powerbi Getting started with powerbi

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The heart of Power BI is a cloud-hosted service for data integration and visualization.

Power BI has a Free Edition with broad functionality, and a Pro Edition, available on a monthly subscription. Power BI is hosted by Microsoft on their "Azure" cloud service.

Power BI is comprised of several tools, web experiences and APIs. Naming of specific components is sometimes confused, so this page attempts to clarify this. These are the main components, with a brief description:

  • Power BI web app
    • The URL for this is http://app.powerbi.com
    • This is the main user experience for viewing and interacting with published Power BI content - Dashboards, Reports and Datasets.
    • Admin features e.g. security / sharing, scheduled refresh etc are also managed here.
    • Requires an O365 account.
  • Power BI Desktop
    • Can be downloaded from https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/desktop
    • A (free) Windows app intended for data integration and authoring of visualizations.
    • Includes a Query Editor window which leverages the Power Query (Excel Add-In) to provide data integration with a wide range of sources (databases, files, web services etc).
    • Can be used without an account.
  • Power BI Custom Visuals
  • Power BI JavaScript API
  • Power BI Embedded API
  • Power BI REST API

Changelogs can be found here: PowerBI Service, PowerBI Mobile, PowerBI Desktop - Latest Version, Historic Versions


"Name"PowerBI Desktop VersionDate
April 2017 Update2.45.4704.4422017-04-01
March 2017 Update2.44.4675.4222017-03-01
February 2017 Update2.43.4647.5412017-02-01
January 2017 Update2.42.4611.4822017-01-01
November 2016 Update2.41.4581.3012016-11-01
October 2016 Update2.40.4554.3612016-10-01
September 2016 Update2.39.4526.3622016-09-01
August 2016 Update2.37.4464.3212016-08-01
July 2016 Update2.37.4464.3212016-07-01
June 2016 Update2.36.4434.3622016-06-01
May 2016 Update2.35.4399.3812016-05-01
April 2016 Update2.34.4372.3222016-04-01
March 2016 Update2.33.4337.2812016-03-01
February 2016 Update2.32.4307.3622016-02-01
January 2016 Update2.31.4280.3612016-01-01
December 2015 Update2.30.4246.1812015-12-01
November 2015 Update2.29.4217.2212015-11-01
October 2015 Update2.28.4190.1222015-10-01
September 2015 Update2.27.4163.3512015-09-01
August 2015 Update2.26.4128.4032015-08-01
July 2015 Update2.25.4095.5542015-07-01
May 2015 Update2.23.4036.1612015-05-01
April 2015 Update2.22.4009.1222015-04-01
March 2015 Update2.21.3975.2612015-03-01
February 2015 Update2.20.3945.1022015-02-01

Installation or Setup

PowerBI reports can be created using PowerBI Desktop application.

Download link: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/desktop/

Requirements (as of 5 April 2017):

  • Windows 7 / Windows Server 2008 R2, or later
  • .NET 4.5
  • Internet Explorer 9 or later
  • Memory (RAM): At least 1 GB available, 1.5 GB or more recommended.
  • Display: At least 1440x900 or 1600x900 (16:9) recommended. Lower resolutions such as 1024x768 or 1280x800 are not recommended, as certain controls (such as closing the startup screen) display beyond those resolutions.
  • CPU: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster x86- or x64-bit processor recommended.

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