Power Bi Report Server

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    Answers to Know Before Investing in Power BI Report Server

    Continuing with our series of decoding Power BI for business leaders, like yourself, today, we will talk about the Power BI Report Server.

    But first, what brings you here amidst a busy day?

    Is it the need for a reliable reporting server for your on-premises reporting needs?

    If yes, read these frequently asked questions about the Power BI reporting server – a popular solution for on-premises reporting needs and decide for yourself.

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    Ready to decide?

    Let’s go!

    1. First Things First, What is a Power BI Reporting Server?

    Power BI report server is an on-premises report server that is used to host, manage, and display reports and KPIs.

    It is built upon the SQL Server Reporting Service’s (SSRS) architecture which means it inherits many features from SSRS.

    Wondering “How can I access the PBI report on the server?”

    The PowerBI server enables convenient access and displays all types of Power BI reports and dashboards on the web portal through mobile devices, web browsers, and even via e-mail.

    The platform’s flexibility ensures that your team can effortlessly consume the reports and make decisions irrespective of their preferred medium.

    The server comes with a variety of tools to create Power BI reports, mobile reports, paginated reports, and KPIs.

    In short, Power BI Reporting Services is a powerful tool for businesses that –

    • Need advanced reporting capabilities
    • Compliance with regulatory needs
    • Prefer on-premises deployment
    • And have high-security requirements that cannot be met with the standard Power BI cloud services.

    2. What Purpose Does Microsoft Power BI Report Server Serve?

    Power BI reporting server empowers businesses to host and distribute Power BI reports within their organization’s environment, providing better control and security.

    Let’s look at the purpose of MS PowerBI Server.

    On-Premises Reporting

    It allows businesses, such as yours, to maintain the Power BI data and reports on-premises, ensuring adherence to privacy and security regulations and data governance requirements.

    Customization, Extension, and Control

    Power BI for report server provides flexibility in terms of customization and extension through APIs, enabling your business to integrate the server with your existing processes, and even extend its capabilities to meet your unique business needs.

    Furthermore, by hosting reports on a Microsoft PowerBI server, you retain direct control over your data and can implement desired security mechanisms, without restrictions.

    Integration with Existing On-Premises Systems

    Power BI Report Server integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft products such as Excel, Azure, and SQL Server, making it ideal for businesses heavily invested in the Microsoft ecosystem to adopt and manage their reporting solutions.

    Scheduled Report Delivery

    Businesses, like yours, can use the Power BI reporting server to schedule report delivery, enabling your team to receive and share reports via email or other channels at stipulated times, ensuring timely access to critical business insights.

    Hybrid Deployments

    Power BI server also supports hybrid deployments, meaning, you can combine on-premises reporting with cloud-based capabilities, which offers flexibility in collaboration and reporting options.

    Embedded Reporting Capabilities

    Furthermore, Power BI Report Server can be used to embed PowerBI reports within websites, custom applications, and portals, offering a unified experience for your stakeholders.

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    3. What is the Difference Between a Power BI Service and a Report Server?

    The Power BI report server shares common attributes with the Power BI online service and SQL Server Reporting Services but in different ways.

    Like both Power BI cloud service and PowerBI reporting server serve the common purpose of delivering engaging reports and dashboards.

    While Power BI Report Server features are a superset of Reporting Services – which means all you can do in SQL Server reporting services, you can also do with Power BI report services.

    4. Power BI Report Server: Should You Invest in One?

    As you have the foundational understanding of the Power BI reporting server, now it’s time to look at whether it’s a worthwhile investment for your business.

    Consider the following questions to decide better.

    • Does your business deal with highly sensitive data, such as patient data or financial records?
    • Does your industry demand strict regulations?
    • Do your Power BI reports require extensive customizations?
    • Do you operate in a hybrid IT environment with both on-premises and cloud systems?

    If your answer to any of these questions is a resounding yes, the Power BI report server is the ideal investment for your business.

    Let’s understand this better with the help of an example.

    Who Should Invest in Power BI Reportserver:

    Let’s say you are a CTO of a healthcare organization that handles highly sensitive data and faces strict regulatory requirements, investing in Power BI and reporting services proves beneficial.

    With the need for elaborative customization, strict data security measures, protected external sharing, and a preference for data to remain within internal servers, the PBI report server aligns perfectly with your organization’s data needs.

    Who Shouldn’t Invest in Powerbi Server:

    Let’s say you’re the owner of a tech startup operating in a less-regulated industry.

    Due to the lower regulatory burden, limited customization, and lean on-premises data storage requirement, investing in Power BI for report server

    may not be ideal for your business’s current stage.

    5. Do I Need a License for the Power BI Report Server?

    Power BI premium users get the right to install and use the PowerBI report server, which a P1 costs $5000/ month.


    You can opt for SQL Server Enterprise with Software Assurance license to access the Power BI server.

    With a Power BI Premium license, you can also create a hybrid deployment integrating cloud and on-premises environments.

    If you wish to publish Power BI reports to the Microsoft Power BI report server, you also need a Power BI Pro license.

    However, you don’t need a Power BI Pro license if you wish to view or collaborate on the Power BI reports on the Power BI server.

