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Energy BI Governance, Good Practices, Half 2: Model Management with OneDrive, Groups and SharePoint On-line

Power BI Governance, Version Control with OneDrive for Business, Microsoft Teams and SharePoint Online

One of the vital essential points of the software program growth life cycle is to have management over completely different variations of an answer, particularly in a mission the place there may be multiple developer concerned within the implementation. Identical to while you usually create a mission in visible studio and also you commit the adjustments again to a supply management system like GitHub or Azure DevOps, it’s suggested to maintain the historical past of various variations of your Energy BI studies. What we count on from a supply management answer is to maintain monitoring of all adjustments taking place within the supply code whereas creating a mission. So you’ll be able to simply roll again to a earlier state in the event you wish to. 

The opposite profit of getting a supply management course of in place is when a number of builders are engaged on a single mission. Each single one in all them makes adjustments within the supply code then they commit all of the adjustments into the supply management server with out overwriting every others’ work. 

With Energy BI issues are a bit completely different although. Energy BI report information are PBIX information that are saved in binary format (properly, PBIX is mainly a zipper file isn’t it?) which on the time of scripting this put up, there isn’t a official option to implement Energy BI supply management in any supply management options like GitHub or Azure DevOps (YET). 

Microsoft introduced a improbable function final week (6/05/2020) named “Deployment Pipelines” which does precisely what we’re after, however it’s presently a preview function which is barely obtainable solely to organisations with Energy BI Premium. So it’s out of the sport for almost all of us.

Having stated that, there may be nonetheless a option to maintain historical past of adjustments within the form of various variations of PBIX information. That is known as Model Management.

There are a number of methods you’ll be able to allow model management over your PBIX information whereas creating the report. Whatever the model management platform you might want to take into consideration having a number of environments and who can entry them for doing what.

Surroundings Accessible to Description
Growth Builders Knowledge modellers and report writers entry this atmosphere for growth functions.  
Person Acceptance Check (UAT) Builders, SMEs, Technical Leads, Energy BI Admins After the event is completed the builders deploy the answer to the UAT atmosphere. The answer will then be examined by SMEs (Topic Matter Specialists) to verify the enterprise necessities are met.
Pre-prod (Elective however beneficial) Technical Leads, Energy BI Admins After the answer handed all UAT testing eventualities Technical Leads or Energy BI Admins will deploy it to Pre-prod for remaining checks to verify all knowledge sources are appropriately pointing to manufacturing knowledge sources and all studies and dashboards are working as anticipated.  
Manufacturing Technical Leads, Energy BI Admins, Finish Customers After pre-prod checks accomplished Technical Leads or Energy BI Admins deploy the answer to the Manufacturing atmosphere which is then obtainable to the top customers.

Model Management Choices

In case your organisation doesn’t have a Premium capability then “Deployment Pipelines” function just isn’t obtainable to you. So you might want to provide you with an answer although. On this part I title some Model Management choices obtainable to you

  • OneDrive for Enterprise
  • Microsoft Groups/SharePoint On-line

Model Management with One Drive for Enterprise

Within the absence of an official supply management mechanism, the inherent supply management functionality of “One Drive for Enterprise” can be utilized for model management. It will be good to create a mission listing, then 4 sub-directories, one for every atmosphere. We then copy information to every mission listing in related atmosphere listing. We then share the mission directories and their sub-folders with related individuals.


  • It’s endorsed to have separate Workspaces in Energy BI Service for every atmosphere. After copying PBIX information to the subsequent atmosphere, the studies have to be revealed to the related Workspace atmosphere in Energy BI Service.
  • Knowledge connections should to be switched to the proper knowledge supply when deploying from Dev to UAT.

Restoring an Older Model

Restoring an older model could be very easy. The person with the proper degree of entry must login to “OneDrive for Enterprise” on-line, navigate to the corresponding listing, click on on the ellipsis button on the best facet of the file then click on “View Historical past”.

A “Model Historical past” web page exhibits a full historical past of adjustments within the file. Now you can click on on the ellipsis button of an older model then click on “Restore”.

