Hello. Tim Macaulay here again. SR. Support Escalation Engineer on the Power BI Support Team here at Microsoft. Recently had an interesting discussion around the topic of "automating the installation of the Power BI Desktop" product. Let's talk about it. Please let me know if you have any questions and/or feedback.
PRODUCT FOCUS / PRODUCTS INVOLVED
Microsoft Power BI Desktop
THE END GOAL / PROBLEM SCENARIO DESCRIPTION
In this discussion, we are looking for a way to automatically update the Power BI Desktop product without end-user intervention.
Is this possible? If so, how can one achieve the automatic update?
What kind of special permissions are needed to bring this to success?
Power BI Desktop Store App
The Power BI Desktop Store App utilizes the Windows 10 App Installer to execute the installation. The key to note about the App Installer, is that it does not utilize Programs and Features inside of Control Panel.
That stated, when the Power BI Desktop Store App is updated, it is then pushed down and updates the installed Power BI Desktop App, which will not require any interaction by the end-user. Additionally, it does not require any administrative permissions to execute the update.
The Power BI Download is a Windows Installer based install and is deployed each month with a MSI (Microsoft Installer) file. The Windows Installer based install does add the application to the Programs and Features in the Control Panel.
At this point and time, there is no Out of the Box way to automatically update the Power BI Download installation. In order to update the Power BI application that has been downloaded, you must first uninstall the current Power BI and then install the new Power BI with the new MSI file.
The question is how does one uninstall / install to create an automated installation. To achieve this, one can utilize the msiexec.exe file to execute the uninstall / install via command-line.