Deployment pipelines troubleshooting

APPLIES TO: Power BI Desktop Power BI service

Use this article to troubleshoot issues in deployment pipelines. Review the following links to understand the considerations and limitations.


What's deployment pipelines in Power BI?

To understand what's deployment pipelines in Power BI, refer to the deployment pipelines overview.

How do I get started with deployment pipelines?

Get started with deployment pipelines using the get started instructions.

Why can't I see the deployment pipelines button?

If the following conditions aren't met, you'll not be able to see the deployment pipelines button.

Why can't I see the pipeline stage tag in my workspace?

Deployment pipelines display a pipeline stage tag in workspaces that are assigned to a pipeline. To see these tags, you need to be a pipeline admin. Tags for the Development and Test stages are always visible. However, you'll only see the Production tag if you have access to the pipeline.

A screenshot of the production tag in a production pipeline workspace.


What licenses are needed to work with deployment pipelines?

To use deployment pipelines, you need to have one of the following licenses:

For more information, see accessing deployment pipelines.

What type of capacity can I assign to a workspace in a pipeline?

All workspaces in a deployment pipeline must reside within a capacity for the pipeline to be functional. However, you can use different capacities for different workspaces in a pipeline. You can also use different capacity types for different workspaces in the same pipeline.

For development and testing, you can use an A or EM capacity alongside a Pro Power BI account for each user. You can also use a PPU for each user in the development and test stages.

For production workspaces, you need a P capacity. If you're an ISV distributing content through embedded applications, you can also use A or EM capacities for production. PPUs can also be used for production workspaces.


When you create a workspace with a PPU, only other PPU users will be able to access the workspace and consume its content.


How do I reestablish connections after deployment?

In a full pipeline, after you unassign a workspace from a stage and then deploy to it, deployment pipelines reestablishes the connections between Power BI items in the source stage you deployed from and the target stage. However, sometimes deployment pipelines can't reestablish the Power BI connections between items in the source and target stages. This can happen for example, when you accidentally delete an item. To reestablish these connections, unassign and reassign the same workspace in the target stage.

Why am I getting the 'can't assign the workspace' error message when I assign a workspace?

When you assign a workspace to a deployment pipelines stage, deployment pipelines checks the Power BI items (such as reports and dashboards) in the workspace. If there are two Power BI items from the same type with the same name in an adjacent stage, deployment pipelines can't determine which one of them should match the one in the assigned workspace. For example, if you're trying to assign a workspace to the test stage, and one of your reports is called 'regional sales', if you have more than one report with the same name in either the development or production stages, the assignment will fail. Assigning your workspace will also fail if the workspace you're assigning has two datasets titles 'regional sales dataset', and there's a dataset with the same name in either the development or production stages. To resolve this error, change the name of the item that doesn't match the item in the stage you're trying to assign. You can select the links in the error message to open the items in the Power BI service.

A screenshot of the Can't assign the workspace error message in deployment pipelines.

Why am I seeing the 'different' symbol after I assigned a workspace with datasets that are similar to those in adjacent stages?

Most datasets use the enhanced dataset metadata feature, also known as model v3. However, older reports might be using the old type of dataset metadata, sometimes referred to as model v1. If you're assigning a workspace that uses the old dataset metadata model (v1), deployment pipelines can't evaluate whether the dataset is similar in adjacent stages. In such cases, the different UI symbol is displayed, even when the datasets are identical. To resolve this issue, deploy the datasets that are showing the different symbol.

Why can't I see all my workspaces when I try to assign a workspace to a pipeline?

To assign a workspace to a pipeline, the following conditions must be met:

  • You're an admin of the workspace

  • The workspace isn't assigned to any other pipeline

  • The workspace resides on a Premium capacity

Workspaces that don't meet these conditions, aren't displayed in the list of workspaces you can select from.

How can I assign workspaces to all the stages in a pipeline?

You can either assign one workspace to your pipeline and then deploy it across the pipeline, or assign a different workspace to each pipeline stage. For more information, see assign a workspace to a deployment pipeline.

Why did my first deployment fail?

Your first deployment may have failed due to a number of reasons. Some of these reasons are listed in the table below.

