The announcement of Power BI Embedded came last week during Microsoft’s Build Conference and now enables software vendors or anyone building an application to embed the power of Power BI into their application. I have been hearing about this feature for almost a year now since starting at HIMMS 2016 conference where I had the privilege of running the Power BI demo’s at the Microsoft booth. While hoping that this feature wouldn’t of taken a year to come to fruition, it is something to be celebrated now.
As provider of technology with I.Predictus we choose Power BI as our data visualization platform about 8 months ago and one frustrating point was not being able to give our clients a seamless interaction between our platform and our data visualizations. They would click to view the visualizations and be brought to a separate login and a completely different looking platform. While the visualizations themselves were insightful and received constant praise, we always heard the comment that they wish they didn’t have to login twice, and as a technology owner myself it left a bad taste in my mouth. I even did a POC on using the Power BI API’s to render reports, however it didn’t give me the full experience that I was looking for.
If you have not had a chance to review the Power BI embedded architecture it is rather simple and is fully hosted with Azure ARM and clients do not need a Power BI login anymore. The pricing changes from a flat monthly fee to a per 1000 render pricing model, which depending on your usage may or may not end up costing a little bit more, but worth the cost of basically white labeling Power BI. One additional note is that the this is currently in preview and as of now the data sources are slightly limited, Direct Query only works for SQL Azure, SQL Azure DW and HD Insight Spark and cached datasets can not be refreshed. That shouldn’t stop you though from testing out this new feature and looking to integrate into your products.
Next week I will post a step by step blog on how to integrate an existing we application with Power BI embedded.