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Power BI Embedded Gen2 Enhancements. What’s Next?

Posted by Sas Chatterjee on Mar, 22, 2021 02:03

What is Power BI Embedded and its use cases? 

Power BI Embedded is a software service provided by Microsoft Azure. It has been designed for software vendors and developers who work independently. The major advantage of using theEmbedded solution is that it allows the quick embedding of visuals, reports and others. 

The process of embedding is completed by an hourly metered model that works based on capacity. The Power BI Embedded service consists of APIs that speed up the process of embedding. This gives users access to features like dashboards, gateways, and multiple workspaces. 

A user organization generally performs the function of embedding for two major situations. They are as follows-

  • Embedding for the individuals within the organization
  • Embedding reports and visuals to be shared with customers.

These two scenarios can be accomplished through the use of Power BI Rest APIs. The embedding process done for the organization involves the extension of Power BI Services. The method involves the user of the embedding to sign in to the Power BI Service to view the contents. 

But, after the sign-in, access is granted only for the reports or dashboards shared or owned by the company. The embedding actions for companies include the following- Sharepoint Online, Microsoft Dynamics, and others. Embedding services for Power BI users include several self-service capabilities like edit and save. On the other hand, embedding for the customers involves the sharing of Power BI reports and dashboards outside the organization. 

This implies that the Power BI account service is extended to people who do not have a Power BI subscription. This kind of embedding service is known as Power BI Embedded. You can read about details about Power BI Embedded Pricing

Current features of the Power BI Embedded Gen 1: Meaning and Current Features 

Power BI Embedded was announced by Microsoft in 2017 as a convergence with Power BI. Certain features make it a bit different from the other Power BI services. These are as follows:-

  • It had been developed for independent software vendors.
  • It is a third-party business intelligence tool.
  • The basic purpose fulfilled by it involves visualizing data.
  • The solution is a platform-as-a-service analytics pattern.
  • The embedding solutions are performed for the customers of the organization.
  • The process of embedding is completed through simple tools. These include the Azure portal, Visual Studio Code and Power BI Desktop.
  • The customers of a company do not need to have an account of Power BI Services.

Introducing Power BI Embedded Gen 2:

Recently, Microsoft has brought out a new version of the Power BI Embedded. This is known as the Power BI Embedded Generation 2. The service is referred to as Power BI Embedded Gen 2 for convenience. The service is currently in the preview state. But the embedded subscribers can use the service during this period. 

The launch of this service has provided embedded users with two resource options for embedded intelligence. The users can either select Embedded Gen 1 as their resource or Embedded Gen 2. Both have been made available now. The preview condition refers to the condition whereby both kinds of embedded solutions can be used parallelly. 

Also, the workspaces can be assigned to either Gen 1 resource or the Gen 2 resource. There are certain capacities of Embedded Gen 1 that have been kept intact in Gen 2. These include pausing or resuming the capacities and others. 

New Features provided in Power BI Gen 2:

Along with the previous conserved capacities, there have been some new additions to the list for increase use cases of Power BI Embedded. The new and improved capabilities include the following:-

  • Improved Performance- There has been improvement in the performing capacity of the embedding solutions. The operations will be performed with the same speed and there will not be any time or capacity constraints. 
  • Enhanced scales- these include the following improvements:

 I) There is no limit on the limit of refreshing frequency.

 II) There are not many memory restrictions.

 III) The reports interactions and scheduled refreshes are kept separated.

  • The entry level for the paginated reports and AI workloads is low.
  • Speaking of resource- The function of scaling can be performed with Power BI Embedded resource.
  • No downtime for scaling- The Embedded Gen 2 performs scaling without providing any downtime.
  • Improved rules-  Some of the improvised metrics include the following:

I) clear and normal utilization if data

II) clear access to the utilization analysis

III) reporting tool gives access to the budget plans

IV) information about the need to upgrade capacity

  • Reduction in management overhead- The service provides the admin proactive information regarding the capacity use and the increase or decrease in load.
  • Autoscale- This allows the addition of v-core for a period of 24hours when the load on the capacity increases. This prevents the slowdown of the embedding procedure sure to overload.
  • The service provides an ability to license Premium per user along with creating capacity.

What are different method of using the New Gen:

In order to take advantage of the capabilities of the Gen 2, it needs to be enabled. The process of enabling is completed as follows:-

  • Within the Admin portal, click on Capacity Settings.
  • Click on Power BI Premium.
  • If there is already a provided capacity, then click on it.
  • A section will appear saying Premium Generation 2. There one can find the portion that says enable Premium Generation 2(preview).
  • Select the slider to Enable.

In this process it is required that the capacity of embedding be created previously.

Creating the capacity for the Power BI Embedded:

The Power BI Embedded is designed to simplify the performance of business intelligence functions within Power BI. The user can add attractive visuals, reports and dashboards to the applications. The capacity of Power BI Embedded is created in Microsoft Azure. To create this capacity, certain requirements are to be fulfilled. These are as follows:-

  • The user must have an Azure Subscription.
  • The Azure subscription must consist of an Azure Active Directory. It must be associated with a tenant. The user also requires to be signed into Azure with an account in that same tenant. This is because Microsoft accounts are not supported for this purpose.
  • The user must have a Power BI Tenant. This means that one account in the Azure Active Directory must have already signed up for Power BI Services.
  • The user needs to use a resource group. If there is already an existing one, it can be used or a new one has to be created.

Before beginning the process of creating capacity, the user needs to sign in to Power BI at least once. 

The method of creating the capacity of Power BI Embedded can be completed by following the below-mentioned steps-

  1. Open the Azure portal by signing into it.
  2. In the search area, type Power BI Embedded.
  3. In the Power BI Embedded option, click on Add.
  4. Complete the information needed. After that select Review and click on Create.
  5. The information asked to fill in would include the following-
  • Subscription: The subscription against which the capacity will be created.
  • Resource Group: This will be the one that will contain the new capacity.
  • Resource Name: This will be the new name for the capacity.
  • Location: This is the location where Power BI is hosted for the tenant.
  • Size: The Azure size needed.
  • Power BI Capacity Administrator: This will be an administrator for the capacity.
  • Resource Mode: There is a choice between two resource modes. They are, namely, Embedded Generation 1 and Embedded Generation 2.

But, once a resource mode is chosen during the creation of capacity, it cannot be changed.

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