New Features in Power BI From June 2017 Release

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Figure 1 – Explanation of Power BI from https://powerbi.microsoft.com

On June 12, Amanda Cofsky, Program Manager for Power BI, provided an overview of the new reporting features available as of June.  The link to download Power BI is…. http://powerbi.microsoft.com/desktop?WT.mc_id=Blog_Desktop_Update.

Here’s the complete list of June updates from Cofsky’s blog posting.

Reporting
  • Data bars for new table & matrix (preview)
  • Markers on line, area, & combo charts
  • Accessible reports
    • Consume Power BI reports with keyboard navigation and screen reader support
    • Create accessible reports
  • Visuals font family setting
  • Horizontal Image Slicer
  • Combo chart formatting updates
    • Force zeros to align between the two axes
    • Shade area of the line
  • Bing maps improvements
    • Map themes
    • Improved geo hierarchy experience
  • High density line sampling
Data connectivity
  • Custom Data Connectors support
  • Power BI service Live Connect to On Premises and Push streaming datasets
  • Impala connector is now generally available
  • Amazon Redshift connector is now generally available
  • SAP BW connector – DirectQuery support (beta)
  • IBM Netezza connector (beta)
Query editing
  • “Add Column from Examples” enhancements

You can watch a video of the new features by clicking on https://youtu.be/YlNVE5dgcSI (Power BI Desktop Update – June 2017).  Remember that YouTube links can change from time to time so this link may change over time.


Creating Reports for Power BI Phone Apps

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Figure 1 – Visual of Sales Dashboard created in Power BI – from Maggie Sparkman’s article “Create reports optimized for the Power BI phone apps”

Maggie Sparkman published a great article on creating desktop reports in Power BI that will translate to the mobile apps on the phones.

Her article appears at https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/powerbi-desktop-create-phone-report/?mobileclient=ios.

In her article, she provides clear, step-by-step instructions on creating the visual.  The article is well worth the read if you are into Power BI.

Power BI Desktop Updates At October 31 2016

Amanda Cofsky, Program Manager at Microsoft, announced the new desktop release of Power BI on October 31.  You can read it at https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/power-bi-desktop-october-feature-summary/.

Here’s the complete list of October updates from Cofsky’s blog:

Report View

Analytics

Data Connectors

Query Editing Improvements

Other Improvements

The blog also contains simple instructions for using the DATE SLICER, REPORT GRIDLINES, DATA LABEL, and MAP FORMATTING OPTIONS.

Learn About Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017

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Figure 1 – images from various sources

Microsoft has been on a role with releasing new software.  And, Dynamics NAV 2017 is looking very exciting for end users as well as developers. 

Lots of people have lots to say about it.  So, I put together a list of different blogs and articles that you might find as interesting as I did.  It can be a little light reading for the weekend.

1.  Waldo’s blog has some great details and some comments on the new opportunities.  See his information at http://www.waldo.be/2016/09/13/microsoft-dynamics-nav-2017-whats-new/

2. On the Community NAV blog, Tharanga Chandrasekara focuses on Microsoft’s release document on What’s New in NAV 2017.  It is a good read.  https://community.dynamics.com/nav/b/tharangacnavblog/archive/2016/09/17/what-is-new-in-microsoft-dynamics-nav-2017

3. If you are a developer, you may want to check out the info on the NAV TECH DAYS site at https://www.navtechdays.com/2016/sessions.  This covers things like “Building Extensions for NAV”, and Design Patterns in NAV 2017.

4.  To learn more about NAV 2017 Notifications, check out Roberto Stefanetti NAV Blog – https://robertostefanettinavblog.wordpress.com/category/nav-2017/

5.  If you are into Dynamics NAV technology and programming, you may want to check out the DIRECTIONS EMEA conference. It is being held Oct 12 to 14.  They are talking about the next best practices and the new features.  See the website. http://www.directionsemea.com/. “Join 1600 attendees who have already registered for THE BIGGEST NAV EVENT!”