Maintain the Experiences Up to date After Publishing to Energy BI Service

One of many coolest options of utilizing OneDrive for Enterprise at the side of Energy BI Service is that you simply publish the report only one time, then Energy BI Service retains the studies undated instantly from OneDrive for Enterprise. Because of this you actually don’t must republish the studies a number of instances. You simply make the adjustments to the file and reserve it. By default, OneDrive updates information each hour, you’ll be able to choose to maintain the information updated from the dataset settings.


  • DO NOT publish the studies to Energy BI Service from Energy BI Desktop. As an alternative, get the report instantly from Energy BI Service out of your OneDrive for Enterprise. In any other case you lose the automated file updates function in Energy BI Service.

Publishing the Experiences From Energy BI Service

  • In Energy BI Service navigate to a workspace
  • Click on “New” then click on “Dataset” (you may also click on “Get Knowledge” on the button left of the web page)
  • Click on “Information”
  • Click on “OneDrive for Enterprise”
  • Click on a Energy BI report file (PBIX)
  • Click on “Join”
Publish Power BI Reports from OneDrive for Business Directly from Power BI Service

Setting Auto Replace on the Dataset

After publishing the file to Energy BI Service navigate to Dataset settings and examine that “OneDrive refresh” is enabled. That is enabled by default anyway, by no means the much less, it’s good to know the place to search out it.

  • Click on the workspace
  • Hover over the specified dataset
  • Click on “Schedule refresh”
  • Increase “OneDrive refresh” to see if automated refresh is enabled
Enable Automatic Dataset Refresh from OneDrive in Power BI Service

Be aware:

You will need to know that the OneDrive refresh is completely different from Schedule refresh. After we join to a Energy BI report file (PBIX) saved in OneDrive for Enterprise from Energy BI Service, each time we edit the PBIX file in Energy BI Desktop and save the adjustments again to our OneDrive for Enterprise, the related dataset (knowledge mannequin) and report might be robotically refreshed if we setup the OneDrive refresh. So, if we added a brand new measure to the mannequin, the change might be propagated to the related dataset within the Service. That is DIFFERENT from the Schedule refresh setting or after we manually refresh the dataset from the Service. If we require the dataset to be refreshed robotically from the related knowledge supply(s) then we have to setup the Schedule refresh. On this case the dataset from the Service will get knowledge instantly from the underlying knowledge supply(s) which suggests the info refresh course of has nothing to do with the PBIX file saved in our OneDrive for Enterprise.

Execs & Cons

Whereas this methodology works okay in some eventualities, it’s good to learn about its limitations. So listed here are some execs and cons:

  • It’s straightforward to make use of
  • Simple to revive older variations
  • Leveraging dataset automated refresh from OneDrive
  • It isn’t a correct supply management supporting code merge and branching methods
  • Commentary is NOT presently obtainable, so you can’t put feedback on every model to clarify what have modified
  • The sharing technique is managed by the person who created the file not by the organisation
  • Lack of check-out/check-in
  • Lack of alerting

Model Management with Microsoft Groups/SharePoint On-line

You should utilize both Microsoft Groups or SharePoint On-line for model management.

Be aware:

In case you enabled Block basic workspace creation setting inside the Energy BI Admin Portal, then you definitely already prevented producing basic workspaces by creating Microsoft Groups workforce. Due to this fact, we have to create a workforce in Microsoft Groups individually, create a contemporary Workspace in Energy BI then hyperlink our trendy Workspace from Energy BI to the Groups workforce. You’ll be able to examine if the Block basic workspace creation setting is permits as under:

  • After logging into Energy BI Service with a Energy BI Admin account
  • Click on the Settings button from high proper ()
  • Click on Admin Portal
  • Click on Teant Settings
  • Beneath Workspace settings part broaden the Block basic workspace creation and see if that is enabled for your complete organisation
Block Classic Workspace Creation Setting in Power BI Admin Portal

Now let’s take a look at Groups. We now create a brand new Groups workforce per atmosphere, add customers to the brand new workforce and add your PBIX information.

Using Microsoft Teams for Power BI Version Control

Finally you publish the studies instantly from Energy BI Service.