Error Action
You don't have premium capacity permissions. If you work in an organization that has a Premium capacity, ask a capacity admin to add your workspace to a capacity, or ask for assignment permissions for the capacity. After the workspace is in a capacity, redeploy.

If you don't work in an organization with Premium capacity, consider purchasing Premium Per User (PPU).
You don't have workspace permissions. To deploy, you need to be a workspace member. Ask your workspace admin to grant you the appropriate permissions.
Your Power BI admin disabled the creation of workspaces. Contact your Power BI admin for support.
You're using selective deployment and aren't selecting all the linked items. Do one of the following:

Unselect the content that is linked to your dataset or dataflow. Your unselected content (such as datasets, reports or dashboards) won't be copied to the next stage.

Select the dataset or the dataflow that's linked to the selected items. Your selected items will be copied to the next stage.

I'm getting a warning that I have 'unsupported artifacts' in my workspace when I'm trying to deploy. How can I know which items aren't supported?

For a comprehensive list of Power BI items that aren't supported in deployment pipelines, see the following sections:

How can I change the data source in the pipeline stages?

You can’t change the data source connection in Power BI service.

If you want to change the data source in the test or production stages, you can use deployment rules or APIs. Deployment rules will only come into effect after the next deployment.

I fixed a bug in production, but now I can't select the 'deploy to previous stage' button. Why is it greyed out?

You can only deploy backwards to an empty stage. If you have content in the test stage, you won't be able to deploy backwards from production.

After creating the pipeline, use the development stage to develop your content, and the test stages to review and test it. You can fix bugs in these stages, and then deploy the fixed environment to the production stage.


Backwards deployment only supports full deployment. It doesn't support selective deployment

Why am I getting the message 'continue the deployment'?

Source stage schema breaking changes, such as replacing a column type from an integer to a string, cause data loss in the target dataset after deployment.

During deployment, the metadata in the source dataset is checked against the target metadata. Schema breaking changes will cause the deployment to stop. When this happens, you'll receive the continue the deployment message.

A screenshot of the continue the deployment message in deployment pipelines

If you continue with the deployment, you'll lose the data in the target stage. You can use this option if the changes you made to the dataset were intentional. After the deployment completes, you'll need to refresh the target dataset.

If the changes weren't intentional, close the message window, upload a fixed PBIX file to the source workspace and redeploy.

After a deployment fails due to schema changes, the target stage displays the Deployment failed message, followed by the Show details link. The link opens the same continue the deployment message that was displayed during the failed deployment.

Why am I getting the message 'can't start the deployment'?

When you're using incremental refresh, only certain changes to the dataset you're deploying are allowed. If you made dataset changes that aren't allowed, your deployment will fail and you'll receive this message:

A screenshot of the Can't start the deployment error message in deployment pipelines.

If you made changes to your dataset intentionally, you can use one of the following workarounds:

  • Using PBIX - Publish your changes directly to the target dataset. All partitions and data will be lost, so you'll need to refresh the dataset.

  • Using XMLA tools - Make your changes directly on the dataset in the target stage.

Why is my visual broken after deploying a dataset or a dataflow?

Datasets and dataflows are Power BI items that store data and contain both data and metadata. During deployment, only the metadata is copied while the data isn't. As a result, after deployment the dataset or dataflow might not have any data and a report visual that's relying on this data, will appear broken. To solve this problem, refresh the dataflow and then refresh the dataset in the target stage.

Does deployment pipelines support multi-geo?

Multi-geo is supported. It may take longer to deploy content between stages in different geos.

How can I delete a pipeline that doesn't have an owner (an orphaned pipeline)?

When working with deployment pipelines, you might end up with a pipeline that doesn't have an owner. For example, a pipeline can be left without an owner when a user that owned it leaves the company without transferring ownership. When a pipeline doesn't have an owner, other users won't be able to access it. As a workspace can only be assigned to one pipeline, if it's assigned to a pipeline without an owner, nobody will be able to unassign it, and you'll not be able to use the workspace in another pipeline.

When a pipeline is left without an owner, a Power BI administrator can use the admin Power BI REST APIs to add an owner to the pipeline, or delete it. To add an owner to the pipeline, use the Admin - Pipelines UpdateUserAsAdmin API.

You can also review our PowerShell script, AddUserToWorkspacePipeline (available from the PowerBI-Developer-Samples GitHub repository), which lets you do the following:

  • Manage pipeline access - Add any user to a workspace in a pipeline.

