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What Is Power BI?

Power BI is a business intelligence (BI) and data visualization tool developed by Microsoft. It allows users to connect to various data sources, create and publish interactive dashboards and reports, and share them with others. With Power BI, you can easily connect to various data sources such as Excel, SQL Server, SharePoint, and many more, and create interactive visualizations and reports using a drag-and-drop interface. Power BI has a powerful data modeling feature that allows you to create relationships, hierarchies, and calculated columns, which can be used to create more advanced and accurate reports. Power BI also provides a wide range of pre-built visualization options, such as charts, tables, maps, and gauges, which can be used to create rich, interactive visualizations. Additionally, Power BI has a cloud-based sharing and collaboration feature that allows you to share your reports and dashboards with others. You can also create a Power BI portal and share it with others, giving them access to all the reports and dashboards in one place. Power BI can also be integrated with other Microsoft products such as Excel, SharePoint, and SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), which allows you to create and share Power BI reports within these applications.



There Are Currently Three Main Versions Of Power BI:

  1. Power BI Desktop: This is a free Windows application that allows you to create, design, and publish interactive reports and dashboards. It is used to create and design reports, and the report can be shared on Power BI service where it can be viewed and interact by others.

  2. Power BI Service: This is a cloud-based service that allows you to view and interact with reports and dashboards that were created using Power BI Desktop. It also includes collaboration features such as sharing and commenting, and the ability to create and view dashboards on mobile devices.

  3. Power BI Report Server: This version allows you to host and manage Power BI reports on-premise, it's designed for organizations that want to keep sensitive data on their own servers, this version is an on-premise solution that provides the capability to share and view Power BI reports in a corporate network.

  4. Power BI Premium: This is a paid version of Power BI that provides additional features and capabilities such as dedicated cloud resources, larger data capacity, and the ability to share reports with external users. It also allows for using Power BI Report Server and Power BI Embedded.

  5. Power BI Embedded: This is a service that allows developers to embed Power BI reports and dashboards into other applications, such as SharePoint or custom web applications. It is used by ISV's and organizations that want to embed Power BI reports within their custom application.

All the versions of Power BI can be integrated with other Microsoft products such as Excel, SharePoint, and SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) which allows you to create and share Power BI reports within these applications.


The Power BI Desktop?

Power BI Desktop is a Windows application that allows you to create, design, and publish interactive reports and dashboards. It is a powerful tool that enables you to connect to various data sources, build and shape data models, and create visually appealing and informative reports that can be shared with others. With Power BI Desktop, you can:



  • Connect to various data sources: You can easily connect to a wide variety of data sources, such as Excel, SQL Server, SharePoint, and many more, and bring data into Power BI for further analysis.

  • Build and shape data models: Power BI Desktop has a powerful data modeling feature that allows you to create relationships, hierarchies, and calculated columns, which can be used to create more advanced and accurate reports.

  • Create visually appealing reports: Power BI Desktop provides a wide range of pre-built visualization options, such as charts, tables, maps, and gauges, which can be used to create rich, interactive visualizations.

  • Publish reports: Once you have created your reports and dashboards, you can publish them to the Power BI service, where they can be shared with others.

  • Use advanced features such as R and Python scripts: Power BI desktop allows you to use R and Python scripts within the report to extract insights from data, create calculations and predictions.

  • Schedule Data Refresh: Power BI Desktop enables you to schedule data refresh for your reports and dashboards, so that the data is always up-to-date when others view them.

Power BI Desktop is a free application that can be downloaded from the Microsoft website. It is used to create and design reports, and the report can be shared on Power BI service where it can be viewed and interact by others.


The Power BI Service

Power BI Service is a cloud-based service that allows you to view and interact with reports and dashboards that were created using Power BI Desktop. It is a web-based platform that allows users to access and analyze data from various sources in a visual and interactive way.

With Power BI Service, you can:

  • View and interact with reports and dashboards: You can view and interact with reports and dashboards that have been published to the Power BI service, including filtering and drilling down into data.

  • Collaborate and share reports: You can share reports and dashboards with others within your organization, and collaborate on them by adding comments and annotations.

  • Create and view dashboards: You can create and view interactive dashboards that can be customized and shared with others.

  • Access data on mobile devices: You can access reports and dashboards on mobile devices using the Power BI mobile app, which is available for iOS and Android.

  • Schedule Data Refresh: Power BI service allows you to schedule data refresh for your reports and dashboards, so that the data is always up-to-date when others view them.

