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hereri
Frequent Visitor

Where to store pbix files when multiple persons are working on them

Hi all,

 

We just had a massive setback in our Power BI work internally as we had built all reports through www.powerbi.com instead of using Power BI Desktop. During a user migration something blew up, and suddenly the dataset used for getting data was corrupted, and Microsoft is unable to fix it. In other words, all reports built on that dataset (which is everything in a rather large group) is dead and we have to start over..

 

So, not to do the same mistakes again (and also because you can now publish to a group in Power BI), we have decided to move over to doing all the "development" from Power BI Desktop, even though this means a little bit more "IT-work" and less "self-service".

 

And that raises an interesting question; what is the prefered way to store your pbix files? We have a few requirements internally:

 

  1. We need version history of all reports (like you get in GIT/Subversion)
  2. We need to see if someone has checked out a report for editing to keep two persons from writing the same report at the same time.

 

Any tips or tricks? Is it an option to store all pbix files in a SharePoint document library and require check out?

 

 

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION
ankitpatira
Community Champion
Community Champion

@hereri I am not aware of source control specifically for pbix files but you can consider normal shared folder based centrol repository. Below is not related to what you've asked but I would like to suggest as robust solution where you have different users building reports using power bi desktop. 

 

As admin you can create power bi template files (.pbit) that can be distributed to users to build their own reports. So you have some control over layout (not sure if you want that) of reports plus a single (.pbit) file that can be used by different users. When users open pbit file it will give then option to enter data source details and will build up reports for them from their data source. 

 

So if for example a user has lost pbix file you can supply them with pbit file and they just enter their data source credentials and report will be ready for them. Obviously this will mean all users have reports in same layout.

 

 

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7 REPLIES 7
desertislesql
Helper III
Helper III

If you have Office 365 and are using workgroups, Microsoft creates a Sharepoint share, which was previously called One drive for business for all of the users to access files needed to create and maintain reports in the workgroup.  I have a post with pictures which details how that works here http://wp.me/p4beUo-nU

 

Regards,

 

Ginger

www.desertislesql.com

@desertislesql

mike_honey
Memorable Member
Memorable Member

As Ankit mentioned PBIT file is definitely the way to go - if you check in PBIX files they be larger but more importantly will change on every data refresh - your version history will be bloated with data changes.

 

I'd have a look at Visual Studio Team Services - it's TFS in the cloud and free for 5 users (checking in code) and unlimited stakeholders (creating/viewing work items). 

 

https://www.visualstudio.com/en-us/products/visual-studio-team-services-vs.aspx

For now, we ended up storing the pbix files using Subversion. Its not ideal as subversion (as well as TFS) is a "developer tool", and we very much would like our BI to be user-driven, having users creating their own reports within groups.

 

Since we use "Connect live" in the SSAS Tabular connection we never actually store data within the pbix file, so sizing is not a problem.

 

Thanks for your valuable input everyone 🙂

If you want something user-friendly, Subversion is probably a poor choice. I struggle when I'm forced to use it for anything beyond check in and out, and I'm a developer/consultant. If the most important consideration is user-friendliness, I'd suggest SharePoint.

@hereri Oh man, I feel for you - that's rough. You've always been able to pull Desktop files into Groups, you just weren't able to publish directly from the Desktop..

In any case, moving forward. If you need a specific check-in/check-out policy which includes user tracking you can use Team Foundation Server via Visual Studio. The files open directly into the desktop, and TFS supports all the requirements you list.

Access to the files could be controlled via permissioning, and you would have full version control/history/rollback/etc.

I'm not familiar with how much control or history SharePoint can include, so I'll let other comment on that.


Looking for more Power BI tips, tricks & tools? Check out PowerBI.tips the site I co-own with Mike Carlo. Also, if you are near SE WI? Join our PUG Milwaukee Brew City PUG

How is it helpful to see what changes were made in a particular check-in since the .pbix file is a binary file?

ankitpatira
Community Champion
Community Champion

@hereri I am not aware of source control specifically for pbix files but you can consider normal shared folder based centrol repository. Below is not related to what you've asked but I would like to suggest as robust solution where you have different users building reports using power bi desktop. 

 

As admin you can create power bi template files (.pbit) that can be distributed to users to build their own reports. So you have some control over layout (not sure if you want that) of reports plus a single (.pbit) file that can be used by different users. When users open pbit file it will give then option to enter data source details and will build up reports for them from their data source. 

 

So if for example a user has lost pbix file you can supply them with pbit file and they just enter their data source credentials and report will be ready for them. Obviously this will mean all users have reports in same layout.

 

 

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