Episode 128 – Interview with Dona Sarkar at Microsoft Ignite

Dona Sarkar photographed on the Microsoft Campus in Redmond, Wash., Tuesday, September 17, 2019. (Photo by Dan DeLong)

This is episode 128 recorded live at Microsoft Ignite on November 5th, 2019 where John & Jason talk to Dona Sarkar, Principal Advocate for the Microsoft Power Platform about her background, community, and intrapreneurship.

Show Notes

Dona’s main blog

Dona’s books

The impostor syndrome banishing spell (TED Talk)

The Fibonacci Sequins

Episode 127 – November 2019 Power BI Desktop

This is episode 127 recorded on November 14th, 2019 where John & Jason talk about the November Power BI Desktop features including the new Power BI Desktop Ribbon, Decomposition Tree, and AI Functions in Power Query.

Show Notes

Other News

Office 365 Service Description Power BI Report

A low cost approach for paginated report subscriptions in Power BI

Desktop November 2019





Data connectivity

Data Preparation

Template apps


Option to use either light or dark interface

Dark Mode for Power BI

Jason’s pick

No Ctrl-Click on Buttons Needed for Bookmarks View Mode

When editing in Desktop, you have to Ctrl-Click a button to trigger the assigned action – very good. But when you have multiple bookmarks and you go into “View” mode, you are effectively in “PowerPoint Mode”. When in this mode, there should be just a single click for a button (no ctrl needed).


Episode 126 – Ignite Wrap Up and Unconference Outcomes

This is episode 126 recorded on November 8th, 2019 where John & Jason talk about Microsoft Ignite, the announcements, the demos, and what recommendations came out of the working groups at the Power BI unconference.

Unconference recommendations in User Voice at https://ideas.powerbi.com

We need real time monitoring of Power BI dedicated capacities

Allow us to set the default time zone for our Power BI tenant, and have a report level override

Display tabular data as is without aggregation

Report First Data Model Design

Power BI premium capacity metrics – extend it to beyond 7 days.

Premium metrics – Aggregate data across capacities

Episode 125 – Microsoft Ignite Round up with Adam Saxton

This is episode 125 recorded live at Microsoft Ignite on November 8th, 2019 where John & Jason interview Adam Saxton, Microsoft’s “Guy in a Cube”, about the Power BI community, what announcements Microsoft made this at Microsoft Ignite, and expand upon Adam’s Guy in a Cube Round Up for November 11th.

Show Notes

Killer Power BI updates at MS Ignite (Guy in a Cube Roundup | November 11, 2019)

Weaving Business Intelligence into the fabric of the organization with Microsoft Power BI

Large models in Power BI Premium public preview

Microsoft Power BI: Distributing insights and governing self-service analytics with the Power BI service

Episode 124 – At Microsoft Ignite with Arun Ulag

This is episode 124 recorded live at Microsoft Ignite on November 4th, 2019 where John & Jason talk about some new blogs posts from John and interview Arun Ulag, General Manager of Power BI Engineering at Microsoft, about all things Power BI, what announcements they’ve made at Microsoft Ignite, and some glimpses into the future.

Show Notes

Embed paginated reports in your own application for your customers (Preview)

Announcing Enterprise Information Management Capabilities in Power BI

Large models in Power BI Premium public preview

Episode 123 – Microsoft Ignite “Know before you go” with Anna Chu

Image result for microsoft ignite

This is episode 123 recorded on October 31st, 2019 where John & Jason talk to Anna Chu about Microsoft Ignite. She shares information about the upcoming event including lots of tips & tricks, clarifies some information about the event, and we all make some session picks.

Show Notes

6 More tips and tricks for Microsoft Ignite 2019

Ignite Session Picks


Unleashing your organization’s creativity and innovation with a deep dive into the Microsoft Power Platform

Monday at 11:00 AM

James Phillips

The Power Platform (Power BI, PowerApps, Microsoft Flow) represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to unleash organizational creativity and innovation, by arming those closest to your business processes with the tools to analyze and transform them. And unlike past approaches to “low-code” application development and business intelligence, the Power Platform avoids chaotic “application sprawl.” Join James Phillips, CVP, Business Applications Group, to see how IT organizations retain control through an administrative approach that centralizes governance and policy enforcement – offering “guard rails” while empowering business users with intelligence – giving them the best of both worlds. Learn how some of the world’s leading organizations across industries have harnessed the Power Platform to eliminate their application backlogs, enhance insights, improve productivity, and transform their organizations at a pace previously impossible.

