Power BI reports in SQL Server Reporting Services: Feedback on the Technical Preview

NOTE:  This blog post describes an early Technical Preview of Power BI reports running on SQL Server Reporting Services’s on-premises report server platform. In June 2017, we brought this technology to market as Power BI Report Server. For more info, check out A closer look at Power BI Report Server.

In October at PASS Summit 2016, we released a Technical Preview of Power BI reports in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS). Since then, we’ve received a ton of enthusiastic feedback. Here’s just some of the feedback we’ve heard so far:

  • The virtual machine with everything you need preloaded – Power BI Desktop, Reporting Services, Analysis Services, and even some sample data and reports – makes it really quick and easy to try a new feature like this one.
  • Power BI reports feel natural within the Reporting Services web portal and work just as you’d expect, while Power BI Desktop’s ability to open reports from and save them to a report server feels seamless and supports the iterative process of creating reports.
  • The Comments feature is a welcome addition and a great way to engage in discussions about the insights you uncover in Power BI reports as well as in other reports.

We thank everyone who’s tried the Technical Preview and shared their feedback so far.

In addition to feedback, we’ve received a number of questions, and in today’s post, we thought we’d round up some of the most common ones.

What’s Microsoft’s approach to offering Power BI capabilities in an on-premises solution?

Power BI was designed to be Software-as-a-Service running in Microsoft’s Azure datacenters, while SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) was designed to be an on-premises solution that customers can deploy and manage on their own servers. For customers who need an on-premises solution, as described in our reporting roadmap, we’re investing in the SSRS product and adding support for Power BI reports to SSRS. With this support, you can create a report in Power BI Desktop, publish it to your SSRS report server, and view and interact with it in your web browser.

Which Power BI capabilities do you plan to add to SSRS?

We’re focusing our efforts on adding Power BI reports to SSRS and on supporting the features Power BI Desktop offers for use within these reports, including a variety of data connectors and visualizations. Beyond the current Technical Preview, we plan to add support for

  • Custom visuals
  • Additional data connectors (besides Analysis Services), cached data, and scheduled data refresh
  • Power BI mobile apps (viewing Power BI reports stored in SSRS)

Given our focus on Power BI reports, we have no current plans to add other Power BI features (such as “dashboards,” Q&A, Quick Insights, and others) to SSRS.

What can we expect in the next Technical Preview of Power BI reports in SSRS?

With the current Technical Preview, we used a pre-configured Azure VM to offer you a preview that’s quick and easy to try. Our focus for the next Technical Preview is on a version you can download and install on your own VM or server, a necessary next step toward a production-ready version. Aside from this aspect, the functionality will be similar to the current Technical Preview’s.

When will we have this next Technical Preview?

We’re targeting January 2017 to release this next Technical Preview.

What’s the release vehicle for a production-ready version?

We plan to release the production-ready version in the next SQL Server release wave. We won’t be releasing it in a Service Pack, Cumulative Update, or other form of update for SSRS 2016.

When will we have a production-ready version?

We’re targeting availability in mid-2017.

Can I deploy SSRS 2016 today and migrate to SSRS with Power BI reports when it’s available?

Yes, we aim to make it easy to migrate to SSRS with Power BI reports from SSRS 2016 and previous versions.

How can I participate today?

The best way to participate and help us deliver SSRS with Power BI reports as quickly as possible is to try our preview releases and share your feedback with us: