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«February 2016»

Power BI Publish to Web for Anonymous Access is Here

Earlier this week on Wednesday the Microsoft Power BI made an incredibly exciting announcement and released Power BI “publish to web” as a preview feature. This is HUUUUGE news! This was probably the top requested feature and its finally here thanks to the hard work and dedication of the Microsoft Power BI team!

Read Getting Started with R Visuals in Power BI

Power BI “publish to web” allows you to easily expose a Power BI report to the world through an iframe that can be embedded wherever you like.

To publish your Power BI report to the web, log into your Power BI site.

Find the report that you want to share and click File in the top left.
Power BI publish to web

You’ll see a message pop up box similar to below. Click the yellow button to create the embed code.
Power BI publish to web preview

This is where you’ll see a very important warning!
WARNING: Reports that you expose through the “publish to web” feature will be visible to everyone on the internet! This means NO AUTHENTICATION is required to view the report that is embedded in your application.
warning 2

Once you do that, you’ll receive an embed code that you can then use to expose your Power BI report within your blog as seen below!

As you can see the report maintains all the interactivity features of Power BI. And as your Power BI report updates and changes, those changes will be reflected in your embedded Power BI reports!

Pretty awesome!

Additional Resources

Read the Power BI “publish to web” announcement here.

Read the Power BI “publish to web” documentation here.


Let me know what you think of this feature or if you have any questions. Leave a comment down below.

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Non Empty vs NonEmpty

Hey everyone, in this blog I want to address a very common MDX Question. What is the difference between the NON EMPTY keyword and NONEMPTY function? To take it a step further which one should you use?

Non Empty keyword VS NONEMPTY Function.

The big difference between the NON EMPTY keyword and the NONEMPTY function is when the evaluation occurs in the MDX. The NON EMPTY keyword is the last thing that is evaluated, in other words after all axes have been evaluated then the NON EMPTY keyword is executed to remove any empty space from the final result set. The NONEMPTY function is evaluated when the specific axis is evaluated.

Should I use NON EMPTY keyword or NONEMPTY function?

Ok Mitchell, so you told me when each of these are evaluated but really you haven’t told me anything up until this point. Can you tell me which one I should use already? Well, unfortunately, it depends. Let’s walk through an example of each using the BOTTOMCOUNT function.


In this example I’m returning the bottom ten selling products for internet sales. Notice that I have returned all products that have no internet sales, this is not necessarily a bad thing, maybe you want to return products that don’t have sales.


However if you don’t want to return these products then we can try using the NON EMPTY keyword. In the below example you can see the results when I add NON EMPTY to the ROWS axis.


WHOOOAAA, what happened?? A lot of people would have expected the results here to show the bottom ten products that DID have sales. However, that is not the case, remember that I said the NON EMPTY keyword is evaluated LAST after all axes have been evaluated. This means that first the bottom ten selling products which have $0 in sales are first returned and then the NON EMPTY keyword removes all that empty space from the final result.

BOTTOMCOUNT function with NONEMPTY function.

So let’s try this again, if you want to return the bottom ten products that had sales then we must first remove the empty space before using the BottomCount function. Take a look at the code below:


In this code we first remove the empty space before using the BOTTOMCOUNT function. The result is we return the bottom ten products that had internet sales. Once again neither one is right or wrong here it just depends on what you want in your final result.

NON EMPTY Keyword vs. NONEMPTY Function – Performance

There is a very common misconception that the NONEM

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SSRS: My Filter is not Working!!!

I rarely use filters in my SSRS reports.  However, this was a client requirement.  When we attempted to use the filter to our surprise it did not work.  The actual problem involved using a table that contained a column that was of a CHAR data type.  After a little digging we realized that the cause of the problem was the column data type. 

Assume you are using the following query as the source for your report, which can be run against the AdventureWorks sample database:

        WHEN Color IS NULL THEN ‘NA’
        ELSE Color
    END AS CHAR(10)) Color,
FROM Production.Product

Noticed that I forced the Color column to a CHAR data type to simulate the actual scenario.  Then after creating the report I opened the properties window of the data set and added a filter on the color column:


Denoting “Black” as my filter value.  When I ran the report to my surprise nothing was returned.


Why not?  I thought for a few minutes and I started to search the web, but I decided just for grins to pad my filter with a few spaces.  I actually padded it up to the number that was specified for the data type length.  In the case of this example it is 5 additional spaces.  I then reran the report and results were retuned:


Why?  The short answer is because CHAR is a fixed length data type and it appears as though SSRS returns the value with padded spaces.  There are a couple of ways to solve this problem.  You could use the TRIM function on the DataSet Properties window. 


Instead of simply specifying the column name as the Expression, in our case Color, you would specify an expression =TRIM(Fields!Color.Value).  Then rerun your report.  This is a simple solution.  In addition, you could include a CAST in your query that changes the data type to a VARCHAR.  Both of these can be done in your query and report design and does not require any schema changes.  You could also take a very intrusive approach and request that your DBA change the data type to varchar.  Regardless of the choice, either should solve the problem.

Talk to you soon,

Patrick LeBlanc, MVP, founder SQL Lunch

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