Power BI Data modeling fundamentals

Monday at 2:15 PM

Peter Myers, Ayush Rathi, Angela Dobrea

This instructor-led session covers important topics in relation to scalable and well-performing Power BI models. It targets business analysts and IT pros, and provides them with foundational knowledge of Power BI modeling and Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) basics. This workshop builds upon these foundations by introducing model design best practices, describing row and filter context, exploring practical uses of the CALCULATE function, and solving real-world business challenges with the Time Intelligence functions and iterator functions. This workshop is suitable for those looking to gain an understanding and appreciation of Power BI modeling and DAX.

Microsoft Power BI: Business intelligence strategy, vision, and roadmap update

Tuesday at 2:15

Amir Netz, Christian Wade, Arun Ulagaratchagan, Sarina Stevens, Tim Depledge

Power BI enables customers and partners to do more with their data. Come to this session and join our business intelligence leadership as we share the latest information about our strategy, vision, and roadmap for Power BI.


Azure Active Directory: New features and roadmap

Tuesday at 9:00 AM

Alex Simons, Melanie Maynes, Sadie Henry, Libby Brown 

For anyone working on or looking in to identity and access management in the cloud, come to this can’t-miss session to get updates on Azure Active Directory and our vision and roadmap areas for identity in the next year. You’ll hear about the newest features and experiences that provide seamless access for any identity, protect your organization from breaches, and use the latest open standards.

Shut the door to cybercrime with identity-driven security

Wednesday at 10:15 AM

Mark Morowczynski, Rohini Goyal 

Today, in most organizations, there exists an abundance of security solutions and yet what will actually make you secure remains obscure. Come to this session to get your much needed answers on the steps you can quickly take to protect yourself against the most prevalent current and emerging threats!

Office 365 and Microsoft Teams adoption from the real world

Wednesday at 5:35 PM

John Peluso 

Oak Ridge National Laboratories is mainly an Office of Science lab and as such, research and collaboration are key to the lab’s success. They had integrated Skype into their environment when it was still Lync, so naturally, end users had utilized it heavily throughout the years. It was then natural to move towards Microsoft Teams when it became available given its additional features, but many challenges stood in their way. While Skype for Business is easy to use because of its simplicity, Teams picks up the slack (no pun intended) from what Skype was missing. Learn how ORNL navigated the many challenges of transforming their team collaboration and created a new model for accomplishing their mission.

Stop doing these four things in SharePoint and start doing them in Azure

Thursday at 3:40 PM

Mark Rackley 

For well over a decade now, Microsoft SharePoint has been used as the silver bullet for a multitude of business needs around data, storage, and workflow. However, all too often attempts are made to shoehorn SharePoint into a process that it was never designed for. Developers become frustrated trying to make SharePoint work the way they want and users become frustrated that their business needs aren’t fully met. There is a better way using Microsoft Azure. In this session, learn about four common business scenarios you are probably trying to do in SharePoint today that you could easily move to Azure and get better performance, improved scalability, and even reduce costs.

Making the most of out-of-box approvals in SharePoint Online

Friday at 9:00 AM

Laura Rogers 

Do your SharePoint power users create approval processes for documents or forms? The approvals action in Microsoft Flow is an extremely useful and versatile action for these scenarios. The requirements of your workflows may range from simple to complex, and they all vary when it comes to flexibility and functionality. In this session, learn the capabilities of Microsoft Flow approvals, and how to successfully build your various business processes in SharePoint. For example, learn how to build parallel versus serial, one or many approvers, or escalate/reassign approvals when out-of-office.


An introvert’s guide to the IT industry

Tuesday at 2:15

Sonia Cuff

Conferences, co-working spaces and collaboration – today’s tech career essentials or an introvert’s worse nightmare? Come and learn how to effectively navigate social media and in-person networking, while balancing your need for recharging. Explore work tips for both introverts and their extroverted allies, and build a profile where your quiet voice is a super power!

Monday at 5:30 PM

Women in Technology leadership roundtable

Sarah Haase

This diversity session focuses on the unique challenges facing female technology leaders. We share personal stories of success and challenges, discuss the impact of role-based and gender-based stereotypes, and conduct peer mentorship mini-sessions. Whether you’re a woman in technology, an organizational leader/mentor, or an ally that wants to support the growth of gender diversity in the tech space, this session is for you! Learn about the importance of a strong personal brand, gain insight on overcoming obstacles, and see how you can serve as an ally for female technologists.

Wednesday at 11:45 AM

You’re never alone: what community means to people in tech

Magnus Martensson, Susan Hanley, Anna Chu, Laurie Pottmeyer, Sidney Andrews

At a time when we can swipe a touch screen to connect with products, people, and information, what does it mean to be part of a community? What does being part of a community mean to you? Come join panelists from within Microsoft and the MVP community to participate in a conversation about community – what it means, how it helps, and how you can engage.

