Power BI 2.0 General Availability

Power BI 1.0 wasn’t great, Power BI 2.0 however is great!
Not only is it cheaper and a separate service, it also has a huge list of new features.

Read on for a breakdown of what’s new!

Microsoft made a huge step with the current release of Power BI.
Of course, this was a step that has been 6 months in the making. And it wasn’t really a huge step but more like a lot of baby steps.

With the highly efficient and fast paced update cycles that we’ve all come to love Microsoft Azure for, you just know that Power BI 2.0 is not even remotely the same as Power BI 1.0. Whether it’s the weekly updates for the service or the monthly updates for the desktop app. This is an incredible pace, one which the team said that it’s going to keep going at.
So, if you’ve somewhat followed the regular releases then you’re at least familiar with the a part of the huge list of new features that you can expect in Power BI 2.0.

Everyone who has played around with Power BI and the Power BI Designer (as of today known as Power BI Desktop) in the last 6 months can testify about the incredible change it has gone through.
With Microsoft reporting 500.000 unique users from 45.000 companies across 185 countires in the preview, this seems to only confirm the success of Power BI 2.0.

While it’s easy to praise Microsoft for the fact they turned a not-so-good service into a great service, we shouldn’t forget that there is still more work to be done.
There are still some quirks that annoy people and there are still some obvious shortcomings, for example the absence of a connection to a multidimensional cube.

Having said that, prepare for the longest, most exciting and at the same time the most boring list in your life.

– Standalone Service
– Free & Pro version
– New User Experience
– New visualization rendering engine
– Open Sourced visualization stack
– Mobile Apps (iOS, Android, Windows)
– Power BI Desktop App
– 50% Cheaper
– Ton of New Features

– Content packs
– New Data Sources
– Apache Spark, Zendesk, Quickbooks Online, AppFigures, GitHub, …
– New visualizations
– Responsive design
– Visual formatting and customization
– Title, Chart background, Legend, Data Labels, and X/Y axis for Cartesian charts
– New visual color formatting with fixed and data driven settings
– New visuals (Area chart, Waterfall, Donut, Matrix)
– Support for hyperlinks in reports and report tables
– New model-based Data and Relationships views
– Alerts, annotations, favorites
– Team collaboration
– REST API
– View Excel Workbooks
– Easy publishing directly from Power BI Desktop
– To the Power BI service
– To Pyramid Analytics
– Power BI Community site (http://community.powerbi.com)
– …

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In case you’re still reading, this was only the list for the FREE version!
The Pro version has some other great features.

– Live interactive connectivity to data sources
– Data Connectivity Gateways
– Share Team Dashboards
– Create Content Packs
– AD Group Access Control
– Shared queries via Data Catalog

In case you want to read up on Power BI, I recommend the following series by Patrick Guimonet (blog | twitter).
https://yos365.wordpress.com/2015/06/25/office365-power-bi-v2-part-1-the-big-picture/

Or just go get Power BI over at powerbi.com!

 

Update 2015/07/24 17:34 CET:
Some more resources:
Free training and resources on Power BI, gathered by Jen Underwood (blog | twitter).
http://www.jenunderwood.com/training/

If you’re a Microsoft Partner, check these training labs out
http://www.microsoftpartnerserverandcloud.com/SitePages/PowerBI_Traininglabs.aspx

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