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bapt69 Member

Difference between Power View and Power BI


I designed reports with Power View for many years and I want to design usually with Power BI.


I designed the same reports (same filters, same map) and the two app don't create the report. I got the same values if I ask values, but I don't have the same dots on the map when I ask a map.

And Power BI, which seems to be better than PV, create less dots than PV does.


Am I the only one to think PV reports is better than PBID ones?


PS : the loading datas ; maximum = 900000000 (no limit)

greggyb New Contributor
New Contributor

Re: Difference between Power View and Power BI

Power BI is a very broad category.


Power BI is: Excel Add-ins

Power BI started as the following add-ins for Excel

  • Power Query - ETL (2010 +)
  • Power Pivot - Modelling and analysis (2010 +)
  • Power View - Interactive reporting and visualization (2013 +)

Power BI is: Power BI Desktop

Power BI Desktop is simply a standalone desktop application bundling the add-ins above in a package with no dependence on your Office installation.


Power BI is: Power BI Service

The Power BI Service is the web portal. This includes

  • Power View - interactive reporting and visualization (authoring and consumption)
  • Dashboards - pinned visuals from PV, Excel, and soon SSRS
  • A lot more

Power View is the component we're looking to understand better here.


Let's have a very quick history lesson on PV. PV has a rendering engine. This rendering engine and a query engine. The rendering engine shows you stuff. The query generating engine figures out how to get the right data to display.


PV was originally built with Silverlight, a Microsoft framework. The PV you get in SSRS 2014 or lower is the Silverlight  rendering engine; same for Excel 2016 or lower.

Silverlight has been EOLed by Microsoft, and is not supported in the Chrome browser, or non-Windows/Non-OSX operating systems.

The new PV rendering engine is written in HTML5, and so is very portable across platforms and browsers. I'm not sure about the query engine, I know it's undergone optimizations in Power BI Desktop and Power BI Service, but I don't know how different the underlying code is from the Silverlight version.


The rendering engine was completely rewritten in the Silverlight -> HTML5 conversion.

We lost some visualizations (and have since gained back nearly all of them, and have workarounds for the rest) in the process.

Some functionality is different.


I have noticed differences in the map visualization, myself, but haven't had time to dig through them.

If you feel that the functionality is different in a bad way than with the Silverlight engine in Excel and SSRS, you can always submit feedback for feature additions and improvements.

If you feel the map implementation in the new engine is incorrect, you can submit a bug directly in Power BI Desktop via the "Send a frown" menu item.


Keep in mind different is not a bug. Incorrect is a bug.

Super User
Super User

Re: Difference between Power View and Power BI

I beleive the latest incarnation uses Bing Maps as well. Perhaps the older version of PowerView was using less accurate mapping software and this just makes the data appear differently on the new map?

greggyb New Contributor
New Contributor

Re: Difference between Power View and Power BI

@kcantor, both versions of PV utilize the Bing maps API for plotting geographic data.

The most reliable way of plotting locations is with Lat/Lon measurements, which cannot be misinterpreted by the geolocation algorithms in Bing.
edhans New Contributor
New Contributor

Re: Difference between Power View and Power BI

Is there any reason to consider Power View over Power BI today? I am just getting started with Power BI and think there is a lot it has to offer us, but there are some things I think Power View could be beneficial for. For example, a few key KPIs or charts in a set of Financial Statements. Everything the receipient needs is right there in the single Excel workbook.


But I am wondering if Power View is a dead end to be replaced with Power BI?

I don't really want to have two outputs - Excel Financial Statements and a PBI report/link, but I also don't want to waste time investing in Power View if MS isn't developing it further or EOL's it in the next big rev of Office 365.