Power BI Update June 2023
By Luke Sisley, Senior Business Intelligence Analyst, CSL
In this month’s Power BI update Microsoft announces a Power BI Desktop Developer mode, as well as new features including the new card visual and a new demo experience to the Power BI embedded playground which simplifies the process of exploring embedding Power BI in your application.
Our main highlights are below. As with previous updates, some of the new features are in preview, meaning that you will need to ensure you’ve selected ‘Preview Features’ in the Options & Settings menu pane.
New Card Visual
In the latest update of Power BI, a new feature called the card visual has been introduced. This visual can be found in the core visual gallery or accessed as a preview feature. The card visual allows you to display multiple cards by dragging and dropping fields or measures into the ‘Data’ field well.
The new card visual brings several exciting features, including:
- Customisation of shape corners to achieve your desired style.
- Refined formatting settings for values and labels, with expanded support for conditional formatting and the introduction of font transparency.
- Precision control over display units with a new custom option, ensuring proper content display even when no data is found using the ‘Show blank as’ feature.
- Three layout options (horizontal, vertical, and grid) and the ability to fine-tune cards by adjusting padding, spacing, and text alignment.
- Enhancements to design with the addition of ‘Image’ and ‘Accent bar’ options.
- Interactivity features like tooltips and drill-through to bring your data to life.
- ‘Themes’ that allow you to control formatting settings and personalise default styles.
It is important to note that the new card visual is just the beginning, as more capabilities and features will be added in the future to further enhance its functionality. Stay tuned for exciting updates. To learn more, you can read the New Card Visual blog.
Power BI Desktop Developer mode
Power BI has introduced a new feature called Power BI Desktop Developer Mode, which allows developers to author and collaborate more effectively. With Power BI Desktop Developer Mode, developers can save their work as a Power BI Project (PBIP), which stores report and dataset definitions as individual plain text files in a user-friendly folder structure. This format is compatible with source control systems, enabling better collaboration among multiple developers. It also supports version history tracking, comparison of different revisions, and the ability to revert to previous versions.
Developers can build continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) workflows using Power BI Desktop Developer Mode. This allows them to enforce quality gates before deploying to production environments, conduct code reviews, perform automated testing, and ensure the integrity of their deployments.
The integration of Power BI Desktop Developer Mode with Fabric Git Integration, Azure DevOps, and Deployment Pipelines enables seamless synchronization of Power BI workspaces with Git repositories. This integration establishes Git as the centralized repository for development, ensuring consistency and facilitating CI/CD workflows. Developers can start their report development in Power BI Desktop, transition to the Power BI Service, and then return to Power BI Desktop, with every modification securely backed up and versioned by Git.
To use this feature, users need to enable the Power BI Project (.pbip) save option in the Power BI Desktop preview settings.
Power BI embedding playground
Power BI has introduced a new demo experience in the Power BI embedded playground that simplifies the process of exploring how to embed Power BI in your application. This demo allows you to generate code that can be copied and pasted to preview how a report will appear in your app. Even if you haven’t created your own reports, you can generate demo code for a sample report to visualize how it will look in your application.
Once you are satisfied with the embedded content, you can choose the solution that best suits your needs and follow the relevant tutorial to create the necessary code. Additionally, Power BI provides Client APIs that allow you to enhance the interactions between the embedded report and your app, and customise the look and feel of the report to align with your application. These APIs can be tested and interacted with in the “Explore our APIs” or “Developer Sandbox” pages.