Microsoft recently announced that Power BI Paginated Reports is now available to users with a Pro licence. Previously, you required a Premium licence to take advantage of Paginated Reports in Power BI.
Firstly, what are Paginated Reports? These are pixel-perfect row and column operational reports that you would traditionally create in SQL Server Reporting Services. Think of a list of sales transactions on an invoice you might save as a PDF file or email. See an example below:
As we move to a world where companies drive more value from data using rich interactive visualisations and predictive analytics, many of our customers still require paginated operational reports. Previously, customers supported such reports via Power BI Premium licensing (per-user or dedicated models). However, now there is the exciting option to provide paginated reports to users with a pro licence.
Microsoft provides excellent architecture guidance via its Microsoft Azure Well-Architected Framework, which includes the five pillars:
- Cost Optimisation
- Operational Excellence
- Performance Efficiency
Specifically, around Cost Optimisation, I have written before about the need to predict, control and monitor costs for your Azure solutions. The licensing change above highlights our need to monitor and review our solutions regularly. Is there a most cost-effective or efficient method to achieve your goals? For example, our analytics solutions deployed only two years ago would not have included Azure Synapse Analytics or Microsoft Purview. However, today they feature in almost all projects due to their excellent functionality and capabilities.
We are in a cloud-first world where we can't "set and forget" our analytics solution. We have seen the following features move from premium-only to pro licensing:
- Incremental Refresh
- Metrics (formerly Goals)
- Paginated Reports
What will be next? Regularly review your solution to see what new or evolved capabilities are available to deliver your service more effectively.
However, many other reasons still exist to take advantage of Power BI Premium, so it's still the go-to solution for many enterprise deployments. These reasons include larger datasets, a higher refresh rate, XMLA endpoint and multi-geo deployments, to name a few.
Are you ready to migrate your on-premises SQL Server Reporting Services reports to Power BI Paginated Reports? Coeo has helped many customers on this journey, allowing them to deprecate on-premises infrastructure with the associated cost saving in hardware, enterprise licensing and maintenance.