Download Tableau Desktop today and start visualizing your data. Start a 14-day free trial and discover the power of fast and easy data visualization. Power BI is broken up into different pieces and let’s understand what these components are: 1. Power BI Desktop: This can be downloaded for free from the Microsoft website 2. Power BI service: This is a cloud service in the MS cloud offerings and the point of the service is enabling and sharing collaboration 3. Power BI Mobile App: Lets you use Power BI on your mobile or tablets. Power Query works across several Microsoft products, so whatever you learn for Power Query in Excel can be applied to Power BI and other products. Custom connectors. Easily extend Power Query by creating your own connectors and data transformations if you need to, that can also easily be shared and used by others. The new functionality is live for all Office 365 subscribers in Excel for Mac running version 16.29 (19090802) and later. If you are running an earlier version, find out how to update your Office for Mac. Refreshing Power Query queries. You can now refresh the Power Query queries in your workbook that pull data from Text, CSV, XLSX, XML or JSON.
To create Power BI reports for Power BI Report Server, you need to download and install the version of Power BI Desktop that's optimized for Power BI Report Server. This release is different from the Power BI Desktop used with the Power BI service. For example, the version of Power BI Desktop for the Power BI service includes preview features. Those features aren't in the Power BI Report Server version until they're generally available. Using this release makes sure that the report server can interact with a known version of the reports and model.
Not to worry. You can install Power BI Desktop, and Power BI Desktop optimized for Power BI Report Server, side by side on the same computer.
Download and install Power BI Desktop
The easiest way to be sure you have the most up-to-date version of Power BI Desktop optimized for Power BI Report Server is to start from the web portal of your report server.
In the report server web portal, select the Download arrow > Power BI Desktop.
Or go to the Power BI Report Server home page and select Advanced download options.
In the Download Center page, select a language, then select Download.
Depending on your computer, select:
- PBIDesktopRS.msi (the 32-bit version) or
- PBIDesktopRS_x64.msi (the 64-bit version).
After you download the installer, run the Power BI Desktop Setup Wizard.
At the end of the installation, select Launch Power BI Desktop.
It starts automatically and you're ready to go.
Verify you're using the correct version
It's easy to verify that you're using the correct Power BI Desktop: Look at the launch screen or title bar within Power BI Desktop. You can tell you have the right version because Power BI Desktop (October 2020) is in the title bar. Also, the Power BI logo colors are reversed, yellow on black instead of black on yellow.
The version of Power BI Desktop for the Power BI service doesn't have the month and year in the title bar.
File extension association
Say you've installed both Power BI Desktop and Power BI Desktop optimized for Power BI Report Server on the same machine. Your most recent installation of Power BI Desktop has the file association with .pbix files. Thus, when you double-click a .pbix file, it launches the Power BI Desktop you installed most recently.
If you have Power BI Desktop and then install Power BI Desktop optimized for Power BI Report Server, all .pbix files open in Power BI Desktop optimized for Power BI Report Server by default. If you would rather have Power BI Desktop be the default to launch when opening a .pbix file, reinstall Power BI Desktop from the Microsoft Store.
You can always open the version of Power BI Desktop you want to use first. And then open the file from within Power BI Desktop.
Here's the safest way to always open the correct version of Power BI Desktop. Start editing a Power BI report from within Power BI Report Server, or create a new Power BI report from the Power BI service.
Considerations and limitations
Power BI reports in Power BI Report Server, in the Power BI service (
https://app.powerbi.com), and in the Power BI mobile apps act almost exactly the same, but a few features are different.
Download Power Bi Desktop App
Selecting a language
For Power BI Desktop optimized for Power BI Report Server, you select the language when you install the app. You can't change it after, but you can install a version in another language.
Download Power Bi Desktop For Mac
Report visuals in a browser
Power BI Report Server reports support almost all visualizations, including Power BI visuals. Power BI Report Server reports don’t support:
- R visuals
- ArcGIS maps
- Power BI Desktop preview features
Reports in the Power BI mobile apps
Power BI Report Server reports support all the basic functionality in the Power BI mobile apps, including:
Phone report layout: You can optimize a report for the Power BI mobile apps. On your mobile phone, optimized reports have a special icon , and layout.
