One of the most useful features to come to Power BI in recent months is the Power BI Service Live Connection. You can find out more here.
What is it?
In a nutshell, it allows developers to connect to an already published Power BI dataset and create new reports without having to redo all the queries and data ingestion.
This scenario is great as an Analysis Services “lite” approach, allowing teams to better collaborate and reduce duplication of effort by sharing standardized models and content. As most of the effort involved in self-service BI tools is spent doing the data mashing, with this approach you can “model once and reuse many times”.
How does it work?
As Power BI Service Live Connection is a preview feature, you first have to enable it in “options”:
Once enabled, restart Power BI and create a new dataset using the normal Get Data functionality. This becomes your data model to publish and share. Instead of building any reports, simply publish the pbix file to the Power BI Service:
Once published, this dataset can then be connected to from any other Power BI workbook using the new functionality. Developers no longer need to do all the heavy lifting work with the data mashing, and instead just use the already built data model to create their own reports and dashboards.
Browse to the published data set:
You then have access to the published data model, and can build your own content. Note the “Edit Queries” option is grayed out.
This new functionality is a great addition to the Power BI toolset, and allows for a much improved sharing and collaboration experience within teams.
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