    6. What are the Components of the Power BI and Reporting Services?

    There are several components of the Power BI for report server.

    Let’s look at them one by one.

    • Report server for hosting and managing PowerBI reports within your organization’s infrastructure.
    • Web Portal which serves as a user interface for interacting and managing reports, data sources, datasets, etc.
    • Power BI Desktop to create, edit, and publish reports within the Microsoft Power BI Report Server.
    • Power BI Premium to create a hybrid deployment environment integrating cloud and on-premises environments
    • Power BI Mobile App to enable users to access and view Power BI content on the go.
    • SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) to create and deploy traditional paginated reports with advanced formatting choices and scheduled delivery.
    • Robust security to ensure controlled access and the implementation of desired security mechanisms, without constraints.

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    What are the Benefits of Investing in Power BI for Report Server?

    The advantages of Power BI server include-

    Customizable Security Features:

    The Power BI report server on-premises enables you to customize security features to meet your infrastructure’s needs.

    This unique feature of the Power BI server allows leaders to control access to reports, dashboards, and data sources, ensuring that the sensitive data is protected and available to authorized users only.

    Customizable Reports as Per Brand:

    Unlike the Power BI Service, the PowerBI report server offers multiple customization options that align with your business’s identity. This includes customizing colors, formatting, and more to match your business’s branding style guide.

    Power BI License Flexibility:

    Power BI Report Server’s on-prem licensing flexibility brings you the advantage of selecting the licensing model that best fits your financial permissibility and usage patterns.

    This adaptability allows you to optimize your Power BI server investment while addressing your reporting needs effectively.

    On-Premises Deployment:

    As opposed to Power BI cloud service, the on-premises server empowers and gives you complete control over your sensitive data and infrastructure.

    This serves as an essential benefit if your business deals with strict data privacy and compliance requirements.

    What’s New in Power BI Report Server? – 2024

    Microsoft regularly introduces new features to the PBI report server.

    With the February 2024 release of the Power BI ReportServer update, Microsoft has emphasized improving the accessibility for both Power BI data consumers and customers.

    Let’s look at the top feature updates introduced by Microsoft.

    Show Visuals as Tables:

    The makers of the Power BI server have introduced a supplemental format to display report visuals in a tabular format called ‘Show Visuals as Tables’, allowing users to display the data in a single click and in the way that best meets their needs.

    This feature improves accessibility for users with visual impairments or cognitive disabilities, providing an alternative way to perceive data.

    More Styling Options for Bar Charts and Columns:

    With this feature, your team of Power BI professionals can adjust the transparency of fill colors, customize borders, and control layout options such as spacing and stacking. This feature gives users more flexibility and creative freedom in visualizing data.

    Extended Customization for Data Labels:

    This feature has extended customization choices for users, including the ability to display legend fields, customize titles using different data fields, add secondary metrics, and choose between single-line or multi-line label layouts.

    This update is dedicated to increasing data density in charts and improving your data analysis capabilities.

    So that was about the Power BI Report Server for business leaders and decision-makers, who are looking to leverage the capabilities of Power BI reporting services for their on-premises data visualization needs.

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    This blog post sheds light on a modern on-premises BI solution – Power BI reportserver which is an underrated addition to overall Microsoft’s BI family.

    It also gives you the ability and confidence to scale to thousands of users as the PowerBI reportserver is based on an enterprise-grade platform.

    Power BI and reporting services are the best bet for medium and large enterprises with sensitive data, complex reporting needs, and numerous data sources. They are an ideal choice if you are seeking to centralize and manage your reporting infrastructure.

    What’s next?

    Next, you must be looking for a partner who specializes in implementing and optimizing Power BI server for your business.

    Thinking about – ‘Where do I find a capable partner who meets my end-to-end requirements?’

    Your search ends at Integrative Systems!

    Get the Most of Your Power BI Server with Integrative Systems

    We, at Integrative Systems, are a Power BI all-in-one service provider with over 20 years of industry experience.

    We are –

    • A Certified Microsoft Partner
    • An INC 5000 One of America’s Fastest Growing Company, making us the ideal partner to join hands with.

    And unlike most Power BI solutions partners in town, we don’t run repeat business.

    We believe in delivering value to our clients with every engagement.

    Do you have a feeling that we are a perfect match for you?

    Wait no more!

    Drop us a line at [email protected] and get started, now.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. Is the Power BI Server Free?

    Ans: Although there is a Free trial available, Power BI Server is not available for free. You can access it by purchasing a Power BI Premium License or SQL Server Enterprise with Software Assurance.

    2. Power BI Report Server – Do I need a Pro License?

    Ans: A Power BI Pro License is a must for every user who wants to publish reports to the Report Server.

    3. Does the Microsoft Power BI Report Server Require an SQL Server?

    Ans: It is essential to have an SQL Server Database Engine after setting up and before configuring the database for the report server.

    4. What is the Size Limit for the Power BI Report Server?

    Ans: You can upload files up to 2GB in the Power BI server.

    5. What Data Sources are Supported for Power BI Reports Hosted in the Power BI Report Server?

    Ans: Initially, the server preview will support only Multidimensional cubes, live query connections, and SQL Server Analysis Services Tabular Models. However, its makers have confirmed that the number of data sources is set to grow.

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