Just weeks after launching a beta version of its Power BI Gateway for enterprise deployments, Microsoft is already expanding the software's reach and user management capabilities.
Power BI personal gateways provide end-user connectivity to on-premises data sources, allowing the cloud-powered business intelligence (BI) and data visualization platform to generate its charts, graphs and reports. Naturally, before allowing their users to explore their data, large businesses typically require more in the way of management and monitoring.
Microsoft's answer is Power BI Gateway Enterprise. "Gateway administrators can add data sources to the gateway by providing credentials. The gateway administrators also control which users can access the data source from Power BI using this gateway," stated the software giant in a Dec. 2 announcement.
This week, early testers can provide their users with secure live connections to SAP HANA and SQL Server Analysis Services, the company announced in a blog post.
Power BI Gateway Enterprise administrators can now include SAP HANA as a DirectQuery data source. Eliminating the need to maintain separate copies of data for analytics purposes, DirectQuery mode provides Power BI with up-to-date access to data.
"Once your SAP HANA data source is set up, you can create and publish Power BI Desktop reports and view/edit these reports with up-to-date data in Power BI," wrote Microsoft's Power BI team. "For SAP HANA, you must ensure that you have also installed the SAP HANA ODBC driver on the same computer where the gateway is running. You can download the driver from the SAP download page."
Also new in this release are new management capabilities that help administrators control who can access sensitive company information.
"With the updated gateway you can now connect to Analysis Services and issue live queries to both tabular as well as multidimensional models," stated the Power BI team. "For multidimensional models, we use the DAX [Data Analysis Expressions] over MD capability to connect to on-premises multidimensional models and [as] a pre-requisite of SQL Server Analysis Services Enterprise edition."
SQL Server Analysis Services provides role-based access to the database's operations, objects and data. It allows administrators to determine the levels of access and permissions they grant users that pertain to certain database roles.
The new feature helps IT managers ensure that employees are focused on only the data they are authorized to view.
"Whenever a user views a dashboard or report connected to an on-premises Analysis Services model, the username of the user is passed over to the Analysis Services using the 'effective user name' property," explained Microsoft's bloggers. "If the model has role or row level security defined, the viewer only sees the data he/she has access to."