I use PowerBi a lot for simple test and pocs. I get up to speed with ease regarding the reports and charts I want to show.
But what about sharing these reports with others, how can others get access to my charts? And can I integrate these charts in a regular site?
Let’s look at the current possibilities at report level and at dashboard level.
REPORT LEVEL SHARING
Dashboards are collections of reports. A report is a view at a collection of data. So here I have a report of the average of humidity:
Somewhat hidden to the right, there is an option to Generate a QR code:
The QR code will provide access to this report in an easy way, we just have to scan it:
Well, I scanned it with my Lumia 950XL. I expected to be shown the report in some way but instead I was redirected to the Google play store! For my windows phone, that’s not handy…
So I closed that redirection and checked out the Windows Store myself and found the app. After installing that app, I scanned the QR code again and now I was redirected to the new Microsoft Power BI app.
I had to log in with an Office365 account and there it was, I got the report on my phone:
This is nice but I still need an account. Can I see the report without any limitations?
Publish to the web
The site also makes it possible to publish a report to the web:
Again, it’s somewhat hidden in under the file menu but at least it’s there:
A dialog gives us the possibility to both generate an email and generate HTML code to embed in your site.
You can send a link in your email:
This is great! It gives an ‘image’ in every browser I checked, simple as that. You can see the date and time of the last update.
You can also choose to paste HTML-code on your blog or website. This is an IFrame and it comes in three sizes:
<iframe width="800" height="600" src="https://app.powerbi.com/view?r=[secret code]" frameborder="0" allowFullScreen="true"></iframe> <iframe width="933" height="700" src="https://app.powerbi.com/view?r=[secret code]" frameborder="0" allowFullScreen="true"></iframe> <iframe width="680" height="510" src="https://app.powerbi.com/view?r=[secret code]" frameborder="0" allowFullScreen="true"></iframe>
The size is altered by the drop-down list. But you can do that by hand too. So it actually comes in any size…
So I made this brand new site named powerbi.html and embedded the link:
<html> <body> <iframe width="933" height="700" src="https://app.powerbi.com/view?r=[secret code]" frameborder="0" allowFullScreen="true"> </iframe> </body> </html>
And I opened the HTML page in multiple browsers:
Edge, Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer 11 all show the report as expected. For the best experience, expose this HTML file as a site (see update at the end of this blog).
Updating the report
Talking about updates, what about refreshing the report if the data is outdated? The date and time of the last update are shown if you maximize the report.
An html meta refesh can help us to refresh the data every X minutes but a live update should be nice!
DASHBOARD LEVEL SHARING
It is also possible to share entire dashboards. They even have a share button in plain sight:
You can fill in multiple email addresses of people you want to invite and you can pass a personal message:
When the invitation is sent, you can reject the access rights again or cancel the invitation:
The following mail is sent:
This is not the best service I have seen. The image looks like it’s corrupted or my mail client has no rights to access it.
After clicking the link, the user gets access to the PowerBI site. Users have to create a new account, including a separate password. You get an invitation over email. An OAuth implementation should be nice here…
But ok, using that invitation email an account is created. I hope you are not in a hurry, this procedure is a bit slow.
And there it is, the dashboard is available:
This dashboard is read-only, hence the lock on the screen. But it’s still possible to write extra queries:
So in the end, yes, it’s possible to share reports and dashboards. And it’s possible to share them both with and without asking for credentials from the receiver.
But the experience could be better. All browsers support the reports in a good way, but some PowerBI functionality is a bit hidden in the menus or the way to use the feature is cumbersome.
Update: In the initial version of this blog, I used a local file to check the browser support. This resulted in problems in most of the browsers (the report was not shown or an ActiveX warning was presented).
The report also gives the option to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, which I did. I got an answer almost immediately, which explained the behaviour. After lifting the HTML file to a website in Azure, the report was shown in all browsers correctly. Text is updated and the conclusion is altered