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Changes to Free Service Yesterday Breaking Out-of-Tenant Shared Dashboards

We utilize out-of-tenant shared dashboards extensively and are aware of the change made yesterday to the Power BI Free service.  We've had our clients activate their free Pro trial and are using a Pro account to share out-of-tenant.


However, even after activation, out-of-tenant shared dashboard links are not working.  They just display the Power BI logo and it blinks continuously.  


I tried going to the dashboard as the owner (again, logged into a Pro account), clicking "Stop Sharing" on the dashboard and re-sharing with the client (who had activated the Pro trial) and still, they see the blinking Power BI logo.


Using developer tools in the browser, I see a failed XMLHttpRequest:


Error code: 401 (Unauthorized)


Looks like yesterday's switch-over broke out-of-tenant dashboards.  This seems to happen all the time, out-of-tenant sharing is very unstable and doesn't seem to be tested well enough when changes are made to the Power BI Service.  I've opened many other tickets reflecting these issues on this site.

Please let me know if you need any more details, all of our clients are dead in the water right now (even after activating the Pro trial).  @v-haibl-msft - you've been very helpful in the past on keeping me informed & updated on issues like this so wanted to proactively make you aware what's happening here.



Caleb Blanton

Status: Accepted
Joe Frequent Visitor
Frequent Visitor

@prokurors. Exactly.  I just had the client switch back to  pro trial version and they cannot see the dashboard now. So I ask the same question that you raised.  "Then what is the purpose for the pro-trial if it's not usable??"

Frequent Visitor

While purchasing "Classical Pro" may be a workaround, to @prokurors's point, this defeats the purpose of the trial.  I don't think they intended this as a known limitation, otherwise they wouldn't be working on a fix right now.


Speaking of, like the others in this thread I am very interested in an getting a sense of when this fix might make it to production.  Even a date range is better than not knowing how long my clients will be screaming at me.  Not having anything to scream back is frustrating.  Smiley Wink





Joe Frequent Visitor
Frequent Visitor

They have mentioned this issue  in the Awareness section in


"Pro trial users are unable to access externally shared dashboards within the Power BI service. Engineers are aware of the issue and are working on a fix. NextUpdate @06/09/2017 12:00 PST "


Regular Visitor

It's a pitty this defect takes so much time to fix... Smiley Sad now the only workaround is for everybody to buy a pro licence where it should be enough with pro-trial... Smiley Sad


I don't know how, but the latest changes are a massive setback for power bi (and I think it was really easy to predict that, I'm really surprised that Microsoft/Power BI team was not ready for this), I wonder whether Gartner reports will reflect that somehow...


@prokurors I totally agree. It takes so much time and we are so poorly informed about the issue, that I finally wonder if this is not part of Microsoft's strategy. I can say that I am stuck in a sudden and very embarassing situation in front of the external users of my dashboard (80-100), without knowing anything about the future.

Besides, it's not that I don't want to pay anything (I was just looking to Power BI embedded) but Power BI Premium is just unaffordable!


Frequent Visitor

@PaulVersteven - So I was also really put off by the pricing of Power BI Premium and I think I've wrapped my head around the pricing model.  


Once you hit the 500 Pro user mark, you're paying $5k/month for Pro licenses.  But, at this scale, Microsoft wants to isolate your infrastructure so they create a Premium offering that doesn't live on their main PBI Web infrastructure.  


I do not think that Power BI Premium is required for report embedding.  You can embed reports all day long as long as associated with a Pro user.  Premium is just a large-scale option that's priced right at the 500 user mark.


We got sick of waiting for the fix associated with this Issue Report and honestly we're just sick of out-of-tenant dashboard sharing in general.  It always seems to have issues.  So we've ported over to embedded and are using successfully without Power BI Premium.

It took me a while to understand this because the announcement about Power BI Embedded being replaced with just "natural" Power BI Web (a very wise choice, I hated the old Azure Power BI Embedded "black box") was alongside the announcement of the Power BI Premium offering, leading me to also believe the two were tightly coupled. 


PBI embed API easy to work with and I'm releived to be removing all business dependencies on out-of-tenant sharing.


Hope this helps.  


@CalebBlanton - Won't Power BI Embedded soon become part of Power BI Premium, or did I misunderstand?

Caleb, what is, more precisely, the solution you're implementing, I would be interested?

Frequent Visitor

@PaulVersteven - In the "new world" (sans PBI Embedded) you just use the PBI API to embed.  The only requirement is the user is on Pro and the user is the primary owner of the report (not shared with the user, even in-tenant).   i.e., your Pro user needs to use the Get Data wizard.

PBI Premium is for large-volume usage and it seems to be Microsoft's way to insulate their shared PBI infrastructure from the heavy hitters.  It also allows you to share from Pro users to Free licenses.


Based on our research and testing, embedded does not require PBI Premium.  I too got that impression but it was just a poorly wordsmithed announcement.


Reddit on the licensing changes:


Walkthrough on PBI site of the "new" approach:



Joe Frequent Visitor
Frequent Visitor

It is unfortunate that  this is happening and has not yet been fixed.  This  will affect both the 'ability to execute ' and the 'completeness of vison'  benchmarks in the BI magic quadrant  when  Gartner publishes  it next time. There is a good chance that  Tableau will be placed better than microsoft in the leaders section.   


@CalebBlanton - Thank you for this information, Caleb. It is very helpful to me.