Episode 6 – Select * from Reports

Recorded August 11, 2016

Power BI has been getting a lot of attention recently, but it represents only the cloud platform of Microsoft’s BI strategy. As clearly announced last fall, the other main platform, deployed on premises, is SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS). The release of SQL Server 2016 represents a major leap forward for SSRS.

Join Jason and John as they welcome guest Riccardo Muti, from the SSRS team at Microsoft to discuss the past, present and future of this venerable BI tool.

News Items

New On Premises Data Gateway
Customizable dashboard for Power BI mobile
Data Driven alerts in the Power BI Service
Row Level Security now in the Desktop
Analyze in Excel now connects to on prem SSAS data
Power BI Dataset API improvements
PBI Embedded and Publish to web are now Generally Available
Announcing the release of the Azure Usage and Billing Portal


Use FieldValuesAsText when reporting on SharePoint data

Episode 5 – The Data Model

Recorded May 19, 2016

In this episode, we were fortunate enough to have Kasper De Jonge as our guest. Kasper is Senior Program Manager on the Analysis Services team, and has been with the tabular data model since its inception.

We covered a fair bit of ground, including topics like:
– What’s the difference between classic cubes and the new tabular model
– Why is the tabular model “everywhere” these days?
– What do the new terms mean?
– How does SharePoint and PowerPivot for SharePoint fit into the new landscape?
– Where does claims authentication fit into the picture?
– When is it, or is it not appropriate to use Power Query

And several other topics.

We invite you to check out the recording of the show for the details.

SQL Server 2016 Launches on June 1
Standard Edition now supports Tabular models
Power BI Storage increases to 1 GB per model
Power BI Q&A works with Enterprise Gateway data sources (tabular model only)
Working with SharePoint Lists in Power BI and OData – Marc Anderson
PBI Gateways supports UPN mapping
Drilldown has moved to the explore menu in Power BI

Tips and Tricks

Username() function in DAX only works when RLS is configured
You can’t rename fields in PBI Visuals, but you can create calculated measures and columns

Episode 4 – The Power BI Development Story

Recorded April 28, 2016

The excitement for Power BI continues to build. The driving force behind this is its ease of use, the from zero to insight speed. It’s easy to overlook the fact that Power BI also has a strong development story too. Join Jason and John as they welcome special guest Ted Pattison of Critical Path consulting to discuss the developer landscape in Power BI.

Analyze Power BI models in Excel now available

Row level security has arrived in Power BI

SQL Server 2016  RC3 is available

PBI Mobile App now supports SSRS Mobile reports

tyGraph is in the Power BI Desktop!!!!


Developer tools:
PBI Developers site

PBI Embedded

Tips and Tricks

Analyze in Excel – Watch out

Custom visuals gallery for Power BI

Episode 3 – Select * from On-Prem Where Version=’2016′

Recorded March 24, 2016

SharePoint 2016 is now generally available!!!

Jason and John welcome guests Kay Unkroth and Gregory Appel from Microsoft to discuss the BI changes in SharePoint 2016. Kay is a senior Product Manager responsible for BI intergration in SharePoint, and Greg is a senior PM in charge of Excel Online.

The big topic discussed is the fact that Excel Services have moved over to the Office Online Server. Our guests tackle the questions and repercussions of this, as well as many other topics including Microsoft’s renewed focus on SQL Server Reporting Services.

SharePoint 2016 Hits the street, but Office Online Server not there yet

Microsoft Data Summit

Excel now connects to PBI Models – uses MSOLAP

Row level security coming
Sand dance visual
New KPI visual in the service. First “official” new visual since launch
PBI Integration with Sway
PBI Mobile now supports SSRS Mobile reports

Tips and Tricks
Custom visuals gallery for Power BI
John’s what you need post for BI in SharePoint

Episode 2 – Select * from Stack

Recorded February 25, 2016

After the monthly News Update, Tips & Tricks, and What’s New in Power BI, John & Jason explain the Microsoft BI stack & it’s related technologies. They roll up their sleeves to dive into where each product can\should\will be best utilized in the business world of today.

Gartner names Microsoft Leader in BI

March 14 for SP Server 2016

Tips and Tricks

Data Generator tool

Use the right account with Enterprise Gateway 

Survey Tool with Power BI

What’s New In Power BI

Anonymous publishing of Power BI Content – Live Shark demo
Power BI Publisher for Microsoft Excel
Enterprise Gateway

Episode 1 – Select * From Hosts

Recorded January 28, 2016

In this first episode of BIFocal, John & Jason kick off by introducing themselves, the topics, and the show format. During the course of the hour they will cover some fun BI Basics and give their perspective on what we might be able to expect in the Microsoft BI ecosystem over the next year.


Power BI Universal app for Windows 10 is now generally available

Power BI can now export data

Show includes a demo of how to connect to files in SharePoint Online

New guidance for SharePoint 2016 – https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-US/library/mt674774%28SQL.130%29.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396

Sankey Bar Chart


SharePoint 2016 Release Candidate now available, but there’s still no Office Online Server release candidate, which makes testing BI stuff pretty difficult