Publish Power BI Reports from Teams Directly from Power BI Service

The brand new Groups workforce seems as a “Traditional Workspace” in Energy BI Service, you’ll be able to then improve the workspace to the brand new workspace expertise to leverage new options and improved safety. In case you want to take action:

Upgrade Power BI Classic Workspace


Don’t forget to alter the info sources in Energy BI Desktop to level to the proper knowledge supply atmosphere.

Sync together with your Native Drive

For extra comfort and keep away from downloading the information and importing after you make adjustments you’ll be able to merely synchronise your information so that you all the time have an area copy of it in your laborious drive. So you’ll be able to open the PBIX information instantly in Energy BI Desktop to make some adjustments and reserve it again to your laborious drive. Identical to OneDrive, your adjustments might be written again to Groups.

Sync Teams Files with Local Hard Drive


When utilizing Microsoft Groups you’ve gotten the flexibility to check-out a file. To take action observe the steps under:

  • Navigate to a desired Groups workforce
  • Click on “Information”
  • Hover-over the file and click on ellipsis button
  • Click on “Extra”
  • Click on “Try”
Checkout Teams Files

The file will mark as checked out. So this file is now solely obtainable to you.

Teams Files Checked out

You and now open the file in Energy BI desktop to make the adjustments (by way of the synced listing) and save the file.

Now from Groups:

  • Hover-over the file
  • Click on ellipsis button -> Extra -> Verify in
  • To ascertain-in the adjustments you might want to put in some feedback in regards to the adjustments which is actually useful
Checkin File Changes in Microsoft Teams

Restoring an Older Model

At present you can’t restore an older model of the file instantly from Microsoft Groups. Nonetheless, you are able to do so from SharePoint.

  • In Microsoft Groups click on “Open in SharePoint”
  • Over-over a desired file -> click on ellipsis button -> Model historical past
  • choose an older model of the file and click on “Restore”
Restoring an Older Version of a File in Microsoft Teams

Different SharePoint On-line Options

There are another options obtainable from SharePoint On-line. On this part we have a look at two of them that are extra related to model management and governance.

Alert me

You’ll be able to setup alerts so you might be notified as quickly as a file is modified. In SharePoint On-line:

  • Hover-over a file
  • Click on “Alert me”
  • Setup an alert
Set Alters in SharePoint Online

Compliance particulars

If you have already got some safety and compliance insurance policies in place you’ll be able to apply a few of these to your information in SharePoint On-line. As an illustration, you’ll be able to apply “Retention” coverage to the information so if somebody by chance deletes a file you’ll be able to later recuperate that file from “Recycle bin” folder. Or you might have a coverage to completely stop file deletion. The information which might be protected by retention insurance policies stay in SharePoint for a sure time period. As an illustration within the under instance the file retains for 7 years, after that point it have to be audited by an admin earlier than deletion. To set add retention labels to the information observe the steps under:

  • Open the folder in SharePoint On-line
  • Hover-over a desired file
  • Click on ellipsis button -> Extra -> Compliance particulars
  • Click on “Label Standing” hyperlink
  • Apply a label from the dropdown record
  • Click on Save
Apply Retention Labels to PBIX Files in SharePoint Online

Learn extra about Retention Insurance policies right here.

Execs & Cons

Whereas this methodology works actually good for collaboration, however it presently has some limitations. Listed below are some execs and cons:

  • It’s straightforward to make use of
  • Commentary is accessible on this methodology
  • Whereas it’s built-in with SharePoint On-line sharing methods could be ruled by SharePoint
  • Verify-out/check-in performance
  • Organising alerts
  • Making use of retention labels
  • Leveraging dataset automated refresh from OneDrive
  • It isn’t a correct supply management supporting code merge and branching methods
  • Not all options instantly supported inside Microsoft Groups. It’s generally fairly complicated to change to SharePoint On-line to do some actions like restoring an older model


Within the above eventualities the method of selling information from dev listing to UAT and from there to Manufacturing could be automated utilizing a mixture of instruments resembling Energy Automate and Approval apps obtainable in Workplace 365 which is out of scope of this put up. It wants a devoted weblog put up.

Have you ever ever used any of the above strategies? Are you utilizing one other method? Please share your ideas with us within the feedback part under.



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