  • Advanced features and capability with Power BI Premium : Power BI service can be upgraded to Power BI Premium which provides additional features and capabilities such as dedicated cloud resources, larger data capacity, and the ability to share reports with external users.

Power BI Service is available as a part of the Office 365 subscription, and it can be accessed via the web from anywhere, making it easy for teams to collaborate and share insights. It is also integrated with other Microsoft products such as Excel, SharePoint, and SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), which allows you to create and share Power BI reports within these applications.


Power BI Report Server

Power BI Report Server is an on-premise version of the Power BI service that allows you to host and manage Power BI reports within your own corporate network. It is designed for organizations that want to keep sensitive data on their own servers, and need to share and view Power BI reports within a corporate network. With Power BI Report Server, you can:


  • Host and manage reports on-premise: You can host and manage Power BI reports on your own servers, within your own corporate network, which can provide an additional layer of security for sensitive data.

  • View and interact with reports: You can view and interact with reports and dashboards that have been published to the Power BI Report Server, including filtering and drilling down into data.

  • Share and collaborate on reports: You can share and collaborate on reports with others within your organization, and add comments and annotations.

  • Create and view dashboards: You can create and view interactive dashboards that can be customized and shared with others.

  • Schedule Data Refresh: Power BI Report Server allows you to schedule data refresh for your reports and dashboards, so that the data is always up-to-date when others view them.

  • Advanced features and capability with Power BI Premium : Power BI Report Server can be upgraded to Power BI Premium which provides additional features and capabilities such as dedicated cloud resources, larger data capacity, and the ability to share reports with external users.

Power BI Report Server requires a separate installation and setup, but it can use the same Power BI Desktop to create, design and publish the report. It's important to note that Power BI Report Server has a limited set of features compared to Power BI Service and Power BI Premium, and it can only be used to view and share Power BI reports within a corporate network.


Power BI Premium

Power BI Premium is a paid version of Power BI that provides additional features and capabilities beyond the standard version of Power BI. It is designed for organizations that have a large number of users, or require more advanced features and capabilities.

With Power BI Premium, you can:


  • Assign dedicated cloud resources: Power BI Premium provides dedicated cloud resources, which means that you can assign a specific amount of resources to your organization, making sure that your reports and dashboards always perform well, even during peak usage times.

  • Share reports with external users: Power BI Premium allows you to share reports with external users, such as customers, partners, or suppliers, without requiring them to have a Power BI Pro or Power BI Premium license.

  • Create and share content packs: You can create and share content packs, which are pre-built collections of reports and dashboards, with others in your organization.

  • Access to Power BI Report Server and Power BI Embedded: Power BI Premium allows you to use Power BI Report Server and Power BI Embedded, which are on-premises and embedded version of Power BI.

  • Large data capacity: Power BI Premium provides a large data capacity, which allows you to handle large amounts of data and create more complex reports and dashboards.

  • Schedule Data Refresh: Power BI Premium allows you to schedule data refresh for your reports and dashboards, so that the data is always up-to-date when others view them.

  • Advanced features such as R and Python scripts: Power BI Premium allows you to use R and Python scripts within the report to extract insights from data, create calculations and predictions.

Power BI Embedded

Power BI Embedded is a service that allows developers to embed Power BI reports and dashboards into other applications, such as SharePoint or custom web applications. It is used by ISV's (Independent software vendors) and organizations that want to embed Power BI reports within their custom application. With Power BI Embedded, you can:

  • Embed Power BI reports and dashboards into other applications: You can embed Power BI reports and dashboards into other applications, such as SharePoint or custom web applications, and allow users to view and interact with them without needing to leave the application.

  • Access to Power BI features and capabilities: You can access all the features and capabilities of Power BI, such as data visualization, data modeling, and data exploration, within the embedded reports and dashboards.

  • Securely share with external users: You can share the embedded reports and dashboards with external users, such as customers, partners, or suppliers, without requiring them to have a Power BI Pro or Power BI Premium license.

  • Control user access: You can control user access to the embedded reports and dashboards, and set permissions for different users and groups.

  • Create and share content packs: You can create and share content packs, which are pre-built collections of reports and dashboards, with others in your organization.

  • Schedule Data Refresh: Power BI Embedded allows you to schedule data refresh for your reports and dashboards, so that the data is always up-to-date when others view them.

Power BI Embedded is a part of Power BI Premium and it can be used in conjunction with Power BI Report Server and Power BI Service to provide a complete solution for creating, sharing and viewing reports and dashboards. It is available on a capacity based pricing model, which means you pay for the amount of capacity you need to run your embedded reports and dashboards.


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