  • Reclaim workspace ownership - Add any user to a workspace in a pipeline that doesn't have an owner, allowing you to unblock it.

To use this script, you'll need to provide a workspace name and a user principal name (UPN). The script will find the pipeline that the workspace is assigned to, and add admin permissions to the user you specified.

How do I resolve a source and target dataset format version mismatch error?

The Can’t start deployment error that states that the source and target datasets have different data modeling formats, occurs when the dataset in the target stage has a higher model version than the dataset in the source stage. In such cases, deployment pipelines aren’t able to deploy from the source stage to the target stage. To avoid this error, use a dataset that has the same (or higher) model version in the source stage. You can upgrade the dataset model in the source stage using an XMLA read-write endpoint or Power BI Desktop. After upgrading the dataset, republish it to the source stage.

How do I resolve a data source connectivity mode mismatch error?

During deployment, if deployment pipelines discovers that the connectivity mode of a data source in the target stage isn't the same as the data source in the source stage, it attempts to convert the connectivity mode of the data source in the target stage. If you're using a data source with the live connection or real time connectivity modes, deployment pipelines can't convert the target's data source connectivity mode. In such cases, you can either use an XMLA read-write endpoint or Power BI Desktop to change the connection mode of the data source in the source stage, or delete the data source in the target stage so that the deployment overwrites it.

Why are some tiles in my dashboard not displaying information after deployment?

When you pin a tile to a dashboard, if the tile relies on an unsupported Power BI item, or on an item that you don't have permissions to deploy, after deploying the dashboard the tile will not render. For example, if you create a tile from a report that relies on a dataset you're not an admin on, when deploying the report you'll get an error warning. However, when deploying the dashboard with the tile, you'll not receive an error message, the deployment will succeed, but the tile will not display any information.

Why did my dataset deployment fail?

There could be a few possible reasons for your dataset deployment to fail. One of the reasons may be due to a large dataset that isn't configured with the large dataset format. If your dataset is larger than 4GB and isn't using the large dataset format, it might fail to be deployed. Try setting your dataset to use the large dataset format, and redeploy.

What can I do if I have a dataset with DirectQuery or Composite connectivity mode, that uses variation or auto date/time tables?

Datasets that use DirectQuery or Composite connectivity mode and have variation or auto date/time tables aren't supported in deployment pipelines. If your deployment fails and you think it's because you have a dataset with a variation table, you can look for the variations property in your table's columns. You can use one of the methods listed below to edit your dataset so that it works in deployment pipelines.

  • In your dataset, instead of using DirectQuery or Composite mode, use import mode.

  • Remove the auto date/time tables from your dataset. If necessary, delete any remaining variations from all the columns in your tables. Deleting a variation may invalidate user authored measures, calculated columns and calculated tables. Use this method only if you understand how your dataset model works as it may result in data corruption in your visuals.

Paginated reports

Why can't I deploy a paginated report?

To deploy a paginated report, you need to be a workspace member in the workspace you're deploying from (the source stage workspace). If you're not a workspace member in the source stage, you'll not be able to deploy the paginated report.

Who's the owner of a deployed paginated report?

When you're deploying a paginated report for the first time, you become the owner of the report.

If you're deploying a paginated report to a stage that already contains a copy of that paginated report, you'll overwrite the previous report and become its owner, instead of the previous owner. In such cases, you'll need to have credentials to the underlying data source, so that the data can be used in the paginated report.

Why does my target stage paginated report display data from a Power BI dataset in the source stage?

At present, datasets are treated as an external Analysis Services data source, and connections to datasets aren't switched automatically after deployment.

When you deploy a paginated report that's connected to a Power BI dataset, it continues to point to the dataset it was originally connected to. Use deployment rules to point your paginated report to any dataset you want, including for example the target stage dataset.

If you're using a paginated report with a Power BI dataset, see How do I create a deployment rule for a paginated report with a Power BI dataset?

Where are my paginated report subreports?

Paginated report subreports are kept in the same folder that holds your paginated report. To avoid rendering problems, when you're using selective copy to copy a paginated report with subreports, select both the parent report and the subreports.

How do I create a deployment rule for a paginated report with a Power BI dataset?

