a step to backup datasets before they are refreshed.

    Using API we hit limitation of 1 GB, however, manually we can download datasets with more than 1 GB.
    At the moment there is option to backup to Azure Storage, which works, but we don’t get pbix file. We would need to use Tabular Editor for any changes.

    Do you have any information if there is a way to automate process of having backups and to retain pbix file format?
    Another question, if we go with incremental refresh and large models, there is no download option. What would be your preferred way to backup datasets with incremental refresh?

    Thanks in advance!

    Best regards,
    Nemanja Andic

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