Power BI 2.0, Part 3: More on Data Sources

Patrick Guimonet

by Patrick Guimonet on 8/11/2015

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Date Revised:

Applies to:
content packs, data sources, Power BI 2.0

As described in my previous post, Power BI 2.0 has basically three types of sources: files, databases and services.

Basic ways to get data in to Power BI 2.0.

The image below shows a detailed view of the sources supported in the Designer and on the Web authoring tool:

Power BI 2.0 data sources include files, databases, services and content packs.

The “Other Content Packs” row of the table is interesting. Content packs are a cool way to prebuild a data model for a specific data source. Give your end user access to a content pack and they will be able to quickly define great reports.

At the Microsoft Ignite conference, Microsoft announced 17 content packs:

Power BI 2.0 has prebuilt content packs for popular services, including (soon) Office 365.

I am especially awaiting the Office 365 content pack, which will allow us to query the utilization data of our Office 365 tenant.

Here are two samples:

Sample Power BI dashboard of Office 365 power pack.

Microsoft also announced that they would introduce Organizational Content Packs, which will allow users, BI professionals and system integrators to build their own content packs to share custom dashboards, reports and datasets within an organization for others to consume and gain business insights.

That’s cool, but technically what is a Content pack?

A content pack can include the following components:

  • Dashboard
  • Report
  • Data model
  • Optimization for natural language query
  • Connectivity, if needed

It provides instant insights for a role, domain, or workflow of your service:

  • Adds monitoring, analytics, exploration, and sharing of insights
  • You don’t need to invest heavily in reporting infrastructure
  • Visible to any user of Power BI
  • Enable mashup of data from your service with data from other services
  • Enforces authentication/authorization to your service’s data

You also need to know that a dataset in Power BI can store up to 200,000 rows. When a dataset reaches this limit, new data pushed the oldest data out in a first-in, first-out (FIFO) logic:

When a dataset reaches its limit, new data pushes the oldest data out in a first-in, first-out (FIFO) logic.


Microsoft blog post announcing Power BI 2.0 general availability coming July 24th

Power BI for Developers

You can find Patrick's other articles in this series on [ #Office365] Power BI 2.0:

  1. The big picture
  2. Architectural aspects
  3. More on data sources (this original article)
  4. More on Power BI mobile apps
  5. The gateways

Topic: Power BI

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