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Power BI Report Sharing

  • 1.  Power BI Report Sharing

    Posted 5 days ago
    Hi,
    I and several other Pro users in our organization were able publish reports and share them online with staff that have only Power BI free access. Recently, our IT staff made some changes to restrict multiple groups but they rolled it back. The reports that were earlier accessible to the staff are no longer accessible, they have been getting a pop up message to upgrade to Pro license.
    Has any one experienced this problem.
    Thanks,
    Vidya

    ------------------------------
    vidya Gadang
    Senior Data Analyst
    4793874599
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Power BI Report Sharing

    Silver Contributor
    Posted 5 days ago
    In my experience they should never haven been able to see those reports, unless you published them to a premium capacity workspace.

    ------------------------------
    Ben Howard
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Power BI Report Sharing

    Top Contributor
    Posted 4 days ago
    As already suggested by Ben, there is a bug in MS which lets you do that without having a premium capacity.

    As soon as MS fixes that free users won't be able to see Reports / Dashboard unless they are published in Premium Capacity.

    Regards,

    ------------------------------
    Hasham Bin Niaz
    Sr. BI Consultant
    Karachi, Pakistan
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Power BI Report Sharing

    Posted 4 days ago
    Thank you for the response. This is very helpful.
    Vidya

    ------------------------------
    vidya Gadang
    Senior Data Analyst
    4793874599
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Power BI Report Sharing

    Posted 4 days ago
    Thank you Kristi,
    They never had PRO free trail, but like the other folks in this thread said it might be due to a glitch, we should have never been able to share with free Power BI users.
    Thanks,
    Vidya

    ------------------------------
    vidya Gadang
    Senior Data Analyst
    4793874599
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Power BI Report Sharing

    Posted 4 days ago
    Could it be that your free users were using the free pro trial and it just happened to expire at the same time your IT team made some adjustments?

    ------------------------------
    Kristi Cantor
    KaTom Restaurant Supply
    Kodak TN
    4235865758
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Power BI Report Sharing

    Posted 4 days ago

    As a developer with a Pro license I was making use of the same "glitch" to share reports with report "consumers" until the security fix showed up late last week.

    To make a long story short, there is no way to let users see reports (securely) without either:

    1. Having premium capacity (which is super expensive for small to medium size businesses to shell out almost $5k a month)
    2. Give each user a Pro license that needs access to the report (this is what we budgeted/planned for...so 4+ months free ain't bad)
    3. Have an on site Enterprise SQL license that you can run power BI as an "on premise" service (sans some AI bells and whistles)
    4. Distribute .pbix files and use the free client locally (a nightmare to organize)

    Microsoft has done a "spotty" job of clarifying use case scenarios on how to share, focusing on developer collaboration and access levels that don't take into account that there are report consumers that only need "once in a while" analysis tools. Understanding these has been frustrating for me to learn...mostly by trial and error. Here's a rundown of the different sharing scenarios based on my experience:

    • Basic Sharing (e.g. using that "Share" button in the Power BI service)
      • Requires everyone to have a Pro license
      • No automatic restrictions on editing (because of the pro license) so end users get a lot of "new buttons to try" that can lead to trouble
      • Microsoft documentation says that the access levels are "Read", but I think that may be in reference to the underlying dataset. Editing (aka breaking) reports is only a couple of clicks away
    • Work Space Access Sharing
      • Same requirements and troubles as Basic Sharing, but useful to package up multiple Dashboards, Reports, Datasets, and DataFlows under a single access schema
    • Power BI App
      • This is Microsoft's recommended "Best Practice" for report distribution
      • Essentially wrapping up a Work Space into a package for distribution
      • It also has the added benefit of managing "Publish" versions separate from the workflow, essentially making it a Developer area in the Work Space, and an "end user" experience in the "App"
      • Still requires Pro license just to use the "Read" access
      • End users unfamiliar with Office Online "apps" frequently don't understand how this "app" is made by us, but Outlook Online is made by Microsoft.  Using the old (deprecated) term "content packs" seems to get better understanding.
    • Publish to the web
      • Completely unsecured - just don't use this
    • SharePoint Online
      • A nice presentation style, but non-Pro users will get a prompt that says "This content isn't available. Learn more about Power BI"
      • See my preferred alternative below in "Secure Embedded"
    • Power BI Embedded
      • Only useful in specific cases where app development is involved
      • Technically can be used to give to non-Pro users within the domain IF Premium capacity is purchased
    • Secure Embedded
      • Technically can be used to give to non-Pro users within the domain IF Premium capacity is purchased
      • Handy to use when displaying in SharePoint Online or web pages because it has height/width settings within the tags
      • When using in SharePoint Online pages, a different prompt is presented that says "To view this report, ask the author for access" with a "Request access" button.  That can open up a useful dialogue of "I'd be happy to grant you access, but using reports for ad-hoc reporting does cost IT a monthly fee. Is this going to get used often enough to justify the expense?"

