Build permission for shared datasets

When you create a report in Power BI Desktop, the data in that report is stored in a data model. When you publish a report to the Power BI service, the data model is also published to the service as a dataset at the same time. When you share the report with others, you can give them Build permission for the dataset that the report is built on, so they can discover and reuse it for their own reports, dashboards, etc. This article explains how you control access to the dataset using Build permission.

Build permission applies to datasets. When you give users Build permission, they can build new content on your dataset, such as reports, dashboards, pinned tiles from Q&A, paginated reports, and Insights discovery. If a report outside the dataset workspace uses your dataset, you can't delete the dataset. If you try to do so, you get an error message.

Users also need Build permission to do the following actions:

  • Export underlying Power BI data.
  • Build new content on the dataset, such as with Analyze in Excel.
  • Access the data via the XML for Analysis (XMLA) endpoint.

How users get Build permission

Users get Build permission for a dataset in a few different ways:

  • Users that have at least a Contributor role in a workspace have Build permission on the datasets in that workspace, as well as permission to copy reports in that workspace. For more information about roles in workspaces, see Roles in workspaces in Power BI.

  • Dataset owners can assign Build permission to specific users or security groups on the Manage permissions page. For more information, see Manage dataset access permissions.

  • A user with an Admin or Member role in the workspace where the dataset resides can decide during app publishing that users with permission for the app also get Build permission for the underlying datasets. For more information, see Create and manage multiple audiences.

  • If you have Reshare and Build permission on a dataset, and you share a report or dashboard you built on that dataset, you can specify that the recipients also get Build permission for the dataset. For more information, see Share Power BI reports and dashboards with coworkers and others.

Remove Build permission

To remove Build permission for users of a shared dataset, follow the instructions at Manage direct access.

If you remove Build permission, the people whose permission you revoked can still see the report, but can no longer edit the report or export underlying data. Users with only read permission can still export summarized data.

Remove Build permission for a dataset in an app

If you distribute an app from a workspace, removing people's access to the app doesn't automatically remove their build and reshare permissions. To remove their Build permissions, take the following steps:

  1. In the workspace, in list view, select Update app.

    Screenshot that shows Update app on the workspace list page.

  2. Select the Audience tab, and then in the Manage Audience Access side pane, hover over the person or group whose access you want to delete and select the trash icon that appears. When you're done, select Update app.

    Screenshot that shows selecting the trash can icon next to a person's name to remove their permissions.

    You'll see a message that you need to go to Manage permissions to remove permissions for users with existing access.

    Screenshot of the Manage permissions message.

  3. Select Update.

  4. Follow the instructions at Manage permissions to see how to remove permissions from users with existing access. When you take away a user's Build permission on a dataset, they can still see reports built on the dataset, but they can no longer edit the reports.

Configure how users request Build permission

Certain actions, such as creating a report based on a dataset or accessing the details page of a dataset in the data hub, require Build permission on the dataset. By default, when users who don't have Build permission try these actions, they get a dialog box that lets them send email to the dataset owner requesting Build permission. The email includes the user's details, the name of the dataset they’re requesting access to, and any other information they optionally provide.

Screenshot of the default Build permission request dialog.

Change the access request behavior

If you have an Admin, Member, or Contributor role in the workspace where the dataset resides, you can change the default access request behavior for a dataset by going to the dataset's settings and configuring the Request access options as desired.

Screenshot of the Request access configuration dialog in the dataset settings.

  • The default option, not selected in the preceding image, is for Build permission requests to come to you via email. You're responsible for acting on the requests and notifying the requestors.

  • The second option is for you to provide instructions about how to get Build permission, rather than receiving requests via email. You might choose this option, for example, if your organization uses an automated system for handling access requests. When users who don't have Build permission try an action that requires Build permission, they see a message with the instructions you provide.

    The Instructions text area in the preceding Request access example shows sample instructions. Instructions must be in plain text. HTML or any other type of code formatting render as plain text, rather than the code format. The following example shows the instructions users see when they try an action they need Build permission for.

    Screenshot of specific instructions for requesting Build permission.


    When you provide specific instructions, your email address is visible to users who request access.

More granular permissions

Power BI provides Build permission as a complement to Read and Reshare permissions. All users who already have Read permission for datasets via app permissions, sharing, or workspace access also get Build permission for those datasets. Those users get Build permission automatically because Read permission already grants them the right to build new content on the dataset by using Analyze in Excel or Export.

With the more granular Build permission, you can choose who can only view the content in an existing report or dashboard, and who can create content connected to the underlying dataset.

Next steps

Questions? Try asking the Power BI Community