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Power BI Report Server

28 June 2023

Demystifying Power BI Report Server: Your Gateway to Data-Driven Decision Making

Power BI Report Server has steadily made its mark in the business world. Effectively using Power BI Report Server can give your business an invaluable edge. But what exactly is Power BI Report Server? How does it empower businesses to make well-informed decisions? Let's delve into these questions and more.

Understanding Power BI Report Server

What is Power BI Report Server?

Power BI Report Server is an on-premises server solution provided by Microsoft that enables businesses to host, display, and manage Power BI reports. This service bridges the gap between traditional SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) and modern Power BI services, catering to a variety of business needs.

Power BI Report Server vs Power BI Service: What's the Difference?

The primary distinction lies in the deployment method. Power BI Report Server offers an on-premises solution, meaning it's hosted on your company's servers. This enables tighter control over your data and ensures full data sovereignty. Conversely, Power BI Service is a cloud-based solution that is hosted on Microsoft's cloud infrastructure.

Understanding your business needs is key to choosing between the two. If your company requires full control over data or faces regulatory restrictions on cloud storage, Power BI Report Server may be the optimal choice.

What Are the System Requirements for Power BI Report Server?

To run Power BI Report Server, you'll need Windows Server 2012 or later for the server operating system, and SQL Server 2012 or later for the database engine. Also, .NET Framework 4.6 or later must be installed. Make sure you're also equipped with a processor speed of at least 1.4 GHz and 1 GB of RAM.

Setting Up Power BI Report Server

How to Install Power BI Report Server?

  1. Download the Power BI Report Server setup file from the official Microsoft website.
  2. Run the setup file and follow the on-screen instructions.
  3. Choose an installation location and select 'Install Power BI Report Server'.
  4. Once installed, configure the server using the Report Server Configuration Manager.

Configuring Power BI Report Server: A Quick Guide

Configuration involves specifying the server and database for hosting the report server database. You can use the Report Server Configuration Manager to set up email settings, configure a web service URL, and more.

Tips for Setting Up Report Server Databases

Use a dedicated SQL Server instance for your report server databases. This will ensure that you can easily manage your server resources. Remember to set up regular backups to avoid data loss.

Power BI Report Server: Essential Features

Overview: Power BI Report Server Dashboard

The dashboard is where you interact with your Power BI reports. It provides an intuitive user interface for managing, organising, and sharing your reports.

Schedule Refreshes with Power BI Report Server

One of the features that make Power BI Report Server stand out is the ability to schedule data refreshes. With scheduled refreshes, your data is always up-to-date, ensuring that your decisions are based on the latest insights. Take a look at our article on Understanding and Optimising Power BI Gateway for Business Intelligence.

Create and Share Interactive Reports

Power BI Report Server enables you to create interactive, visually appealing reports. You can then share these reports with your colleagues, promoting a collaborative, data-driven culture within your organisation.

Role-based Security in Power BI Report Server

Data security is paramount in any business, and Power BI Report Server has robust role-based security measures in place. You can define who can view, edit, or manage your reports, ensuring that sensitive data remains secure.

Mobile Access with Power BI Report Server

Thanks to Power BI Mobile Apps, you can access your reports from anywhere, anytime, on any device. This enables you to stay informed, make quick decisions, and keep your business agile.

Power BI Report Server: Advanced Features and Use Cases

How to Use Paginated Reports in Power BI Report Server?

Paginated reports are one of the most powerful features of Power BI Report Server. These reports are designed to be read page by page, offering a comprehensive view of your data. This is especially useful when you need to create detailed operational reports or generate invoices.

Power BI Report Server with SQL Server Analysis Services

Power BI Report Server seamlessly integrates with SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS), enabling you to create interactive reports based on your multidimensional and tabular data models. This integration enables your team to quickly access insights, enhancing business performance.

Direct Query in Power BI Report Server

Direct Query allows you to generate reports using real-time data from your database. This is beneficial when you need up-to-the-minute information for critical business decisions.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Power BI Report Server Free?

No, Power BI Report Server is not free. It's included with the Power BI Premium subscription or a SQL Server Enterprise Edition with Software Assurance.

2. Can I use Power BI Report Server with SQL Server 2019?

Yes, Power BI Report Server is compatible with SQL Server 2019.

3. Can I migrate from Power BI Service to Power BI Report Server?

Yes, migration is possible, although it involves several steps and considerations. You need to export your reports from Power BI Service and then import them into Power BI Report Server.

4. How many data refreshes can I schedule per day on Power BI Report Server?

You can schedule up to 8 data refreshes per day for each report on Power BI Report Server.

5. Can I view Power BI Report Server reports on my mobile device?

Yes, you can access and view reports from Power BI Report Server using the Power BI Mobile App, available for iOS and Android.

Power BI Report Server offers a potent mix of features and flexibility, enabling businesses to leverage data effectively while maintaining control over their data. Whether you're new to business intelligence or an experienced data professional, mastering Power BI Report Server can be a game-changer for your organisation.

About the author: Craig Hartzel
Craig is a self-confessed geek who loves to play with and write about technology. Craig's especially interested in systems relating to e-commerce, automation, AI and Analytics.

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