Paginated report rules can be created if you want to point the paginated report to the dataset in the same stage. When creating a deployment rule for a paginated report, you need to select a database and a server.

If you're setting a deployment rule for a paginated report that doesn't have a Power BI dataset, because the target data source is external, you need to specify both the server and the database.

However, paginated reports that use a Power BI dataset use an internal dataset. In such cases, you can't rely on the data source name to identify the Power BI dataset you're connecting to. The data source name doesn't change when you update it in the target stage, by creating a data source rule or by calling the update datasource API. When you set a deployment rule, you need to keep the database format and replace the dataset object ID in the database field. As the dataset is internal, the server stays the same.

  • Database - The database format for a paginated report with a Power BI dataset, is sobe_wowvirtualserver-<dataset ID>. For example, sobe_wowvirtualserver-d51fd26e-9124-467f-919c-0c48a99a1d63. Replace the <dataset ID> with your dataset's ID. You can get the dataset ID from the URL, by selecting the GUID that comes after datasets/ and before the next forward slash.

    A screenshot of the dataset ID as it appears in a Power BI URL.

  • Server - The server that hosts your database. Keep the existing server as is.

Why deploying a large number of paginated reports fails?

A deployment of a large number of paginated reports with rules might fail due to an overload on the capacity. To overcome this problem, either purchase a higher SKU, or use selective deployment.

After deployment, can I download the RDL file of the paginated report?

After a deployment, if you download the RDL of the paginated report, it might not be updated with the latest version which you can see in Power BI service.


What happens to the incremental refresh configuration after deploying dataflows?

When you have a dataflow that contains datasets that are configured with incremental refresh, the refresh policy isn't copied or overwritten during deployment. After deploying a dataflow that includes a dataset with incremental refresh to a stage that doesn't include this dataflow, if you have a refresh policy you'll need to reconfigure it in the target stage. If you're deploying a dataflow with incremental refresh to a stage were it already resides, the incremental refresh policy isn't copied. In such cases, if you wish to update the refresh policy in the target stage, you'll need to do it manually.

I deleted a data source that belonged to a dataflow, why can I still see it in the lineage view?

In dataflows, old data sources aren't removed from the dataflow data source page. To support the dataflows lineage view, connected items aren't deleted. This behavior doesn't affect deployment pipelines. You can still refresh, edit and deploy dataflows in a pipeline.

Why do I see two data sources connected to my dataflow after using dataflow rules?

After changing a dataflow's data source using a rule, the dataflow's lineage view displays a connection between the dataflow's source data source, and the data source configured in the rule.


Where is my datamart's dataset?

Deployment pipelines don't display datasets that belong to datamarts in the pipeline stages. When you're deploying a datamart, its dataset is also deployed. You can view your datamart's dataset in the workspace of the stage it's in.

Why can't I deploy a datamart in the pipeline?

To deploy a datamart you must be the owner of the datamart.


What is the deployment pipelines permissions model?

The deployment pipelines permissions model is described the permissions section.

Who can deploy content between stages?

Content can be deployed to an empty stage or to a stage that contains content. The content must reside on a Premium capacity.

  • Deploying to an empty stage - Any Pro or PPU user, that's a member or admin in the source workspace.

  • Deploying to a stage with content - Any Pro or PPU user, who's a member or admin of both workspaces in the source and target deployment stages.

  • Overwriting a dataset - Deployment overwrites each dataset that is included in the target stage, even if the dataset wasn't changed. Any user who's a member or admin of both workspaces, but the tenant admin can restrict this to target dataset owners only.

Which permissions do I need to configure deployment rules?

To configure deployment rules in deployment pipelines, you must be the dataset owner.

Why can't I see workspaces in the pipeline?

Pipeline and workspace permissions are managed separately. You may have pipeline permissions, but not workspace permissions. For more information, review the permissions section.

Why am I getting the 'workspace member permissions needed' error message when I try to assign a workspace?

To assign a workspace you need at least workspace member permissions for the workspaces in its adjacent stages. Workspace member (or higher) permissions in the adjacent stages are required to enable deployment pipelines to establish connections between Power BI items in neighboring pipeline stages.

A screenshot of the workspace member permission needed message in the test stage of a deployment pipeline.


