Microsoft Keeps Power BI Insights Private With ExpressRoute

Customers can now explore their Power BI data using secure, private connections to Microsoft's cloud data centers.

Power BI privacy

Microsoft has added its Power BI business intelligence and analytics software to the growing list of cloud products that are compatible with the company's security- and privacy-enhancing ExpressRoute service.

Launched nearly two years ago, Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute provides organizations with a private link between the software giant's cloud data centers and a customer's own on-premises infrastructure or colocation facilities. Using this setup, Microsoft claims security-conscious organizations can bypass the public Internet, alleviating data-snooping concerns while enjoying faster, more reliable connections that aren't subject to the traffic and network congestion issues affecting public networks.

Improved security aside, the combination of Power BI and ExpressRoute can provide more responsive data exploration and insight gathering experiences for users, according to Microsoft Power BI Program Manager Amanda Cofsky.

"It is a great option for companies that require premium, managed connectivity for their productivity services," she said in a statement. "You can define all aspects of your network connectivity provider’s connection from Microsoft to your users, helping ensure predictable network performance and availability."

Microsoft has also enabled Row-Level Security on organizational content packs as part of this month's updates to Power BI. The feature can be used to place restrictions on users' access to information that is held in centralized databases in accordance to their roles. This allows organizations to reuse Power BI dashboards without having to worry that their users are accessing data they shouldn't be.

Vimeo videos are now supported in Power BI's video tiles, joining YouTube. The new Analyze in Excel feature, which allows users to create PivotTables and PivotCharts from Power BI data models, has been switched on for users of both the free and paid Pro version of the service.

April also brings new updates to the Power BI mobile apps. The Android app, for instance, gains a new report gallery that provides quick access to reports from the main menu along with new SQL Server 2016 Reporting services (SSRS) support.

"With this update you can seamlessly bring your on-premises data to your Android phone and stay on top of your business from anywhere with out-of-the-box mobile reports and KPI [key performance indicator] tracking," wrote Romi Koifman, a Microsoft Power BI program manager, in a separate announcement. "View your mobile reports and KPIs using SSRS folder navigation and access your data quickly by using the favorites section."

On Windows 10 mobile, enhanced Live Tile support allows users to pin Power BI tiles to the Start screen and view metrics without having to open the full app. A new presentation mode for Windows 10 can be used to splash distraction-free Power BI dashboards on big displays like the Surface Hub.

Finally, Power BI's global search capabilities for Windows 10 mobile has made the jump over to Apple iOS. iPhone and iPad users can now search dashboards, reports and groups by name. As they type, the app displays categorized search results for fast mobile access to the data they seek.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...