Power BI Report Server reports don’t support these features in the Power BI mobile apps:
- R visuals
- ArcGIS maps
- Power BI visuals
- Geo filtering or bar codes
Power BI Desktop optimized for Power BI Report Server does not support custom security. If your Power BI Report Server is configured with a custom security extension, you can't save a Power BI report from Power BI Desktop (optimized for Power BI Report Server) to the Power BI Report Server instance. You need to save the .pbix report file from Power BI Desktop and upload it to the Power BI Report Server portal site.
Saving reports to a Power BI Report Server in a different domain
When you save a Power BI report to Power BI Report Server, your Windows credentials are used. Saving directly to a report server in a different domain to your Windows credentials is not supported. You can use a web browser to view the report server and manually upload the file from your machine instead.
Now that you have Power BI Desktop installed, you can start creating Power BI reports.
Create a Power BI report for Power BI Report Server
What is Power BI Report Server?
More questions? Try asking the Power BI Community
Power BI is a powerful BI tool, but it sadly doesn't support Mac devices.
A couple of years ago, I was working for a company where 90% of our staff had a MacBook and loved it, but there was no way for our Data Team to work with Power BI to build out reporting. Then we turned into another tool named Holistics, a cloud-based one.
In this post, I will share my experiences implementing Power BI on Mac OS, which I hope is helpful to you if you are looking for a solution.
Disclaimer: I fell in love with Holistics at the previous company, and am now working for Holistics!
Since Power BI can't run on a Mac, here are our recommendations to run Power BI on Macintosh Devices.
- Install and run Power BI on a Virtual Machine, then remote in to that Virtual Machine.
- Install and run Power BI on a PC, then use a remote viewer to control that PC.
- Use an alternative BI solution.
- Install Windows on Mac using Boot Camp
To give you a little context about Microsoft's plan on supporting Power BI on Mac devices, they are not considering developing Power BI desktop for Mac devices anytime soon.
You can also visit this link to keep track of their upcoming plans.
You can set-up a Windows Virtual Machine on Azure, Google Cloud or AWS.
- Azure: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/virtual-machines/ (starting from $61/month)
- AWS: https://aws.amazon.com/getting-started/tutorials/launch-windows-vm/
Then you install and run Power BI on that Virtual Machine.
Finally, install Microsoft Remote Desktop for Mac on each device to give your team access to that VM.
There are a couple of disadvantages to this approach, however:
- It's difficult to control permission access and version history.
- You can only have one person working on a machine at a time, since Power BI for desktop is not a collaborative tool.
It's a little bit the same with the first method, however, this time, you use a physical machine.
You set-up a Windows PC, install and run Power BI on that PC.
Install TeamViewer, AnyDesk, or MS Remote Desktop to give people access to that PC and use Power BI from their Macs.
Cons: same with the first method, and you have to maintain a physical PC.
Power BI is powerful — it helps your team consolidate data and build dashboards and reports with a powerful data modeling layer. It's not easy to find a great tool in the market to replace Power BI, but here are two alternative solutions I recommend which is 100% cloud-based, can replicate its functionalities, and in some cases do even more.
Holistics is a powerful full-stack data platform that allows companies to set up an end-to-end, reusable, and scalable data analytics stack with minimal engineering resources.
It not only gives data analysts a powerful SQL-based data modeling approach, but it also helps them build a data warehouse and automate reporting. Holistics is also designed to empowers non-technical users to get insights with a strong self-service analytics offering.
Holistics vs Power BI: https://www.holistics.io/compare/holistics-vs-powerbi/
2. Looker + StitchData
Looker is a business intelligence and big data analytics platform that helps you explore, analyze and share real-time business analytics easily.
Looker is also a powerful server-based Data Modeling BI tool, however, they don't support Data Transforms and Data Imports, so you will need another tool for that called StitchData. Together, you get all the power of Power BI with none of the Windows lock-in.
Boot Camp is a utility that helps you install Microsoft Windows 10 on your Mac, then switch between macOS and Windows when restarting your Mac.
You can learn more about how to use it here
I like Power BI's product, but it is difficult to keep using Power BI given that the tool is built exclusively for the Windows Desktop. Instead of allowing your data team to work collaboratively, your data pipeline will depend on Windows. This is difficult and restrictive if your organization works primarily on Mac.
The upshot here is that if you do not use a Microsoft-stack at your organization, a 100% cloud-based solution would be a better fit for your needs.