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Memory leaks in Power BI custom visuals

In the last few days I connected the dots between several requests I received, and I've found that when custom visuals are created and removed frequently in a report, the browser (or the process CefSharp.BrowserSubprocess.exe used by PBI Desktop) grows in memory until it becomes unusable.

The native visuals don't seem affected by that.

Crashing Power BI seems incredibly easy:

  1. Create a table with 10 rows in a new PBIX file
  2. Import the Chiclet slicer custom visual from the store
  3. Create a Chiclet slicer applying the column with 10 rows
  4. Copy and paste the slicer 9 times around the same page
  5. Duplicate Page1
  6. Save the file (just in case)
  7. Open Task Manager and switch back and forth between page 1 and page 2 for a while
    • The process CefSharp.BrowserSubprocess will grow in memory
    • Switch between one page and another will slow down progressively, usually after 2GB of RAM consumed by the process the response time is unmanageable
  8. Publish the file on powerbi.com
  9. Switch back and forth between page 1 and page 2 for a while
    • This time your browser will grow in memory usage...

 

If I use a regular slicer, the issue is not visible. In reality, I see 4-5 KB lost every time I switch between pages, but it's a fraction of the cost of the custom visuals.

I tried with other custom visuals, made by different developers, and I've got the same result.

 

I have seen in Power BI forum several threads related to the presence of the CefSharp.BrowserSubprocess process, but I didn't see an explanation of the reason, which is not really related to that process considering that the issue also happens on a regular browser for published reports.

 

To my eyes, this is some memory leak issue related to custom visuals when the user switch between pages of the same report. But, of course, I could be wrong, so in this case any further information would be useful.

 

Is this something that other noticed?

Any comment from MS?

 

Thanks,

 

Marco

64 REPLIES 64
v-viig
Community Champion
Community Champion

Power BI Custom Visuals API team is implementing a new API that is going to be faster and lighter than API 1.x.x.

Current ETA is ~ August 2018 (date is not fixed). It will also take some time to migrate CVs to a new API.

 

We'll keep you posted.

 

Ignat Vilesov,

Software Engineer

 

Microsoft Power BI Custom Visuals

pbicvsupport@microsoft.com

v-viig
Community Champion
Community Champion

Our engineers are working on improving performance of custom visuals.

This will take some time as we have to update lots of code and test it.

 

We'll update once everything is ready.

 

Ignat Vilesov,

Software Engineer

 

Microsoft Power BI Custom Visuals

pbicvsupport@microsoft.com

Definitely there is problem with custom visuals. I have an report in which all the visuals load fast except clicklet slicer and card with states.
I had to use clicklet slicer, because it enforces the user to always select one.
I had to use card with states in order to display fore color as green when value is greater than zero. Else red.
All these features are not available in default visuals.
embaud
Frequent Visitor

I can confirm the issue. Using Chiclet slicer on sveral pages. Each time you switch pages,CefSharp.BrowserSubprocess.exe grows in memory and CPU usage. At some point response time becomes unmanageable and you nedd to restart.

 

@embaud, Is there a fix planned for this issue? We are facing similar issue and our report pages have other custom visuals as well, including Chiclet slicers.

 

The customer finds the report to be unusable, as not all the client computers have RAM > 4GB. The behavior is observed in both IE as well as Chrome.

 

Regards,

Ashish

v-viig
Community Champion
Community Champion

As far as I know, Power BI Custom Visual API team is still working on this issue.

We'll update status once we have some news.

 

Ignat Vilesov,

Software Engineer

 

Microsoft Power BI Custom Visuals

pbicvsupport@microsoft.com

Hi Ignat,

 

We have a production release which is put on hold because of this issue. This issue impacts the whole project and the customer may shy away from PowerBI becuase of this issue.

 

Is there a way where an accelerated solution is worked on for this issue and a fix released?

 

This has really become a show stopper for us in rolling out the reports to production for the customer.

 

Regards,

Ashish

v-viig
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Ashish,

 

I'm really sorry to hear that. Power BI Custom Visuals API team is working hard to fix this issue (I'll try to get deatails).

Current workaround is to reduce amount of custom visuals on the same page. Might this workaround be applied for your case?