Episode 122 – October 2019 news roundup

This is episode 122 recorded on October 29th, 2019 where John & Jason talk about the October Power BI news including refreshing your Power BI dataset using Microsoft Flow, general availability of  Automated Machine learning in Power BI, and the Power BI lineage view.

Show Notes

Introducing Power BI lineage view

Announcing Automated Machine learning in Power BI general availability

Announcing new contact lists for reports and dashboards in the Power BI service

Refresh your Power BI dataset using Microsoft Flow

Keep your Power BI SharePoint reports current with Microsoft Flow

User Voice Picks


Allow Pro Users to Publish RDL files from Report Builder

The current version of the report builder can only be published by premium capacity accounts. It would be awesome to include this feature for pro users as well and allow us to add paginated reports to our apps we develop. We have a flat organizational structure and tend to use power BI for clients. We all have pro licenses but there is not much sense to buy premium capacity at this time. However, having this feature would be a huge benefit to everyone using power bi under pro accounts.


Ability to BLOCK self-service purchase capabilities for Power Platform products

Message centre update refers : MC193609 Self-service purchase capabilities for Power Platform products (Power BI, PowerApps, and Flow) will be available for commercial cloud customers starting 11/19.

We need the ability to block this on tenant level with immediate effect. The platform will become ungovernable in a very short period and cause massive governance issues.

Episode 121 – October 2019 Power BI Desktop Update & News

This is episode 121 recorded on October 15th, 2019 where John & Jason talk about the October Power BI Desktop features including Automatic page refresh for Direct Query, the new Q&A visual and associated updates, and Query diagnostics.

Show Notes




Data connectivity

Data Preparation

Template Apps


User Voice Picks


Auto refresh the report

A PBI report is showing 7*24 hours (Full Screen). Now the data gateway has been finished the refreshing. But the data on the report is not be changed. Looks like it is a static page. I must manual refresh. So it is not automatic. Hope enable the report to auto refresh.


Visibilty (Hide an Item)

Develop an item formatting property which allows to set the visibility of a report item when you want to conditionally hide the item based on a report parameter or some other expression that you specify (also DAX expressions).

You can develop this incrementally starting from visuals, then text boxes, then shapes and buttons….

If you want to go the extra mile, you can also develop a functionality that allows the final user to toggle the visibility of report items.

For more information and since it was an available and really useful capability see “Add an Expand or Collapse Action to an Item (Report Builder and SSRS)”.


I double checked in the ideas database and there are many ideas describing the same functionality; this is the reason why I do believe this is really required and will try to collect all the previous votes under this item.

Episode 120 – October 2019 News Roundup

This is episode 120 recorded on October 2nd, 2019 where John & Jason talk about the Microsoft Ignite schedule builder and a whole bunch of news items from the last month.

Show Notes

Power BI Report Server September 2019 Feature Summary

Template apps update (preview) is now available

Paginated Reports in Power BI September 2019 Feature Summary

Power BI Dataflows September 2019 Feature Summary

Announcing the Microsoft Business Applications October Virtual Launch Event

URL parameters for Paginated Reports are now available

What’s new for SQL Server 2019 Reporting Services RC1

What’s new for SQL Server 2019 Analysis Services RC1

User Voice Picks


The ability to message all Power BI users from the Power BI service

If you run a Power BI platform for a lot of users you should be able to send /push notifications to them. We are currently experiencing high fail rates and it would be great to alert all users that we’re busy looking into it.


Support creating calculation groups in Power BI Desktop

Support the creation of DAX calculation groups in Power BI Desktop – otherwise Power BI can only consume calculation groups created in Analysis Services, whereas it would be very useful to have this feature in any Power BI model.

Even just a simple text window with a script would be fine. You can clean up the UI later.


Episode 119 – Power Platform 2019 Roadmap Wave 2 Plan

This is episode 119 recorded on September 27th, 2019 where John & Jason talk through the Microsoft Power Platform 2019 Release Wave 2 Plan and highlight the important Power BI dates over the next few months.

Show Notes

Power Platform Wave 2 Release Plan Document

Power Platform Admin Center

Power BI Features Release Dates

User Voice Picks


Connect PBI Desktop to multiple PBI Online Datasets

Currently, once you connect to a Power BI Service/Online Dataset you cannot add additional data sources. We have several datasets we’d like to put in the same report, but can’t because they are over the 1GB limit on size. If we could live-connect to them all in Power BI Desktop this would help.


Images should have Locked Aspect Ratio

When I add an image to Power BI Desktop, the default setting is that the Aspect Ratio is not locked. This makes the process of scaling the image to a suitable size behave in an inconsistent way compared to (say) PowerPoint. If you turn on “lock aspect ratio”, then the image scales correctly and consistently with other office applications.

Most images should be scaled with a locked aspect ratio.