Interactive and background operations
Power BI divides operations into two types, interactive and background. This article lists these operations and explains the difference between them
On demand requests and operations that can be triggered by user interactions with the UI, such as data model queries generated by report visuals, are classified as interactive operations. They’re usually triggered by user interactions with the UI. For example, an interactive operation is triggered when a user opens a report or clicks on a slicer in a Power BI report. Interactive operations can also be triggered without interacting with the UI, for example when using SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) or a custom application to run a DAX query.
Longer running operations such as dataset or dataflow refreshes are classified as background operations. They can be triggered manually by a user, or automatically without user interaction. Background operations include scheduled refreshes, interactive refreshes, REST-based refreshes and XMLA-based refresh operations. Users aren't expected to wait for these operations to finish. Instead, they might come back later to check the status of the operations.
The table below lists the Power BI operations. It provides a short description for each operation and identifies the operation's type.
|Artificial intelligence (AI)||AI function evaluation||AI||Background|
|Background query||Queries for refreshing tiles and creating report snapshots||Datasets||Background|
|Dataflow DirectQuery||Connect directly to a dataflow without the need to import the data into a dataset||Dataflows||Interactive|
|Dataflow refresh||An on demand or scheduled background dataflow refresh, performed by the service or with REST APIs||Dataflows||Background|
|Dataset on-demand refresh||A background dataset refresh initiated by the user, using the service, REST APIs or public XMLA endpoints||Datasets||Background|
|Dataset scheduled refresh||A scheduled background dataset refresh, performed by the service, REST APIs or public XMLA endpoints||Datasets||Background|
|Full report email subscription||A PDF or PowerPoint copy of an entire Power BI report, attached to an email subscription||Report||Background|
|Interactive query||Queries initiated by an on-demand data request from a user. For example, loading a model when opening a report, or user interaction with a report||Datasets||Interactive|
|PublicApiExport||A Power BI report exported with the Export report to file REST API||Report||Background|
|Render||A Power BI paginated report exported with the Export paginated report to file REST API||Paginated report||Background|
|Render||A Power BI paginated report viewed in Power BI service||Paginated report||Interactive|
|Web modeling read||A data model read operation in the dataset web modeling user experience||Datasets||Interactive|
|Web modeling write||A data model write operation in the dataset web modeling user experience||Datasets||Interactive|
|XMLA read||XMLA read operations initiated by the user, for queries and discoveries||Datasets||Interactive|
|XMLA write||A background XMLA write operation that changes the model||Datasets||Background|