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MarkHansen Frequent Visitor
Frequent Visitor

Power BI Publishing

I have a basic question regarding security of publishing Power BI dashboards.  I have an understanding that I have been formulating and I would like confirmation and correction on how the publishing and viewing of published information works.  I work for a large goverment hospital and security is a big concern.  I know I will get questions as I spread the word about Power BI and push for us to get it and grow it at our facility.

 

As I understand it, when I would publish a Power BI dashboard to the cloud, just the pbix type information goes up there, not the data.  The data is stored inside our facility.  As someone signs into the cloud to view the dashboard, the pbix type information comes down inside our network and to the PC,  and from there, the data is accessed and the dashboard is recreated.  I know this is a simple explanation, but I'm not a security and network guy, so I have to process what happends in simple terms.

 

So, for example (if all of that is true), when I sign into the cloud from home, I can't see the same dashboard I see at work, because I don't have access to the data at home, only while I'm at work.  The cloud itself doesn't come through our firewalls and tap into the data source at work---- my work computer (and, more importantly, my work account) I'm using to access the cloud from, has access to the data. 

 

Is this a valid SIMPLE explanation of what's going on?  The important thing we don't need to make allowances on our network for the cloud to reach back to get to the data.

 

Another basic question.  When I get my organization to buy into Power BI... Do we get one space in the cloud where all Power BI dashboards from our organizations are stored?  Any one with a license in our organizations can see all of the files to choose from.  Of course they will need access to the data to see the information and if they don't have that, they get notified they can't see the information... But they will see a "menu" of published information across the organization to load.

 

Can someone please confirm or correct my understandings?  Thanks for any help.

 

Mark

2 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS

Accepted Solutions
Moderator v-sihou-msft
Moderator

Re: Power BI Publishing

@MarkHansen

 

I assume you have on-premise data source hosted behind your company firewall. No matter which user sign in Power BI, for Power BI Service, it will use the account you configred in Gateway to access the data source. If you need each user can only view their own data, you can configure row level security.

 

When you buy license for your organization, each account will have a space which is hosted on a Power BI Cloud Cluster. There's no shared space for entire organization level. To have your dashboard viewed by entire organization, you can create a content pack share publish to entire organization.

 

Regards,

Re: Power BI Publishing

You asked a very complex question, believe it or not. And there's multiple answers to your question, honestly.

 

First, the data can be stored directly in the cloud or it could not be. It all depends on how you build the report. There are two basic ways to build a report/dashboard. One way is to import the data directly into a .pbix file on Power BI desktop where you would create your data model from scratch. Once you've created your data model and report, you would then upload this to the Power BI Service. This new data model would have all the data with it. So in this scenario, not only would the visualizations be on the service but the actual data behind it. To give a little history, this could be called the "excel method." This is the only way to build a report using power pivot in Excel. So if you're an OG like me (:-) this is what I'm most comfortable with.

 

The other way to build a report is via a live connection or direct query. In this scenario, you do not import anything. Instead, you tap into the live dataset (whether that's a cube on SSAS or Oracle DB, etc). When you build a dashboard/report this way, none of the data is physically with the file. So the end user, when they are interacting with the file, is actually sending queries back to the on-premises data source. This option also requires an enterprise gateway in order to handle the security between PBI and the on-premises data source.

 

I hope that helps.

3 REPLIES 3
Moderator v-sihou-msft
Moderator

Re: Power BI Publishing

@MarkHansen

 

I assume you have on-premise data source hosted behind your company firewall. No matter which user sign in Power BI, for Power BI Service, it will use the account you configred in Gateway to access the data source. If you need each user can only view their own data, you can configure row level security.

 

When you buy license for your organization, each account will have a space which is hosted on a Power BI Cloud Cluster. There's no shared space for entire organization level. To have your dashboard viewed by entire organization, you can create a content pack share publish to entire organization.

 

Regards,

Re: Power BI Publishing

You asked a very complex question, believe it or not. And there's multiple answers to your question, honestly.

 

First, the data can be stored directly in the cloud or it could not be. It all depends on how you build the report. There are two basic ways to build a report/dashboard. One way is to import the data directly into a .pbix file on Power BI desktop where you would create your data model from scratch. Once you've created your data model and report, you would then upload this to the Power BI Service. This new data model would have all the data with it. So in this scenario, not only would the visualizations be on the service but the actual data behind it. To give a little history, this could be called the "excel method." This is the only way to build a report using power pivot in Excel. So if you're an OG like me (:-) this is what I'm most comfortable with.

 

The other way to build a report is via a live connection or direct query. In this scenario, you do not import anything. Instead, you tap into the live dataset (whether that's a cube on SSAS or Oracle DB, etc). When you build a dashboard/report this way, none of the data is physically with the file. So the end user, when they are interacting with the file, is actually sending queries back to the on-premises data source. This option also requires an enterprise gateway in order to handle the security between PBI and the on-premises data source.

 

I hope that helps.

MarkHansen Frequent Visitor
Frequent Visitor

Re: Power BI Publishing

Thank you both for your rapid and informative replies.   I appreciate it. 

 

I'm sure we will need to more on our end to take into the account of the queries coming back through our firewalls for any published reports/dashboards. 

 

I was watching a video and he said something about paying for data transferring outside of the PBI space(???  Service perhaps).  Is this an example of when we could be paying for data transferring because of the query?

 

I appreciate the information so I can get a better handle on what the back end is doing.

 

Mark