It has been a very long time request from users around the world to make Power BI available for on-premises, not for using on-premises data sources (this is available from long time ago with gateways), but for publishing reports into on-premises server. With the fast pace of development of Power BI this feature was looking so impossible to achieve, however the great news is that Power BI can be published to on-premises now. This feature is still preview at the time of writing this post, but I believe it will be soon generally available. So the wait is over, you can now host Power BI reports in your on-premises SSRS Server. In this quick post I’ll show you how easy is to set up this with Technical Preview of Reporting Services for Power BI. If you would like to learn more about Power BI, read Power BI online book; from Rookie to Rock Star.
Technical Preview of SQL Server Reporting Services
For using this preview version, you need to download and install Technical Preview of SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) from here:
This download includes the SSRS Technical Preview version where you can publish your Power BI Desktop files to it, and also specific version of Power BI Desktop, which you can build your Power BI reports with it (Yes, for this preview version, you need to create reports with this specific version of Power BI Desktop named as SQL Server Reporting Service Power BI Desktop);
Installation of SSRS Technical Preview is easy, just continue the setup which is only for SSRS (You don’t need to install whole SQL Server package for it);
After installing SSRS, you need to set up Report Server in Configuration Manager (Mainly you need to set up a database for report server);
Next step is to install Power BI Desktop version for SSRS;
Now you are ready to build the report;
Building a Report
Note that with this preview version you can only use SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) Live connection as the source, nothing else. If you use other sources, you will get this error:
So simply select a SSAS Live query and build a report;
Publish to On-Premises
After building the report, just save it, and then in SSRS Report Manager, upload the file;
Your Power BI report will appear in report manager then as a Power BI Report object
Click on the Power BI report to open, and Yaaay! You’ve got Power BI on-premises! Fully interactive.
Why Power BI On-Premises?
We are in a world that rapidly running towards cloud. Your files are in Dropbox, or OneDrive these days, Your photos uploaded to a cloud storage, your emails are all backed up in a cloud backup media, and I’m in this thinking that in next few years, we might eat our food from a cloud kitchen! However there are still businesses and companies who require some on-premises solutions, and as long as a requirement exists, there should be an answer for it. Power BI for On-Premises bring the power of self-service, interactive reports of Power BI to these businesses. Power BI for On-premises is a great big step towards utilizing better data insight in all environments.
How the Costing Works?
To be honest, I don’t know yet. This is not yet fully released! However the costing and licensing would be definitely different from Power BI in cloud. Probably instead of per user, it might be through Enterprise or licensing editions like that. We need to wait to see that.
Would it be Similar to Power BI in Cloud?
I don’t think so. Power BI on cloud (or Power BI Service), has so many features in it; Dashboards, Power Q&A, Security, Sharing, Administration, data streaming input, and many other great features. These features will take time to implement in SSRS, and by the time that these be implemented in SSRS, some new features will be implemented in Power BI Service. My gut feeling is that Power BI Service would be the full experience of Power BI.
In overall I believe this is a great step towards better world, using data insight in every environment. Thanks Microsoft team for this great enhancement.
Let me know what do you think of this change? I’d love to hear your thinking