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Power BI Weekly Issue 228: 10th October 2023

Last week there was an announcement we're very excited by here at endjin, which is the introduction of Semantic link in Microsoft Fabric: Bridging BI and Data Science. This tool allows you to navigate and query your Power BI datasets via a Python package that supports both the Pandas and Spark APIs, so you can work with your Power BI tables & measures just as you would any other dataframe. It also introduces a new %%dax magic command and intelligent code auto-completion within the notebook experience. But there's so much more - you should definitely have a read through that article. And stay tuned for upcoming blogs from ourselves on the topic!

Sticking to the Fabric theme - those using the tool will be glad to hear that they're following in the footsteps of Power BI in that they are releasing a regular Fabric Roadmap, to give end-users visibility into features that are planned and their estimated release date. This has been a hugely valuable practice that the Power Platform teams have followed, so I'm very happy that the Fabric team has decided to follow suit. This has also made me realize that I failed to share the Power BI 2023 release wave 2 plan when it was shared recently (I think it got less attention given all things Fabric at the moment). Anyway, there are some notable features listed on there. The ability to Author calculation groups in Power BI Desktop is supposedly due to be released in Public Preview this month (this feature was also originally listed on the Power BI 2023 Wave 1 Release Plan but has since sneakily been ported over to the Wave 2 plan). Arguably the most game-changing feature that is now formally planned is the notion of Visual calculations, which will "allow users to build new calculations from any visual inside Power BI using an Excel grid-like interface", which you may be aware is a feature that stemmed from an idea posted on the Ideas site by Marco Russo a few years ago which received plenty of backing from the community. There are a handful of other planned features, including a few report-authoring improvements in the Power BI Service - you should definitely check it out.

Oh - and just an FYI - "Dark Mode" is finally coming to Power BI Desktop!! (I thought it warranted its own paragraph.) No specific indication on "when", just "soon".

It's already been quite a long editorial, but the final thing I wanted to mention is PowerQuery How - a site created about half a year ago by Rick de Groot (of BI Gorilla) to serve as an improved version of the Microsoft Power Query M reference. Those familiar with the "official" Power Query docs will probably be aware that it's not quite as useful as it could be. PowerQuery How adds features on top of the core docs such as improved function explanations and categorization, improved code formatting, practical code examples, and related articles and links. Rick is actively maintaining this resource and encourages community contributions for further improvement. So, if you've delved deep into any specific Power Query functions and have something insightful to add (that may not be obvious from the existing docs), then please go ahead and contribute!

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


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