28 June 2023
Power BI Report Server has steadily made its mark in the business world. Effectively using Power BI Report Server can give your business an invaluable edge. But what exactly is Power BI Report Server? How does it empower businesses to make well-informed decisions? Let's delve into these questions and more.
Power BI Report Server is an on-premises server solution provided by Microsoft that enables businesses to host, display, and manage Power BI reports. This service bridges the gap between traditional SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) and modern Power BI services, catering to a variety of business needs.
The primary distinction lies in the deployment method. Power BI Report Server offers an on-premises solution, meaning it's hosted on your company's servers. This enables tighter control over your data and ensures full data sovereignty. Conversely, Power BI Service is a cloud-based solution that is hosted on Microsoft's cloud infrastructure.
Understanding your business needs is key to choosing between the two. If your company requires full control over data or faces regulatory restrictions on cloud storage, Power BI Report Server may be the optimal choice.
To run Power BI Report Server, you'll need Windows Server 2012 or later for the server operating system, and SQL Server 2012 or later for the database engine. Also, .NET Framework 4.6 or later must be installed. Make sure you're also equipped with a processor speed of at least 1.4 GHz and 1 GB of RAM.
Configuration involves specifying the server and database for hosting the report server database. You can use the Report Server Configuration Manager to set up email settings, configure a web service URL, and more.
Use a dedicated SQL Server instance for your report server databases. This will ensure that you can easily manage your server resources. Remember to set up regular backups to avoid data loss.
The dashboard is where you interact with your Power BI reports. It provides an intuitive user interface for managing, organising, and sharing your reports.
One of the features that make Power BI Report Server stand out is the ability to schedule data refreshes. With scheduled refreshes, your data is always up-to-date, ensuring that your decisions are based on the latest insights. Take a look at our article on Understanding and Optimising Power BI Gateway for Business Intelligence.
Power BI Report Server enables you to create interactive, visually appealing reports. You can then share these reports with your colleagues, promoting a collaborative, data-driven culture within your organisation.
Data security is paramount in any business, and Power BI Report Server has robust role-based security measures in place. You can define who can view, edit, or manage your reports, ensuring that sensitive data remains secure.
Thanks to Power BI Mobile Apps, you can access your reports from anywhere, anytime, on any device. This enables you to stay informed, make quick decisions, and keep your business agile.
Paginated reports are one of the most powerful features of Power BI Report Server. These reports are designed to be read page by page, offering a comprehensive view of your data. This is especially useful when you need to create detailed operational reports or generate invoices.
Power BI Report Server seamlessly integrates with SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS), enabling you to create interactive reports based on your multidimensional and tabular data models. This integration enables your team to quickly access insights, enhancing business performance.
Direct Query allows you to generate reports using real-time data from your database. This is beneficial when you need up-to-the-minute information for critical business decisions.
1. Is Power BI Report Server Free?
No, Power BI Report Server is not free. It's included with the Power BI Premium subscription or a SQL Server Enterprise Edition with Software Assurance.
2. Can I use Power BI Report Server with SQL Server 2019?
Yes, Power BI Report Server is compatible with SQL Server 2019.
3. Can I migrate from Power BI Service to Power BI Report Server?
Yes, migration is possible, although it involves several steps and considerations. You need to export your reports from Power BI Service and then import them into Power BI Report Server.
4. How many data refreshes can I schedule per day on Power BI Report Server?
You can schedule up to 8 data refreshes per day for each report on Power BI Report Server.
5. Can I view Power BI Report Server reports on my mobile device?
Yes, you can access and view reports from Power BI Report Server using the Power BI Mobile App, available for iOS and Android.
Power BI Report Server offers a potent mix of features and flexibility, enabling businesses to leverage data effectively while maintaining control over their data. Whether you're new to business intelligence or an experienced data professional, mastering Power BI Report Server can be a game-changer for your organisation.