powerbi Tutorial

The heart of Power BI is a cloud-hosted service for data integration and visualization.

Power BI has a Free Edition with broad functionality, and a Pro Edition, available on a monthly subscription. Power BI is hosted by Microsoft on their “Azure” cloud service.

Power BI is comprised of several tools, web experiences and APIs. Naming of specific components is sometimes confused, so this page attempts to clarify this. These are the main components, with a brief description:

  • Power BI web app
    • The URL for this is http://app.powerbi.com
    • This is the main user experience for viewing and interacting with published Power BI content - Dashboards, Reports and Datasets.
    • Admin features e.g. security / sharing, scheduled refresh etc are also managed here.
    • Requires an O365 account.
  • Power BI Desktop
    • Can be downloaded from https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/desktop
    • A (free) Windows app intended for data integration and authoring of visualizations.
    • Includes a Query Editor window which leverages the Power Query (Excel Add-In) to provide data integration with a wide range of sources (databases, files, web services etc).
    • Can be used without an account.
  • Power BI Custom Visuals
    • Old Gallery URL (will be removed): https://app.powerbi.com/visuals
    • New Gallery URL: https://store.office.com/en-us/appshome.aspx?productgroup=PowerBI
  • Power BI JavaScript API
  • Power BI Embedded API
  • Power BI REST API

Changelogs can be found here: PowerBI Service, PowerBI Mobile, PowerBI Desktop - Latest Version, Historic Versions