Today Microsoft announced that Power BI will be generally available July 24th. Through the course of the preview they have added many exciting new features and capabilities, a full list is here at the bottom of this blog post. In July they will make the updates shown below, rounding out the preview and will make Power BI generally available on July 24th.
Power BI Desktop – currently known in preview as the Power BI Designer – is a powerful new visual data exploration and interactive reporting tool available for free at PowerBI.com. It provides a free-form canvas for drag-and-drop exploration of your data and an extensive library of interactive visualizations, while streamlining report creation and publishing to the Power BI service. The Power BI Desktop will be enhanced to include:
The Power BI service has been enhanced with increased web-based authoring capability making it easier to create and format visualizations for dashboards and reports though the browser
Customers are no longer limited by the visualizations provided by their software vendor. Microsoft is opening its commercial grade visualization framework and visuals built on D3.js, enabling customers and partners to easily extend and build custom visuals. Along with the visualization framework we are also delivering a test suite and tooling. All of this is available today as an open source project on GitHub at https://github.com/Microsoft/PowerBI-visuals. In the future, customers will be able to bring these custom visuals into Power BI for use in their dashboards, reports and content packs.
Power BI make it easy for users to visualize and analyze their data in minutes, providing pre-built solutions for popular services as part of the Power BI experience. A subscriber to a supported service can quickly connect to their account from Power BI and see their data through live dashboards and interactive reports that have been pre-built for them. We have released content packs for 16 popular services such as Salesforce.com, Marketo, and Quickbooks Online. We have announced that over the coming months we will extend this support to include content packs and integrations for Adobe Analytics, comScore, Azure Mobile Engagement, Sage, SpaceCurve, tyGraph, CircuitID, Sumo Logic, SQL Sentry, Zuora, Planview, Insightly, Troux, Inkling, and others.
Power BI will provide support for Groups, enabling team collaboration and sharing of Power BI content across work groups. With this, teams now have the ability to collaborate and work on the same set of dashboards, reports, and datasets. Power BI will also provide full Excel support enabling users to both import Excel workbooks to build Power BI dashboards and reports, as well as view these workbooks through Excel Online as part of the Power BI experience.
Today Power BI users can connect directly to SQL Server Analysis Services, Azure SQL Database, and Azure SQL Data Warehouse, querying live against these data sources. Power BI now extends this support to Apache Spark for Big Data scenarios. Now Power BI customers can directly access Big Data with connected dashboards and reports that query live to the data from the popular Apache Spark open source framework.