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Microsoft Bringing Power BI Changes Plus Service Notifications Preview

Microsoft this week announced the availability of a service availability notifications preview for some Power BI subscribers, as well as coming general Power BI user experience changes.

The service availability notifications preview is currently available. The general user experience changes will be coming to all tenants by the end of the month as a preview. Power BI is Microsoft's service for creating charts from data feeds, which are used in "business intelligence" analyses.

Service Availability Notifications Preview
The idea of the service availability notifications preview is that IT pros can get e-mails automatically delivered to them whenever problems with the Power BI service get detected. They'll also get notifications when the problems are resolved.

The service availability notifications preview currently is only available to organizations that use the Power BI Premium subscription (priced at $4,995 per month). Moreover, they'll also need to have a subscription with a dedicated tenancy, according to Microsoft's documentation on service notifications:

This feature is currently available only for dedicated capacities in Power BI Premium. It's not available for shared capacity.

A dedicated tenancy comes with the Power BI Premium plan.

The service availability notifications preview is currently just limited to sending alerts about three specific reliability issues. It'll show troubles with reports, model refreshes and query refreshes.

Power BI Pro users are currently out of luck in trying this preview. However, this release "will be followed by other scenarios for Pro as well," Microsoft's announcement promised.

The preview requires creating a security group of the people to get the notifications. IT pros can then use the Admin Portal to "opt-in to receive these notifications, and provide a preferred security group."

Power BI View Enhancements
Microsoft also announced this week that it's planning to roll out "a new look" for the Power BI View portal that's currently at the preview stage. Microsoft claims that no existing functionality got removed with this preview release.

Organizations with Power BI subscriptions can expect to see the new preview experience as early as this week, but "it will be enabled for all users by July 31, 2019," Microsoft's announcement indicated.

The preview is actually enabled by end users. They'll see a toggle switch that turns the new look on or off. It'll become the default experience for organizations, though, in "approximately 2-3 months," the announcement indicated.

With the preview, charts will display in lighter colors. In addition, users will have access to "metadata" details within the viewing pane, such as the last refresh date for the data that's charted. The viewing pane will have "vertical navigation" enhancements on the left side, as well as a "simplified action bar" at the top. Any filters that were used for the data will pop up when a user hovers a mouse cursor over the chart area.

Many of these new Power BI user experience improvements were shown last month at the Microsoft Business Applications Summit event. Sessions from that event are currently published for on-demand viewing.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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