PowerBI Server

  • NicHopper

    SSCrazy Eights

    Points: 8884

    Hi all,

    First of all forgive me if this is the wrong forum for this, I couldnt find a specific channel for PowerBi, so sorry.

    Anyway, I'm researching PowerBI and I've got myself a bit confused, imagine the scenario that I develop a report and then publish it to the cloud powerbi.com as I want others to see it and use it. This is all good, I appreciate I have to set up the gateway and all that as my data is not in Azure.

    However that got me thinking about "on premise" PowerBI server, then I begin to discover PowerBI reports can exist in SSRS 2017. So I tried it out and uploaded a sample report to our test SSRS server. Uploaded fine but does this mean however if I went with this approach;

    1. If a user clicks on a powerBI report in SSRS they must have PowerBI Desktop installed as that's what it opened it in?

    2. The PowerBI app on my phone wont be able to connect to it.

    3. It doesnt support subscriptions of the PowerBI Reports.

    4. All an on prem PowerBI server is an SSRS with PowerBI reports on it?

    Any comments would be appreciated.



  • NicHopper

    SSCrazy Eights

    Points: 8884


    So I came across this


    So as I understand it, PowerBI Report server is different to SSRS. This makes things clearer.

    Thanks to those who read this.


  • EdVassie

    SSC Guru

    Points: 60272

    PowerBI Server on prem is best thought of as a replacement for Reporting Services.  It can replace SSRS on all versions from SQL 2008 onwards.

    The PBI install will give you a new Reporting Services instance called PBIRS, and the latest install will also give you a SSAS instance also called PBIRS.  The RS instance is defined as a service but not the SSAS instance, which is run as a normal program.

    The RS instance can take over your existing ReportServices database.  You get a warning that the schema will be upgraded for PBI and can no longer be used for SSRS.  Connecting to the PBIRS instance from SSMS is changed, you now need to give the full canonical name and not just the netbios name.

    All your old SSRS reports will continue running as before, just so long as your users connect to the PBIRS instance.  You can also develop new PBI-style reports, and these are rendered ok without the need to run them in PBI Desktop.  For a number of years we have used an Alias to get to RS, so repointing things to use the PBIRS instance instead of the old SSRS instance was easy.

    For some unknown reason we have not tried to view reports on a mobile.  However, if you can browse an intranet site on your mobile then you should be able to browse anything hosted by PBI Server, it has mobile support built in.

    If you use clustering to help with your high availability, then PBI can be clustered as easily as SSRS.  This is how we run it where I work.

    Getting Kerberos to work with PBI or SSRS if you use a gMSA service account can be tricky, we have an open ticket with Microsoft about this but think we are getting close to having this all working.

    Just about the only downside we have found with PBI on prem is keeping track of updates.  They are not well publicised unless you join the PBI blog and want to scan all the other words of wisdom that appear.  Also getting the SSAS and Office connectors working when they were introduced in the Jan 2019 upgrade took some time, but the May 2019 upgrade was easy.

    The other (one-off) downside is finding your product key.  You need to have a current SA agreement to run PowerBI Server, and follow the path in https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/report-server/install-report-server to find the key.

    Original author: https://github.com/SQL-FineBuild/Common/wiki/ 1-click install and best practice configuration of SQL Server 2019, 2017 2016, 2014, 2012, 2008 R2, 2008 and 2005.

    When I give food to the poor they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor they call me a communist - Archbishop Hélder Câmara

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