    That last bit about opening the dialogue is how I choose to engage the organization. I use a lot of easily found SharePoint pages with Secure Embedded reports. Knowing it exists gave report consumers a sense of what was available, but that "Request Access" button pre-established the concept that there were some hurdles to get it.

    In short, sharing isn't free (despite a lot of ways to share), but how you choose to share can come with benefits in managing content and communicating effectively with your report consumers.

    Hope that helps...good luck!



    ------------------------------
    Nathan Nelson
    Business Intelligence Developer
    United States
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: Power BI Report Sharing

    Top Contributor
    Posted 4 days ago
    Hi Nathan,

    You summed it up quite well, just a case how small / mid size organization can utilize the sharing strategy.

    They will need to buy 1-50 Power BI Pro license, depending on the usage.

    Utilize Administrative settings to restrict only [dev group] to create App Wrokspace

    Share the content within organization using [App] with read only access, also you can push the [App] to end users as well.

    Regards,

    ------------------------------
    Hasham Bin Niaz
    Director Data & Analytics
    Karachi, Pakistan
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Power BI Report Sharing

    Posted 3 days ago
    What are our options to share BI reports with users who doesn't have pro licenses?
    Please advise.

    ------------------------------
    Geethika
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: Power BI Report Sharing

    Posted 2 days ago
    Hi Geethika,

    My understanding (maybe someone else knows better) is that the options are pretty slim to distribute to users who don't have pro licenses. From all the resources I've read - the options are all either very expensive:
    • Premium Capacity Service (starting at about $5k/month) - although I don't have this at my organization, I believe this also allows you to distribute outside of your domain
    • Enterprise SQL on premise (around $14k based on my last check)
    ...or very time consuming to organize:
    • Share pbix files


    ------------------------------
    Nathan Nelson
    Business Intelligence Developer
    United States
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: Power BI Report Sharing

    Posted 2 days ago
    Hi Hasham,

    I hadn't thought about restricting workspace creation in the tenant settings. That's a good idea! Thank you!

    One area that I'm still confused a little about is the App distribution. In the Access Permissions when publishing an app, there is a little information icon that says "Users and groups with access to this workspace can access this app."  So, I've been granting "Contributor" permissions to users that I plan to distribute the app to, with co-developers at the "Member" permissions. Here's where the problem lies: If I am using the app to try and distribute reports to report consumers...what stops them from logging into the service, accessing the workspace, downloading a copy of the .pbix, changing it, and "contributing" an alternate report?  It seems like a scenario that there should be a way to stop...but I can't figure it out.  I'm kind of hoping for a "Reader" role.  Any ideas?

    ------------------------------
    Nathan Nelson
    Business Intelligence Developer
    United States
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: Power BI Report Sharing

    Posted 2 days ago
    Hi Nathan
    Thank you for breaking down all those options. Can you expand on your final implementation? From what you wrote, I think you are using PowerBi Pro licenses & SharePoint with Secure Embedded. Is this correct?

    Thank you in advance,

    ------------------------------
    Michael Sedlock
    Dukal Corp
    Dukal Corporation
    Ronkonkoma NY
    631-656-3800
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: Power BI Report Sharing

    Posted 2 days ago
    Hi Michael,

    That's correct. I have been focusing on using the secure embedded code within SharePoint to encourage users to request pro licenses in their budget as needs increase.
    Just to be clear, because Microsoft has so many different sharing options, that is the scenario we use for report "consumers". It certainly doesn't limit us from using other methods (with the exception of Premium backed service sharing, mostly because of cost). We still use workspaces to share content between developers/analysts who know how to edit the datasets and create value added relationships.
    Although less common, there are a couple scenarios in our organization where apps have been the most logical deployment to segregate "ready for use" reports and dashboards from those that we are working on outstanding requests.

    However, purchasing a pro license is still an entry point to being a regular report user.

    ------------------------------
    Nathan Nelson
    Business Intelligence Developer
    United States
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: Power BI Report Sharing

    Posted 2 days ago
    Thank you Nathan, This is super helpful.
    Vidya

    ------------------------------
    vidya Gadang
    Senior Data Analyst
    ------------------------------