 

Ignat Vilesov,

Software Engineer

 

Microsoft Power BI Custom Visuals

pbicvsupport@microsoft.com

Hi Ignat,

 

Appreciate your quick response and efforts in assisting us on this and would appreciate any further information.

 

We are using custom control as we are migrating existing reports for the customer and they want to have functionality as close to the existing ones as possible. If we remove custom visuals, then we lose the functionality that the customer is used to and would again put the adaption of PowerBI on risk.

 

Thanks,

Ashish

v-viig
Community Champion
Community Champion

What kind of custom visuals do you use? Is your company a developer of these visuals?

Is it possible to merge a few custom visuals into single one?

 

Ignat Vilesov,

Software Engineer

 

Microsoft Power BI Custom Visuals

pbicvsupport@microsoft.com

v-viig
Community Champion
Community Champion

Good news from Power BI Custom Visuals API team.

This issue has been fixed. ETA is 1st week of October.

 

Ignat Vilesov,

Software Engineer

 

Microsoft Power BI Custom Visuals

pbicvsupport@microsoft.com

It's already Tuesday, it should be today or tomorrow! 🙂

I have bad news.

I just installed Power BI Desktop Version: 2.51.4885.543 64-bit (October 2017)

The memory leak issue is still there.

 

Marco Russo - SQLBI

Hi Ignat,

 

The custom visuals that I am using are not developed by me / my company.

 

Once the new API is released what should be the action from my side, to ensure that the memory leak does not happen? How will I know that the updated API is released ? Should the custom visual developer rebuild their visuals and release it to office store, to make use of the new API to resolve the memory leak issue?

 

Regards,

Ashish

v-viig
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Ashish,

 

As far as I know, memory leak has been fixed for all of existiongs APIs.

Are still able to reproduce this issue?

 

Ignat Vilesov,

Software Engineer

 

Microsoft Power BI Custom Visuals

pbicvsupport@microsoft.com

 

Hi Ignat,

 

Any updates on this ?

 

Unfortunately the issue seems to still exist. I am still facing the memory leak issue for the reports.

 

Regards,

Ashish

v-viig
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello everyone,

 

I'm really sorry to hear that.

I'll contact Power BI Custom Visuals API team to get more details.

 

Ignat Vilesov,

Software Engineer

 

Microsoft Power BI Custom Visuals

pbicvsupport@microsoft.com

Hi Ignat,

 

Any updates on this ?

 

Regards,

Ashish

Hi everybody,

We are facing the same problem. We use @marcorusso's custom visuals (thanks for the good work marco!) - but unfortunately the dashboard is getting slower and slower each time we switch pages - I observed CEFSharp.BrowserSubprocess and saw that the memory comsumption is growing and growing - after 2GB it is slow in such a way you cannot work with it - and a minute later PowerBI crashes with an unknown error.

 

After searching in google I found this discussion and updated to October Version. But as Marco said: The problem is still there. Seems like it is a bit better (any kind of garbage collection is working), but still there is a steady growth of memory coinsumption.

 

 

I first thought the problem are the custom visuals. I used "Card with states by OKViz". I changed all Visuals to "default" cards. The memory cosumptiom was much lower when switching pages - but there is an increase as well. Every Page switch let the consumption grow between 4 and 10MB. So I think it is a more general problem - not only with custom visuals. You won't notice it that much, because the growth is not that high...

 

I have the same problem as aruparel (and a lot of others I think): We have a kind of Proof of Concept with a customer who wants to user PBI for all his stores. But he is very disappointed about the current performance...

 

@v-viig: can you please give heads up about the topic...? I as well can share my testfiles (using the america flight database, because I cannot give away customer data)

 

Thanks!!

v-viig
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello everyone,

 

I'm really sorry to hear that memory issue is still existing.

I'm waiting for official details from Power BI Custom Visuals API team.

 

@hgmogular, It'd be good if you could share your test files.

 

Ignat Vilesov,

Software Engineer

 

Microsoft Power BI Custom Visuals

pbicvsupport@microsoft.com

 

I'm using PBI Desktop 2.51.4885.543 64-bit (oktober 2017).

 

My report has 15 custom visualization on each page. In my opinion, the memory leakage has been reduced. Unfortunately CefSharp.BrowserSubprocess still hits the memory wall after some page switching, it just takes a bit longer.

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