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Microsoft
Microsoft

Share your thoughts on Automatic Page Refresh aka APR (Preview feature)

It's been almost 2 months since the release of Automatic Page Refresh (APR) and as we work really hard to improve this new real-time capability in Power BI, we would love to hear your feedback and opinions to help us decide what comes next and how to improve this functionality in general.

 

 

Reply to this post letting us know what you think so we can continue to work on improving real-time capabilities in Power BI.

 

More APR info:

Data for Everyone! We mean it
36 REPLIES 36
Frequent Visitor

This is the final piece of functionality we need to fully move away from our other reporting technology. Great! Got it working in PBI Desktop, now if I can now just get it to work in the Service??

powerbi.com, on the page properties I have a message under data refresh "Disabled by your admin. Admin Interval 5 Minutes"

I can't find where in the Power BI Service to turn this feature on and change interval? I've checked all over the report settings, the workspace settings etc. I'm a PBI admin (we have a A1 capacity SKU - currently only used for DEV) - there is no option in the Admin portal? I've also looked in the Azure Portal but can't find any setting relating to data refresh there either?

Under PBI Admin Portal -> Capacity Settings -> we have nothing under "Power BI Premium" tab, our capacity is under the "Power BI Embedded" tab but there is no data refresh options (documention mention this functionality IS also for embedded)

Confused? Any suggestions please?

Hi Hventer, this is most likely because the feature is in preview and we have it off by default. Here you can find instryctions on how to turn it on in the Premium admin section under the datasets workload. In a nutshell, you should go to Admin Portal > Capacity Settings > Click Capacity Name >Workloads >Datasets > APR on and define min interval. Let me know if that works

Data for Everyone! We mean it
Frequent Visitor

We have been asking for something like this for a few years, so glad that it is finally available to us.  But - the happiness had a short duration.  We went with Power BI over competitors due to the flexibility and ease of setting up displays for our business that would allow a separation between IT and the super users at the facilities = IT provides the database access and views and the super users develop and maintain their visual displays themselves.  This worked great when we updated the Power BI desktop, enabled the APR feature, updated the displays.  We have an on prem gateway so published our changes there - only to find that the refresh was not happening on our display boards.  We have mostly basic users and a few pro licenses for those who maintain the displays.

 

I assume that the issue is due to not having a premium capacity - so even though we want to refesh the displays once a minute or so (like an airport status display), they only refresh every 15 minutes once published.  Would be useful if the non-premium on prem gateway could refresh more often than 15 minutes - a minute would be best for us - don't have to go down to the second.  Our directquery access to the database is a second or so due to a small set size, so the 15 minute limit isn't avoiding any capacity/workload issues. 

 

The price increase to premium makes Power BI a more expensive product than many competitors that provide near real time refreshes.

Sorry for delayed response davebi. You're not alone in this feedback. We are trying really hard to find ways to make this time for Power BI Pro shorter. Surprisingly, the Premium restriction is not related to pricing but to resources and there's a lot that we need to do with this feature before we can even think about reducing the limitation on time. Thanks for the candid feedback and if you can, it would be great to have this request logged at https://ideas.powerbi.com/forums/265200-power-bi-ideas

Data for Everyone! We mean it

We are looking for something like once a minute, so the resources shouldn't be an issue.  We try to do the resource intensive logic in the ERP so the table lookups (direct query) from Power BI is fast.  We tested with refreshing every 10 seconds on the desktops and it kept up without any issues.  We are looking into upgrading to Premium but trying to justify the cost.  We are still early in the visual display dashboard rollout so hard to justify the high monthly cost for two facilities.  We understand that if this project gets some traction and we start adding it to multiple facilities, the need would be present for premium due to the increased processing requirements - but would also be able to spread the cost between more divisions - making the ROI worthwhile.

 

One question about premium.  We are currently negotiating the new licensing for 2020 for all microsoft products and the saleman stated 48 refreshes per day under premium using direct query.  Is this old information?  I would think that the APR opens up the ability to do much more than 48/day - we're planning more than 48 per hour.  Just want to be sure before we make the investment.

