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Microsoft® Power BI is a collection of online services and features that enables you to find and visualize data, share discoveries, and collaborate in intuitive new ways.

There are two experiences now available for Power BI: the new experience, generally referred to as Power BI, and the previous experience which is referred to as Power BI for Office 365.

​The new experience is centered on PowerBI.com, an online service where you can quickly create dashboards, share reports, and directly connect to (and incorporate) all the data that’s important to you.

The new experience also introduces the Power BI Desktop, a dedicated report authoring tool that enables you to transform data, create powerful reports and visualizations, and easily publish to Power BI.The new experience extends to all your mobile devices, too.

Note; If you were using the previous experience and want to migrate to the new experience, you can download this migration guide to understand and prepare for the migration process.

Power BI was first made generally available in July 2015. Since then, Microsoft’s driving vision for Power BI has been to enable users across roles, disciplines and industries to sign up for the service in seconds and get business value by drawing insights from their data within minutes.

The relentless focus to drive access to insights at scale has helped Power BI reach more than 200,000 organizations, and the breadth of this global community continues to directly contribute to Power BI’s evolution – to date more than 400 features have been added to the service  organizations with access to critical intelligence: as the result of input from more than 50,000 users.

Microsoft has taken the next step in its commitment to empower people and introducing Power BI Premium. Power BI Premium builds on the existing Power BI portfolio with a capacity-based licensing model that increases flexibility for how users access, share and distribute content.

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The new offering also delivers additional scalability and performance to the Power BI service.

  • Flexibility to license by capacity. Power BI Premium introduces expanded licensing flexibility to help organizations equip users with the appropriate level of access to the Power BI service based on their unique needs. For example, many organizations contain users who aren’t actively creating BI content, but require the ability to consume content distributed to them. Power BI Premium enables Power BI Pro users to publish reports broadly across the enterprise and beyond, without requiring recipients to be licensed per user.

 

  • Greater scale and performance. Organizations using Power BI Premium will be able to customize performance based on the needs of their team, department or the organization itself. The offering consists of capacity in the Power BI service exclusively allocated to each organization and supported by dedicated hardware fully managed by Microsoft.

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Organizations can choose to apply their dedicated capacity broadly, or allocate it to assigned workspaces based on the number of users, workload needs or other factors—and scale up or down as requirements change.

A  calculator is available to help with capacity planning.

  • Power BI apps. Along with the freedom to license Power BI for enterprise deployments, we are evolving content packs into Power BI apps to improve how users discover and explore insights at enterprise scale. Available today, Power BI apps offer a simplified way of deploying dashboards and reports to specific people, groups or an entire organization. Business users can easily install these apps and navigate them with ease, centralizing content in one place and updating automatically.
  • Extending on-premises capabilities. Power BI Premium introduces the ability to maintain BI assets on-premises with Power BI Report Server. Power BI Report Server is an on-premises server that allows the deployment and distribution of interactive Power BI reports – and traditional paginated reports – completely within the boundaries of the organization’s firewall. With Power BI Premium the same number of virtual cores an organization provisions in the cloud can also be deployed on-premises through Power BI Report Server, without the need to split the capacity. Organizations can choose Power BI in the cloud, or elect to keep reports on-premises with Power BI Report Server and move to the cloud at their pace.
  • Embedded analytics. With Power BI Premium we’re also advancing how Power BI content is embedded in apps created by customers, partners and the broad developer community. As part of the new offering we are converging Power BI Embedded with the Power BI service to deliver one API surface, a consistent set of capabilities and access to the latest features. Moving forward we encourage those interested in embedding Power BI in their apps to start with Power BI Desktop and move to deployment with Power BI Premium. Existing apps built on Power BI Embedded will continue to be supported.

Simplifying the free Power BI service

Just as Power BI Premium simplifies large-scale BI deployments, today we’re also simplifying the distinction between Power BI Pro and the free service. While the free service is intended for personal use and Power BI Pro enables collaboration, we’ve received feedback that functional differences between them have created confusion for users. Going forward, we will improve the free service to have the same functionality as Power BI Pro, but will limit sharing and collaboration features to only Power BI Pro users. Users of the free Power BI service will benefit from access to all data sources, increased workspace storage limits, and higher refresh and streaming rates. These changes will be effective June 1, and you can read more on the Power BI Community. Power BI Desktop continues to be available for free.

Learn More

Power BI Premium is now available.

  • The SKU and pricing information is available here.
  • Register for the upcoming webinar on Power BI Premium.
  • Read about the Power BI apps preview.
  • Learn about migration for existing Power BI Embedded customers.
  • Power BI White Papers

Experience Overview​

The following sections provide an overview of the new experience, along with introductions and links to learn more about the details and capabilities of each offering.

In the new experience, Power BI displays dashboards on the Power BI service that are interactive, and can be created and updated from many different data sources. Three elements are primary to the new experience:

In the new experience, you create dashboards that keep you informed about what’s most important about your business. Dashboard in Power BI
Just like a dashboard in your car displays important information about your vehicle, such as its speed, its fuel level, or how healthy the engine is, dashboard in Power BI display important information about your business.​​

In Power BI, dashboards display tiles that represent important information about your business. Tiles are based on reports (just like gauges are based on vehicle data from the engine, the fuel tank, or the battery). You can select a tile to explore more information from the underlying report.

Getting Started – the new experience

Power BI - dashboard to report

 

Power BI - dashboard to report

The new experience also introduces a dedicated report authoring tool:

Power BI Desktop

Power BI Desktop

With Power BI Desktop, you get a powerful and dedicated report authoring tool that enables you to connect to and combine data from lots of different sources, using Power BI Desktop's Query Editor. From the datasets you build with Query Editor you can create rich reports and visualization within Power BI Desktop. And when you’re done, publishing to the Power BI service is easy.

There’s a lot more to learn about the new experience, and plenty of content to help you . The following links provide information about the new experience, and start with overview information (to get your familiar, oriented, and comfortable) then move into specifics. A separate section is dedicated to the Power BI Desktop, and those links also go from overview to specifics.

Using Power BI Desktop

The following links start with an overview of Power BI Desktop, then describe common tasks and capabilities that Power BI Desktop provides.

original public content source: PowerBI.com / Power BI community postings

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