Why did my deployment fail due to broken rules?

If you have problems configuring deployment rules, visit deployment rules, and make sure you follow the deployment rules limitations.

If your deployment was previously successful, and is suddenly failing with broken rules, it may be due to a dataset being republished. The following changes to the source dataset, result in a failed deployment:

Parameter rules

  • A removed parameter

  • A changed parameter name

Data source rules

Your deployment rules are missing values. This may have happened if your dataset changed.

A screenshot of the invalid rules error displayed when a deployment fails due to broken links.

When a previously successful deployment fails due to broken links, a warning is displayed. You can select Configure rules to navigate to the deployment rules pane, where the failed dataset is marked. When you select the dataset, the broken rules are marked.

To deploy successfully, fix or remove the broken rules, and redeploy.

Why do I need to deploy after I configure deployment rules?

Deployment rules aren't applied immediately after they're configured. To apply deployment rules, you have to deploy the datasets from the source stage to the target stage which includes the created deployment rules. After configuring deployment rules, and before you deploy, the different indicator is shown next to the dataset with the configured rules. This indicates that you need to deploy that dataset from the source stage to the target stage. Once you deploy, if no other changes were made, the different indicator will disappear signifying that the rules were applied successfully.

Why are the deployment rules greyed out?

To create a deployment rule, you must be the owner of the Power BI item you're creating a deployment rule for. If you're not the owner of the Power BI item, deployment rules will be greyed out.

A screenshot showing deployment pipelines deployment rules greyed out.

If one of the rule options is greyed out, it could be because of the reasons listed below:

  • Data source rules - There are no data sources that a rule can be configured on.

  • Parameters rules - There are no parameters a rule can be configured for.

Why saving a data source rule for a dataset fails?

Saving data source rules may fail due to one of these reasons:

  • Your dataset contains a function connected to a data source. In such cases, data source rules aren't supported.

  • Your data source is using parameters. You can't create a data source rule for a dataset that uses parameters. Create a parameter rule instead.

Why can't I connect to a dataset when creating a new dataset rule?

When constructing a dataset using Power BI Desktop, the connection string can be configured. Later, the dataset can be published and used by deployment pipelines in Power BI service. When creating the connection in Power BI Desktop, you can specify additional parameters. When specifying the parameters, the dataset source must be the first parameter listed. If you list any other parameters before the dataset source, you'll run into errors in Power BI service. In such cases, when configuring a new dataset rule, if you point to a dataset that was not configured properly in Power BI Desktop, deployment pipelines will not be able to create the rule.

To resolve this error, format the dataset connection in Power BI Desktop so that the dataset source appears in the first row. Then, republish the dataset.

Troubleshooting errors

Use this section to troubleshoot pipeline rules you created. If you don't see a rule error message name, review the deployment rule limitations and the supported data sources for dataflow and dataset rules, and try to reconfigure the rule.

Error message Solution
Data source rule can't contain a parameter Your rule can't be applied because the server name or database name referenced in the rule is controlled by a parameter. To change the server or database name, use a parameter rule or remove the controlling parameter from configured item.
Data source execution failure A rule can't be applied due to a problem retrieving data from the data source. Remove the rule and make sure the dataset has valid queries. Then try creating the rule again.
Rule property no longer exists Some of the rule properties configured in the rule no longer exist. Refresh the page and configure the rule again.
Illegal value A value used in the configured rule isn't valid. Validate the rule's values and try configuring the rule again.
Multiple data sources aren't supported A dataset rule can't be applied due to its data source configuration. Either remove the rule, or rewrite the dataset queries using standard Power BI Desktop tools.
Target dataset can only be changed by its owner Your rule will overwrite some datasets in the destination workspace. You must be the owner of any datasets that will be overwritten.

Deployment history

How do I remove the deployment history of a pipeline?

To remove a pipeline's deployment history you have to delete the pipeline.

Why is the 'deployed by' user listed as 'unknown'?

Deleted users which previously made deployments, appear as unknown users.

Why is there no deployment history for one of the stages?

Deployment history displays information for items that were deployed from a target stage. If there were no deployments from a specific stage, deployment history will display nothing when you select that stage tab.

Why is only summarized deployment information displayed?

Deployments that took place before June 2022 display summarized information with a No tracking information available note.