Using Deployment Pipelines of Power BI for Enabling DevOps for Analytics

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DevOps For Analytics

The deployment pipelines of Power BI are a (relatively) new Power BI functionality for report testing, change management, and managing collaboration. NOTE: If you want to employ this feature, you’ll require Power BI premium – Premium is 10 dollars per person per month in the new “per user” price model, and you may also get a free trial with sign up when you just would like to try out the features.

You may now produce reports and distribute them across your multiple environments with this new capability. DevOps practices, which are ubiquitous in several other software development professional fields, are now open for usage within Power BI, which you will be thrilled about.

There are several training courses available online across India like DevOps training in Hyderabad where the aspirants learn the DevOps concepts to get into DevOps careers. The training enables the aspirants in mastering the process of system integration, configuration management, and continuous deployment which assists in working with Power BI.

Three stages are included in the pipeline design: prod, test, and dev.

The three environments, like if DevOps is used in other cases, serve diverse intentions:

  • Dev is utilized to create reports and also collaborate on new characteristics.
  • The test environment is more stable in which the report is shared with the testing team and stakeholders for input and testing.
  • Reports are delivered to Prod when they’ve been thoroughly tested and accepted.

Development

Power BI desktop is the finest tool for creating new Power BI reports. However, it’s simple to end up with the same report in multiple versions or lose track of what’s going on, especially when working with others.

Fortunately, Power BI integrates with SharePoint, allowing you for sharing a single version of the truth for every report.

If you’re going to utilize SharePoint for retaining your reports, the first thing you need to do is sync with the SharePoint folder or site that you are going to employ locally. By navigating to the Online SharePoint site and pressing the button “sync”, you may accomplish this:

DevOps For Analytics

This will launch OneDrive on your computer. The site must synchronize your files with your local storage once you log in.

You may now access the Power BI desktop and the new report can be saved to the SharePoint site directly.

You can “check out” the report after it’s been posted to SharePoint and seen in a browser:

DevOps For Analytics

This indicates that the file can only be edited by the user who has checked it out. This can be done in online SharePoint or from a local file’s version. As no support was there for altering reports from within a SharePoint, you’ll have to use the local version of Power BI.

You can start by creating the initial report version on the Power BI desktop. For instance, We’ll create a test report, connect the blob storage account with a CSV file, and add a simple visualization.

DevOps For Analytics

The report must be verified back once you’ve completed editing it.

DevOps For Analytics

You can include a message  of the commit when you verify your changes:

DevOps For Analytics

Workspace Creation

In Power BI, a workspace is required to share your report.

A new workspace is created by going to “Workspaces” -> “Create a workspace” after you’ve signed in to Power BI Service.

You give your workstation a name. The OneDrive link must be left blank for now.

Note: To use deployment pipelines, you will need to build a workspace with an embedded or premium capacity.

After you’ve built your workspace, go to “Add Content” -> “Files” -> “SharePoint – Team Sites” and paste the connection to the SharePoint site there. The form of this link must be as follows:  

You must be capable of navigating to a report you prepared from here.

The content would be included in the Power BI workspace when you choose a report. 

DevOps For Analytics

You’ll be capable to see the graphics you created if you choose a report from a Power BI service:

DevOps For Analytics

Pipelines for deployment

We could now construct a new pipeline by going to the tab of Deployment Pipelines:

DevOps For Analytics

The workspace is then assigned to a pipeline.

DevOps For Analytics

After you have assigned a workspace (to A development environment), you MUST view the following screen:

DevOps For Analytics

Once you’re satisfied with a report you have created, click the button “deploy to test” to send it to the testing environment. This will build a test workspace for you:

DevOps For Analytics

You could also create dataset rules that will be applied when the application is deployed. To do so, go to the top right corner of a test environment and click the symbol of lightning.

DevOps For Analytics

Values can be changed in the dataset connections here, enabling you to connect the various data sources in your testing and production environments. When the settings are updated, you will probably be required to authenticate with a new dataset, which you can do in the test workspace’s dataset settings.

We can execute the data refresh after we’ve deployed to test.

A report can be viewed from the newly established test workspace after the refresh is complete:

DevOps For Analytics

The test workspace could be shared with the stakeholders so that the report can be tested and validated.

Updates

You might have to edit the report when you receive input from testing that requires to be addressed.

To accomplish this, you must first check the report’s file and apply the appropriate changes. For instance, we may be requested to make changes to our report’s color scheme, that we can accomplish on the Power BI desktop:

DevOps For Analytics

For instance, we may well be asked to make changes to our report’s color scheme, which we can accomplish on a Power BI desktop. When this occurs, Power BI would notice that the two environments are different:

DevOps For Analytics

We can also deploy these changes for testing and examine how they affect the test workspace:

DevOps For Analytics

Publishing an Application

The report could be deployed to production once it has been tested completely and approved. Any dataset rules must be set up again, and the data must be refreshed.

We’ll be able to publish an application with the report once it’s been deployed. A Power BI App is the suggested method for sharing the reports of Power BI within your corporation. The following steps can be taken from within the pipeline of deployment to publish:

DevOps For Analytics

After you’ve published the app, you’ll need to give the name and a description, pick a theme color, and include a report logo.

DevOps For Analytics

When your workspace has numerous reports, you can pick which ones are included in the application from the workspace area:

DevOps For Analytics

You can see the new Power BI application once it’s been published:

DevOps For Analytics

Lastly, under the app settings screen’s Permissions tab, you can grant other users have access to the application:

DevOps For Analytics

Individual users can be given permissions, but it’s recommended to control access using security groups in AAD, which makes managing and canceling access much easier. To accomplish this, create the group in Azure portal’s AAD and grant that group accessibility to Power BI:

DevOps For Analytics

Your production app would then be seen by everyone in the security group.

Conclusion

We have a process for designing, testing, publishing, and sharing our reports utilizing Power BI connection with Azure Active Directory, deployment pipelines, and SharePoint. This is a significant step forward in the analytics DevOps and Power BI path!


Roy M is a technical content writer for the last 8 years with vast knowledge in digital marketing, wireframe and graphics designing.

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