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«February 2016»
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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!

https://msit.powerbi.com/view?r=eyJrIjoiYTNjNzcwNjctNTczMy00ZDMxLWFlMGUtMDViODA1NGZiNmI0IiwidCI6IjcyZjk4OGJmLTg2ZjEtNDFhZi05MWFiLTJkN2NkMDExZGI0NyIsImMiOjV9

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.

Feedback

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


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SSRS 2008 R2: Show Column Meta-Data in ToolTip

First, I want to apologize to the three people that read my blog. Sorry for going dark for such a long period of time. I am not going to commit to writing on a regular basis just yet, but I will be back consistently soon. Enough about me, let’s talk about the problem at hand. Recently, someone asked if it was possible to show column information (description, data type, etc…) in a tooltip. I never really gave that scenario much thought until I was posed with the question. So, is it possible in SSRS 2008 R2? The answer is, not natively. However, it can be done with a little effort.

Report Code

Assuming you have already created your report, the first step is to add some custom code to your report. To do this click Report on the menu bar and select Report Properties. The Report Properties dialogue window will open.

Select the item labeled Code in the left section of the window. In the textbox labeled Custom Code, type your code. In the above image I included a VB code snippet that accepts two parameters, ColumnName and TableName. The code executes a query that returns the data type for the column/table combination. The statement could be modified to query a Meta data repository that contains more descriptive information about your column. For the sake of brevity I am querying the information_schema.columns table. Once you have written your custom code, the next step is to add a reference to the System.Data assembly. To do this, select References in the left section of the Report Properties window.

Next click the button labeled Add under Add or remove assemblies. Click the Ellipses button located to the newly added textbox and the Add Reference dialogue window will open.

Ensure that the .NET tab is selected, scroll down the list until you see System.Data. Select it and click OK.

The ToolTip

With all of the plumbing in place, now it’s time write the expression that will execute the code and render the tooltip. Since the requirement is to surface information about columns in the data set I will be adding an expression to the tooltip for each column header in the table on my report. To quickly apply the expression to each column, select every applicable column header in your table and press the F4 key, which opens the Properties window. Locate the ToolTip option, click in the field, select the drop down arrow and choose Expression. In the expression window type the following:

=Code.GetMetaData(Replace(ReportItems!Textbox5.Value,” “,“”), “Product”)

As mentioned above, the function accepts two parameters. The first is the value of that is displayed in the column header. Since SSRS automatically adds a space to column names that contain upper case letters, I used the Replace function to remove the spaces. One caveat about this approach is that if you customize the column header names you will need to explicitly include the column name in the expression instead of the code that I have include for the first parameter. The second value is the table name. You could further extend this to include the schema name also.

Security

After all that I really really really thought I was done. So, I ran the report and when I hovered over my column headers nothing happened. To be honest, I had no idea what to do. After a few minutes of thinking I remember that there was an Output window available when you ran reports. I clicked View on the menu bar and selected Output, and there was my error:

‘Textbox5′ contains an error: Request for the permission of type ‘System.Data.SqlClient.SqlClientPermission, System.Data, Version=2.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089′ failed.

Since I am not much of a .Net developer, I was still pretty lost. I decided to start searching the Internet. I found a few articles that evenutally led me a config file that needed to be modified. While I was pointed to the correct file, neither of documents provided me with the specific solution. After making a few changes and a few undo’s my report ran successful.

In this directory, C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\IDE\PrivateAssemblies, open the RSPreviewPolicy file. Locate the first CodeGroup section, which will be directly below the closing NamedPermissionSets tag, change the PermissionSetName attribute to FullTrust and save the file. You may want to make a copy of the file prior to changing and saving it.

After this change has been made, save the file and preview your report, which should run now.

If you have a better solution for this, please send me an email at pleblanc@sqllunch.com. Also, if something does not work send me an email. Thanks for reading.

Talk to you soon,

Patrick LeBlanc

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