I write to ask a few questions about switching from a current product we develop in Visual Basic to Power BI.
We work on data generated by an automatic inspection machine. Every time a product passes through, the data are stored in a dedicated database. What we offer right now is this: at a certain time of the day a pdf report is generated and sent via mail, with information concerning the previous day of production. The software is right now written in Visual Basic but we would like to switch to Power BI. These are the three main topics:
Hi there. Let's see, there is a lot to answer. Hope i can help on all the questions.
1- There no way to generate dinamically a report. The correct way is to make one, schedule refresh and share with users. You can suscribe to receive a notification on the first update of the day. That is not really needed if the business know there are schedule because they know the time they have data updated. If the requirement is the pdf or png of the mail you can go to the report or dashboard and print like pdf.
The date can have relative filters in order to fullfill your requirement on getting the concept of today (i don't think will work on hours, the relative filters can get to day). The filter is set one time, you don't need to get it manually everytime.
2- My suggets is that the best solution to small cases is to buy pro accounts. When your organization is growing to, let's say, 500 licences, then you can check Power Bi Premium solutions. Yes and No. No you can't capture button event, but yes you can have notifications of other things like getting a number > 500 on a label. Some tiles on the Dashboards can configure notifications on several conditions.
3- I think that if the customer receive a notification is because they have a pro account. If so, then I wouldn't recommend printing unless is extremely necessary, because Power BI Service is so much confortable to check information for customers having the data quickly on pc, mobile, etc. If the papper is mandatory, the nicest and easiest visual to "print" is the png of the suscription you get on mail. I think is more pretty than the dashboard print.
Power BI is free to try so it’s worth the effort to test your product for design and functionality.
I’m new to PowerBI, I’ve been working with it since January and I’ll list Power Bi constraints that have caused me headaches.
Having said all the above, I finally got everything (except .pdf/printing) to work the way I wanted. It required a deep dive into DAX, measures, conditional columns but it was worth it as I’ve learned a lot in a short amount of time.
With respect to your questions:
Answer to Q1: It’s not that Power BI generates a report – It imports data into a ready-made report that you would design in Power BI Desktop. As far as email notification – notifications are triggered via a dashboard alert – I don’t think there’s a native ‘new data present’ alert – so you would have to create a trigger of some sort to aggregate when new data is present. Date fields are easy to slice on your reports. Time fields are tricky as slicers have difficulty working with Before, Between, After with TIME fields. You can use the concept of NOW using Date for a slicer, but you have to create conditional columns to apply to the slicer.
Answer to Q2: You can share your report with users via a link sent via email. However, as far as I know (again I’m new to this) there isn’t a native ‘new data present’ link sent when the dataset is refreshed. My users simply open the report and manually refresh when needed.
Answer to Q3: My project allows for some awesome filtering to quickly analyze data in the report – however I’ve never found a good solution for printing the report.