We’ve seen many wonderful custom visuals created by many people all over the world. We’re always amazed by how many different visuals folks are creating and how they enhance reports helping users make better decisions.
We’re looking to create a ‘V1’ API that we can fully support for the long term. The goal is to create a simpler API, that is more clearly documented, with stable non-breaking interfaces.
To do this, we need your help. We’ve monitored feedback on ideas.powerbi.com, the Power BI community, Stack Overflow, and issues from our GitHub repo. We’re really thankful for all of the feedback so far. Now we’d like to hear more directly what you’d like us to include future versions of the Custom Visuals APIs.
Please respond to this post with your suggestions and ideas so we can discuss them.
@lukaszp I think my biggest asks around for context APIs and documentation.
Example of context methods:
- getViewMode (@bashirs said a fix was going out soon)
- getVisualId (this may exist?)
@lukaszp When init or update is called, it would be helpful to have a unique ID for the visual (and additionally an ID for any data object in the dataView, like categories and values). For our product this would be used in server-side API hits while debugging.
Separately, it would be cool to have a read-only API for seeing what other objects (and therefore selected data) are on the page. Use case: our extension could list existing objects on the page and have the user select which one to use as a data source, instead of them configuring our visual with the same dimensions/measures.
I'm not really following what you mean by a "Custom Visuals API" - can you elaborate? Custom Visuals as I currently understand them dont have anything I would term an "API" - its just some source code and some brief guidance on how to use it.
Anyway IMO most of the current issues/challenges are not to do with the technical implementation but rather the documentation content around that - we need detailed documentation on the objects/properties we can use, how-to, walkthroughs etc. It is too hard to get started and too obscure once you do get in.
Also I think the publishing process needs a lot of work. The code of Custom Visuals should be vetted by Microsoft and then published e.g. to Github before being listed in the gallery. This would include clear licensing. You should then remove the current absurd "security theatre" of asking the end user to certify the security of code they have no access to (even if they did have the skills to judge it).
Also the Custom Visuals gallery itself is almost impossible to find, even if you know it exists. It doesnt seem to be listed in the powerbi.com site navigation anywhere or even on sub-sites/pages where you might expect to see it linked e.g. https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/custom-visuals/ . It is not included in the Community search results. I always have to use Google to find it ...
Thanks for the feedback, Mike. We appreciate the thoughts.
It's important that we make it as simple as possible to use Power BI whether that is using our service, or creating content to enhance yours and other users' experience. To that end, we're working to revamp the Custom Visuals section of our site so that you can easily find the community submitted visuals, or the resources you need to easily create your own. We're also exploring ways to improve the "Enable Custom Visuals" experience.