Microsoft Improves Power BI Management for Enterprises
New administrator controls for Power BI data source management are among some of this week's updates to Microsoft's business intelligence platform.Power BI gateways enable users of Microsoft's business intelligence (BI) tool to dig into their organizations' data. Now, with the new beta of Power BI Gateway for enterprise deployments, IT administrators can assert better control over their users' data exploration and visualization activities. The new software, available on the company's Website, provides "centralized and IT-managed access to on-premises data sources for organizations/departments," said Microsoft in a Dec. 2 announcement. Foremost, the tool helps administrators configure and manage Power BI gateways for multiple users. Also key is the ability to manage data sources, user credentials and access control. "Gateway administrators can add data sources to the gateway by providing credentials," stated the company. "The gateway administrators also control which users can access the data source from Power BI using this gateway." Finally, the enterprise IT administrator-friendly Power BI gateway supports live connections to on-premises SQL Server databases with DirectQuery mode switched on. "This means that you can view the latest data from Power BI without the need to schedule a refresh. With live connections, there is no limit on the size of the model as data is not stored in the model," stated Microsoft's Power BI group. Support for live connections to SQL Server Analysis Services models will arrive in the coming weeks.
For end users, Microsoft announced a new addition to the Power BI Visuals Gallery, the Scroller visualization from Power BI consultant Fredrik Hedenström. Instead of charts and graphs, Scroller can display Power BI information in a ticker format, similar to indicators that scroll along the bottom of financial news channels on TV.