Power BI and SSRS Technical Preview–A closer look

In yesterday’s post I guided you through the process of how YOU can have a closer look at the technical preview of on-premises Power BI reports rendered in SSRS scope. Today I will have a closer look what can be found in the Azure VM provided by the SSRS and Power BI team.

What’s in this blog entry?

  • What is provided in the Azure VM by Microsoft?
  • Open a Power BI report from the Reporting server (SSRS)
  • Create a new Power BI report and publish it to SSRS (some things you have to consider)
  • Call to Action – Just try it!


The virtual machine contains a pre-configured SQL Server 2016 instance with an Analysis services (either tabular or multidimensional – it depends on the configuration setting you chose during the setup-process).

The installed version of SQL Server is SQL Server 2016 CU2


The SSRS team already installed the required toolset to work with the SSRS/Power BI preview. Therefore, Power BI Desktop and SQL Server Data Tools are installed. The last icon in the list is a shortcut to the SSRS 2016 reporting portal.


If we double-click the shortcut of Power BI Desktop the tool starts as we are used to with one clearly visible difference at the start screen:


There is an option for “Open from Report Server” – I will come back to this option later. Just quickly check the installed version of Power BI Desktop:


Even though the version is named with September 2016 the build numbers are different compared to a freshly downloaded Power BI Desktop from powerbi.com (download at 2016-10-28)


Open a Power BI Report from Reporting server in Power BI Desktop

But now – let’s try to open an Power BI report from the SSRS Portal.

image image

Power BI Desktop now need the information to which SSRS server we would like to connect – here we are:


In the next dialog – select the report you would like to open:


Et voila – the report is opened and ready for editing in Power BI Desktop:


In this example I changed the report and to push those changes back to SSRS the easiest way is to just hit save; the save buttons itself are marked with a “roundtrip” icon.


If you are fast enough, you’ll see the following status message in the Power BI Desktop status bar.


Switching back to the SSRS report portal and opening the report shows the updated report structure.


Open a Power BI Report for edit directly from Reporting server

In the Reporting portal there is this shiny new context menu displayed when you click on “…” right next to a Power BI report item.


With the action of “Edit in Power BI Desktop” (*** Hint at the team –> Power BI not PowerBI! Smile ) the selected report is opened in the Power BI Desktop application (well, right after the security warning).


The edit workflow is the same as if you opened the report directly from Power BI Desktop.

Create a new Power BI report and publish it to Reporting server

As a last example I would like to create a new Power BI report and publish it to SSRS. In the current state of the technical preview only SSAS datasources are supported. In addition, only live connections are supported. If you try to publish a report not using SSAS and/or has no live connection set it will not work (as of today, let’s see what future updates will bring).

image image


The report is designed the next step is to save it to the report server:


The list of report servers is already populated (I used my local report server in a previous example)


What is missing is the remote file name – just enter it here.

@SSRS Team: An improvement in this dialog would be to change the display format of the already existing report names. Maybe provide an option like in Windows Explorer (with overview / list / details).


It just takes some seconds to publish the Power BI report to reporting server

image  image


Call to Action

Easy, isn’t it? With the new approach of providing a pre-configured Azure virtual machine containg ALL the stuff you need to start it’s way easier to try new functionality. If you are not sure how to get the Technical Preview virtual machine I would like to refer to my first post about Power BI and SSRS integration.

Happy report designing and publishing,



About wolfgang

Data Platform enthusiast
This entry was posted in PowerBI, SQL Server, SQL Server 2016, SSRS and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Power BI and SSRS Technical Preview–A closer look

  1. Pingback: Power BI and SSRS Technical Preview–Report Actions in the Portal | workingondata

  2. Pingback: Power BI On-Premises – Aktuelles vom Produktteam | workingondata

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