cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Reply
littlemojopuppy
Super User
Super User

Power BI Premium vs. Azure Analysis Services

Hola!  Would like to ask for some advice on something from people more knowledgeable than I.

 

Company is currently paying for Azure Analysis Services (S1) to house a data model that theoretically is the source of truth for the organization.  Replacing dozens of Access databases and Excel spreadsheets and who knows how many man hours of manual labor to cobble together data dumps without much analytic capability.  Company is also paying for Power BI Premium (P1).  The initial motivation for buying Premium was the licensing...we can give free licenses to the audience who are only going to view reports instead of buying Pro licenses for everyone in the company.  The cost savings on this alone justify purchasing Premium.

 

But...I could theoretically bypass using AAS at all and publish the data model directly into Power BI Premium.  But I have questions/concerns that I'd like to ask for advice on.  Either direct answers or where to find definitive answers...Google searches have been frustrating.

 

My biggest question is that my understanding is - and I hope I am completely, utterly wrong - is that a model needs to be published into a workspace in Premium.  And that reports in a given workspace can only be based on the model within that workspace.  I have several groups of reports, all similar in content but directed towards different audiences.  But everything is based on the same model.  Users access reports via Power BI apps, and there is only one app per workspace.  So I would have to publish copies of the exact same data model numerous times, once into a workspace for each set of reports and/or audience.

 

Can anyone help clarify what my options are or point me towards resources that can help figure this out?  I would prefer to not double up by having a central data model in AAS and all the reports point towards that.  But it seems unnecessary with the capacity available in Premium.  But not if I have to duplicate data for multiple sets of reports/audiences.

 

Any advice is appreciated and thanks in advance!  🙂

12 REPLIES 12
ElizabethTachji
Helper III
Helper III

@ElizabethTachji

Hi @ littlemojopuppy 

When you no longer use Analysis Services and only use Power BI Premium, where do you build the data models (relationships) and the DAX measure or variables.  I get connecting to a live dataset, but where does the one source of truth (DAX) reside.  

Thanks in advance.

Elizabeth Tachjian
Elizabeth Tachjian

@ElizabethTachji I realized I didn't completely answer your question.

 

You can develop the data model in one of three ways:

  • In a pbix file just like any other data model and publish to a workspace.  Probably not the best idea for a large volume of data, either in terms of number of tables or records
  • In Visual Studio using the add-in for Analysis Services Tabular data models.  Substitute the Power BI Premium XMLA endpoint instead of a server name/address.  Send me a PM and I'm happy to help walk through steps.  You cannot have any security defined using this method.  All security has to be defined in the reports themselves..
  • You could probably use Tabular Editor as well but I haven't tried this.  Same restrictions on security.

The second method is better because you can handle a much larger set of data in a much more controlled way.  UNLESS you have a lot of security requirements because Power BI Premium only supports RLS defined at the report level and not in the data source itself.

 

This isn't ideal, but it seems that's the way it is.

 

Hi @ElizabethTachji ...sorry for the delay in replying.  One could create a data model in a pbix file and publish that into Power BI Premium.  But that really doesn't seem like the kind of thing that would tolerate large volumes of data very well.

I was able to publish a data model from Visual Studio directly into Power BI Premium, but only if there were no security roles/members defined.  How Analysis Services handles RLS and how Power BI reports handle RLS are very different.

 

ElizabethTachji
Helper III
Helper III

@ElizabethTachji

Hi @ littlemojopuppy 

When you no longer use Analysis Services and only use Power BI Premium, where do you build the data models (relationships) and the DAX measure or variables.  I get connecting to a live dataset, but where does the one source of truth (DAX) reside.  

Thanks in advance.

Elizabeth Tachjian
AbhiSSRS
Super User
Super User

Its a really good cost saving move to push your Tabular model directly to Power BI instead of a S1. 

It may also offer you better performance for pbix when there is less load and P1 stats look good on monitor.

 

And yes the datasets can be shared across workspaces. Even the Power BI datasets which have different datasource are used can be connected live across workspaces to create reports.

Hi @AbhiSSRS thanks...it would be a huge cost savings ($18k annually) to not have to pay for AAS when Power BI has more horsepower than AAS anyway.

 

Thank you for replying!  🙂

One question I that concerns me is security.  Hopefully you or @Greg_Deckler could help.  I publish a data set into a workspace with a given set of permissions (hypothetically BI admins only).  Can I use that data set on some reports that are published for the average user to see?  Or will permissions on the data source workspace prevent users who cannot access it from using that data.  Put more simply, if the data is published to workspace ABC, does a user have to have permissions on workspace ABC to use the data?

Yes, the creator will have access to the Dataset and can create report in any workspace. This report can then be shared with any user who has the same license level as workspace ( Pro/PPU) and that user would not need access to the workspace that hosts the dataset. This applies for both external/internal users . eg .The PPU workspace needs PPU user and thus all workspaces that You share this dataset across for reports would also need to be in PPU capacity.

Hi @AbhiSSRS.  Sorry for the delay in replying.

 

You said "shared".  Trying to avoid sharing reports and the web of permissions that creates...we're managing access to reports via apps.

 

Also there are roughly 700 users and all but a half dozen of us have free licenses (those of us that create content have Pro).  Does that complicate things?

Greg_Deckler
Super User
Super User

@littlemojopuppy Well, perhaps I'm mistaken here but you can share datasets across workspaces. There is a tenant setting that you activate to allow this. You publish your dataset to one workspace and then you create a live connection to it, create a report and can publish it to a separate workspace. I would expect that with Premium you would need both workspaces to be Premium workspaces.


@ me in replies or I'll lose your thread!!!
Check out my External Tool for Power BI Desktop! Microsoft Hates Greg's Quick Measures
YouTube Channel! Microsoft Hates Greg
Check out my latest book!

Hi @Greg_Deckler ...can I hit you with a couple other questions about moving from AAS to Power BI Premium  Specifically features such as RLS and Incremental Refresh.  As I understand it, Power BI Premium does not support RLS the same way AAS does, but would have to be built into reports.  And second...it seems that Incremental Refresh can only be implemented in a pbix file.  If I were to continue to use Visual Studio to develop the data model, I couldn't take advantage of this feature.  True?

 

Hi @Greg_Deckler!  Thank you for replying.  I trust you know far more than I do about this.  If you say this is possible, I'm trusting that you are right.  🙂. Thank you!

littlemojopuppy
Super User
Super User

@Greg_Deckler @parry2k you guys have forgotten more about Power BI than I ever knew 😉  Can you guys offer some advice?  Thank you!

Helpful resources

Announcements
UG GA Amplification 768x460.png

Launching new user group features

Learn how to create your own user groups today!

November Power BI Update 768x460.png

Check it Out!

Click here to read more about the November 2021 Updates!

M365 768x460.jpg

Microsoft 365 Collaboration Conference | December 7–9, 2021

Join us, in-person, December 7–9 in Las Vegas, for the largest gathering of the Microsoft community in the world.