Subscribe and receive the latest news about Power BI

Power BI Weekly

Power BI Weekly Issue 209: 31st May 2023

If you haven't heard, Microsoft Fabric has been announced, an "end-to-end, unified analytics platform that brings together all the data and analytics tools that organizations need". There has been a swathe of official and community content, as you can imagine. Of course, there's the official Microsoft Fabric announcement blog which is a great place to start, but possibly a better summary for those of you that care mainly about the impact on Power BI is the Introducing Microsoft Fabric and Copilot in Microsoft Power BI article on the official Power BI blog, which includes references to the Copilot in Power BI Overview and Copilot in Power BI Demo videos. Christian Wade has also joined Reid giving a Power BI-framed overview of Microsoft Fabric on the Empower BI Professionals to Do More Using Microsoft Fabric stream, which is well worth a watch.

As for Microsoft Fabric more generally, if you've got the time, there were two ~3 hour launch event sessions held on Microsoft Fabric, hosted by the Adam and Patrick at GuyInACube: Microsoft Fabric Launch Digital Event (Day 1) and Microsoft Fabric Launch Digital Event (Day 2) which would give you a great overview of everything Fabric has to offer. If that's too much of a time commitment for you, we've been on the private preview of Microsoft Fabric for the last 6 months and have published some useful content to share our insights; A landing page linking all our Fabric content and official Fabric content, an Azure Radar page on Microsoft Fabric giving a high-level overview including Pros & Cons, a 20 minute Perspectives on Microsoft Fabric discussion, a 10 minute Tour around Microsoft Fabric, and then several blog posts: An Introduction to Fabric, a detailed comparison of Azure Synapse Analytics versus Microsoft Fabric, and a view on one of the killer features: What is OneLake?. Do stay tuned to the endjin blog, if you're interested - there's lot's more Fabric content on the way!

It's fair to say that Power BI is now firmly a part of Microsoft Fabric, and even if you don't utilize/purchase other Fabric services, you'll likely encounter Fabric in other ways, like through the Power BI Community Site (which now redirects to a Microsoft Fabric-branded community site) for example. In this vein, various "Power BI" things will become "Microsoft Fabric", for example, the announcement that the Power BI Administrator role will be renamed to Fabric Administrator and that tenant settings are now managed in the "Fabric Admin Portal" rather than the "Power BI Admin Portal". This will inevitably take a short while to get used to, and I'm sure will make some of you feel a little uncomfortable. The main thing that you should determine with your tenant admins is whether you want to Enable Microsoft Fabric for your organization, bearing in mind that, if no action is taken, Microsoft Fabric will be turned on for all Power BI Users on 1 July 2023 (which is a questionable stance MSFT is taking on this). While we're on the subject of admins & tenant settings, it seems like a good opportunity to mention the New Tenant Setting Notifications and GetTenantSettings API, which provides a convenient way to retrieve all tenant settings in a single call (though it is currently read-only).

I think the most surprising part of this editorial is that somehow it's taken me 4 paragraphs to mention the Power BI May 2023 Feature Summary, which would usually be front and centre of the newsletter. Though, it has been a rather unusual week! Unsurprisingly, the main highlight in this month's feature summary is the new Direct Lake mode enabled by Fabric which is in public preview. This is a new connection mode whereby Power BI datasets can query directly over files in the data lake, enabling Import-level speeds without the need of dataset refreshes. Christian spoke in more depth about it on the live stream recording I shared in the first paragraph, if you want to learn more. There's also a brilliant Power BI Direct Lake mode FAQ that Sandeep Pawar put together with help from the Power BI team, which is also shared at the bottom of this newsletter. Other big announcements from this month's feature summary is that a load of things are now GA, like the Azure Analysis Services to Fabric and Power BI Premium Migration Experience, the Optimize Ribbon, Hybrid Tables, Azure Log Analytics for Power BI Datasets, Azure Maps visual, and Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policies. There's also been a new DAX function that Jeffrey Wang has written in more depth about in the blog Introducing MATCHBY for DAX Window Functions. Finally (and about the only official blog that doesn't mention Fabric anywhere) we can't forget about the Power BI Report Server May 2023 Feature Summary, which (as usual) contains an array of improvements as Power BI Desktop features gradually make their way into Power BI Report Server.

Data Prep

Covering: Power Query (M), Dataflows, Data connectors, AI Insights

Data Modeling

Covering: DAX (Measures & Calculated Tables/Columns), Relationships, Analysis Services, Composite models

Report Authoring and Interactivity

Covering: Layout and formatting, Visualizations, Interactivity, Themes, Mobile reports, Dashboards

Deployment, Security and Operations

Covering: Workspaces and Apps, Template Apps, Deployment Pipelines, Gateways, Security, Sharing, Licences, Admin operations, Developer Tooling


Covering: Cross-topic announcements & feature summaries, Whitepapers, Community events, Learning Resources & Certifications, Podcasts, Sample reports, End-to-end walkthroughs


Take a look at historical Power BI articles in our archive of Power BI Weekly newsletters.

Contribute Content

If you would like to contribute any content to the Power BI Weekly newsletter, please email