Dynamics NAV 2017 is off to a rocking start!

"Introducing Microsoft Power BI" and Other Free Books at Microsoft Virtual Academy

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Figure 1 – Some of the books available at Microsoft Virtual Academy

Last week, Microsoft announced that users of the Microsoft Virtual Academy had access to fee books.  There are a lot of books available.  Some of the key titles are:

Introducing Microsoft Power BI
Migrating SQL Server Databases to Azure
Windows 10 IT Pro Essentials Support Secrets

Planning and Preparing for Microsoft SharePoint Hybrid

Introducing Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview

Deploying Windows 10: Automating deployment by using System Center Configuration Manager

You can access the ebooks at https://mva.microsoft.com/ebooks.  You will need to make this a priority because they may only be available for a limited time.

Microsoft Office 2016 New Features Include Power BI And SQL Server Database Connector

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Figure 1 – from technewstoday.com

Sandy Stachowiak posted a great article on 10 New Microsoft Office 2016 Features to Increase Productivity at http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/10-new-microsoft-office-2016-features-increase-productivity/.

You can read her blog in detail as she does a great job of highlighting new features.  The big features for Dynamics ERP users is the feature for NEW AND IMPROVED CONNECTION options.  Here is what she says.

Connectivity for Excel

You can import data from SAP HANA databases, SharePoint folders, and online services such as Salesforce Objects or Reports. Select Data > New Query and then make the appropriate selection from the drop-down box.

The connectors for IBM DB2 and SQL Server Database have been improved as well. For IBM DB2 you can now choose the Microsoft driver and for SQL Server Database you can include schema information as part of the navigation hierarchy.

Excel2016SQLServerNavigate

 

Connect Excel To Power BI with Publish

Power BI is a service that can transform your data into interactive reports. Using the business dashboard, you can monitor, analyze, and build models easily. Select File > Publish to upload workbooks or export workbook data directly to and from Power BI.

Excel2016PublishToPowerBI

Note that the service requires that you have a OneDrive for Business subscription.

You Can Use Power BI To Analyze the Top Movies from IMDb And Other Lessons

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Graphic from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByIUx-HmQbw&list=PL1N57mwBHtN2q1WbU5O29rrn_A0lkVv9p&index=3

 

I think learning should be fun! And, for me, Microsoft made a lesson on learning how to do queries in Microsoft Power BI a lot of fun by using the query on the IMDB database.  I love movies and I use the IMDb database often so I enjoyed the way the lesson categorizes movies.

Want to learn how to start using the Power BI tool?  Well, you can either start by going to the Learn page at the Power BI website at https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/guided-learning/powerbi-learning-0-0-what-is-power-bi/

Or, you you can go directly to the Power BI Desktop videos, and watch the short movies that also appear on YouTube.  The IMDb example is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByIUx-HmQbw.

For folks that work with Dynamics GP 2016, these short learning sequences are a great way to discover the ease of creating Power BI reports from a data source.

Enjoy!

Microsoft Power BI Updates in July 2016

 

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Graphic from https://powerbi.microsoft.com

 

Microsoft announced the following updates for Power BI for July.  The announcement comes from Filip Karadzic,  Senior Program Manager, from the blog announcements page at https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/power-bi-desktop-july-feature-summary/.

REPORT VIEW:
  • Predefined table styles
  • ShapeMap can use custom maps
DATA CONNECTIVITY:
  • New Data Connectors:
    • Amazon Redshift (Import + DirectQuery) (Preview)
    • Impala (Import) (Preview)
  • Improvements to existing data connectors:
    • Support for specifying a Command Timeout via the UX
    • CSV/Text – Support for Fixed-Width delimited files
    • SAP BW connector improvements:
QUERY EDITING IMPROVEMENTS:
  • Ability to use R scripts in Query Editor
  • Query Parameters – List Query output as “allowed values” for a parameter
  • Ability to overwrite existing user-defined functions