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SamTrexler Member
Member

Downloading or Exporting a linked report creates a new data source and populates the data

I have a large report (500 MB) that imports data, and many other reports that link to that dataset to perform various types of analysis.

 

If I modify one of the analytic reports (one that does not have the dataset, but links to it), and then do File -> Save As, the new report is created just fine. "Manage group storage" shows the new report using the dataset in the report that originally imported the data, just like all the other linked reports. And there is no new dataset in the workspace, And the new report stays up-to-date with refreshes of the dataset. Everything is just fine.

 

But if I download the report to a PBIX file, or if I use the Export-PowerBIReport cmdlet, the resulting file is 500 MB. When I open the report in Power BI Desktop, I can open the query editor, modify the query as I desire, even modify the datasource that it connects to. Clearly, a new data source has been created during the download or export (instead of creating a link to the original dataset), and the data in the original dataset populated into the new pbix file. Which means if I edit this file and re-publish it, I will get a new dataset that doesn't stay in sync with the other reports.

 

Is that expected behavior? Is there a work-around for this?

 

Thanks,

 

Sam Trexler

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Super User
Super User

Re: Downloading or Exporting a linked report creates a new data source and populates the data

Hi there

That is the expected behaviour, because what happens is that when you download it with the data model (PBIX 500MB) this is effectively a new PBIX file.

What you can do is follow the steps below, where you can modify the PBIX by deleting all the tables.
https://data-marc.com/2019/01/24/move-from-single-to-a-multi-file-strategy/


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Super User
Super User

Re: Downloading or Exporting a linked report creates a new data source and populates the data

Hi there

That is the expected behaviour, because what happens is that when you download it with the data model (PBIX 500MB) this is effectively a new PBIX file.

What you can do is follow the steps below, where you can modify the PBIX by deleting all the tables.
https://data-marc.com/2019/01/24/move-from-single-to-a-multi-file-strategy/


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SamTrexler Member
Member

Re: Downloading or Exporting a linked report creates a new data source and populates the data

Hi @GilbertQ.

 

Thanks for the prompt explanation and the link. I am doing exactly what this blog post suggests - building a few reports that contain datasets against different underlying tables, and then creating multiple reports with visualizations linked to those datasets. But I did it from the ground up, based on exeperience in other workspaces, so I'm not concerned with his Option 1 or Option 2 for copying visualizations. But it's a helpful link, and the approach works well for me.

 

I guess I will need to publish a caveat to all of our staff and customers: If you download a new report (not one we originally published and maintain), or if you take an export of a new report from the backups we maintain, be careful to remove the queries in Query Editor and link the report to the original dataset.

 

It's unfortunate we have to do this, it seems like a step that is likely to lead to mistakes, inconsistent reports and several "versions of the truth". I wish there was a parameter on the Export-PowerBIReport cmdlet and the Download experience to control this. Maybe I'll look for or create an Idea for this.

 

Thanks for your help.

 

Sam

Super User
Super User

Re: Downloading or Exporting a linked report creates a new data source and populates the data

Hi there

As it stands yes this is currently a bit of an issue. I am hoping that when shared datasets come to the Power BI service, this will make things a lot easier. But we will have to wait and see how this is implemented.


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SamTrexler Member
Member

Re: Downloading or Exporting a linked report creates a new data source and populates the data

Okay, thanks. I'll be interested to see what shared datasets offers and will watch for that.

 

Thanks again for your help,

 

Sam

Super User
Super User

Re: Downloading or Exporting a linked report creates a new data source and populates the data

No worries, you can find more details here, as well as when it should be available

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/business-applications-release-notes/april19/business-intelligence/p...


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