Hi Dave, that is correct. Once you have premium basically you decide how often you want to refresh and what limits to set up. Next month we have some features comming out that will allow to have more fficiency on how APR works, but based on your comments and questions Premium will cover the scenario you mention. Just remember APR only suports DQ sources and only fires the queries when the report is active.

Data for Everyone! We mean it

Fair feedback to the product team @davebi . There is an alternative to this where you can use a Google Chrome Plugin to refresh your Power BI reports every 1 min. Why don't you give it a try?

 

Here's how to setup: https://bigintsolutions.com/2019/03/29/refresh-power-bi-report-every-min-and-show-on-a-tv/

 

Best,

Ranbeer

One thing that really frustrates me about Power BI features and their release articles is that the authors seldom include the caveat of "for Premium only" when it so applies. 

Would it have been that difficult to name the the subtitle in the blog article to "Automatic page refresh for DirectQuery details (preview, Premium only)"?

 

One has to read the article so see the words, "... enabled in your premium capacity by the admin ...". And that is the ONLY mention of "premium" in that section. 

 

Don't get me wrong, it sounds like a great feature. I just wish I knew up front that it didn't apply to me before I start digging into its capabilities (like I did with Paginated Reports 😞 ).

Fair enough Todd, even though that it doesn't apply in this particular case for APR, since it's available in Power BI Pro but with time limitation. Point taken though so we will try to onclude this info in blog posts and be clear when the feature has limitations in Pro vs Premium.

Data for Everyone! We mean it

@MiguelMartinezWait, are you saying that this feature is available for Pro licenses? And if so, why mention "premium tenant admins" specifically? 

What does "with time limitations" mean?

I'm more confused now.

Sorry for the criptic response Todd. Let me try again.

 

What I meant was that the features is supported in Pro with a higher minimum refresh time (30 min). Desktop supports more frequent intervals up to 1 second because is not based on the service, it's local.

 

Other differences compared to premium are:

  1. Admins can turn the feature on and off since it affects the capacity
  2. Admins can modify the minimum allowed time from 1 second to 48 hours
Data for Everyone! We mean it

My experience is that APR is available with a pro license when running from a desktop through direct query.  We proved that we could do a 10 second refresh from a desktop.  Unfortunately, this format is not suitable for a display on a large screen in a shop.  Once we publish to our on prem gateway server (report and dashboard), the feature for APR isn't available on the gateway server, so limits to every 15 minutes.  We experimented with live tiles on the dashboard but was rejected by the users (those who actually develop the reports and dashboards) since it doesn't let them format the location and size of the tiles.  The gateway server limitation is where the premium workspace is needed.

great conversations in this thread - wish all features are available to Pro as soon as possible. 

 

To correct few things in the post:

 

1. Premium provides 48 refreshes capability for scheduled refreshes (read import mode). You can get away with this limit if you refresh through Power BI REST APIs if the worspace your dataset is in has Premium capacity or Embedded capacity attached.

 

2. @davebi Your scenario is not an import mode one. You shoudn't be worried about this 48 refreshes. You can directly query the source (I assume SQL server in your case), and get latest data as you wish.


If you are using Power BI reports you can achieve 1 min refresh scenario by automating your Power BI report refresh (opened in the browser with ?chromeless=1 appended to the URL) through a simple Google Chrome plugin. Not the best way or out of the box way, but supports your scenarios and endless conversations and frustations.

 

Happy to have a private chat to see where you are blocked. Once resolved we can update the community of the final solution acheived.

-Ranbeer

My understanding is that it will work without Premium but obviously the number of refreshes are higher.

@ToddChitt I agree with you. Shared the same dissappointment about paginated reports as well (after I read about it and told my manager). Our client base doesn't justify the entry-level premium capacity price, so we've got the embedded capacity (again, differences in functionality from premium and it doesn't support paginated reports)

Community Support
Community Support

Hi

Thanks for your affort.

 

Best Regards
Maggie

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