Securely sharing Power BI reports with external users: difficult process

Drew Duckworth 61 Reputation points
2022-08-31T01:16:31.503+00:00

We have some Power BI reports that we would like to share outside the organisation, with named users only. We are fortunate to have Premium Capacity, so we can use the Secure Embed functionality to authenticate those users’ own email addresses with our organisation as guests (sharing publicly via Publish to Web is not an option for this content). Specifically, we’re following the planned invite instructions.

This process works for some external users, but we have run into two problems:

  1. Users who use domains that Microsoft considers personal, e.g. Gmail.com, Outlook.com, are forced to register with an organisational account. The quick start example doesn’t mention this. Some are unwilling to do so, as they legitimately wish to continue using their preferred provider to access content from our organisation. In addition, this request makes an already suspicious-looking process look even more like phishing. We provide instructions before sending the invitations, but are finding that some users still baulk at jumping through all the hoops.
  2. Some organisations have blocked this kind of sharing altogether, making it difficult to securely share any content at all through the Power BI Service. Users receive the following error when they accept the email invitation: "Your network administrator has blocked access. External access is blocked by policy. Contact your IT department for access."

So even after committing to Premium Capacity, we’re running into these kinds of hurdles to sharing outside of the organisation. Has anyone else managed to find an effective way to easily and securely share their PBI content externally? For instance, is there any way to pre-approve users so that an invite to view a report ‘just works’? The planned invite process requires going through the whole consent experience, with the issues noted above. Are there configuration options in Azure or Power BI that we should be considering?

With thanks, Drew

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  1. Dave Patrick 426K Reputation points MVP
    2022-08-31T01:27:48.237+00:00

    Power Bi is not currently supported here on Q&A. The product group for Power Bi actively monitors questions over at
    https://community.powerbi.com/

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    2 people found this answer helpful.

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