Model Management with OneDrive, Groups and SharePoint On-line

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Power BI Governance, Version Control with OneDrive for Business, Microsoft Teams and SharePoint Online

One of the crucial necessary features of the software program improvement life cycle is to have management over completely different variations of an answer, particularly in a challenge the place there’s multiple developer concerned within the implementation. Identical to once you usually create a challenge in visible studio and also you commit the modifications again to a supply management system like GitHub or Azure DevOps, it’s suggested to maintain the historical past of various variations of your Energy BI stories. What we count on from a supply management answer is to maintain monitoring of all modifications taking place within the supply code whereas growing a challenge. So you possibly can simply roll again to a earlier state for those who wish to. 

The opposite profit of getting a supply management course of in place is when a number of builders are engaged on a single challenge. Each single one in all them makes modifications within the supply code then they commit all of the modifications into the supply management server with out overwriting every others’ work. 

With Energy BI issues are a bit completely different although. Energy BI report information are PBIX information that are saved in binary format (effectively, PBIX is principally a zipper file isn’t it?) which on the time of scripting this submit, there is no such thing as a official strategy to implement Energy BI supply management in any supply management options like GitHub or Azure DevOps (YET). 

Microsoft introduced a unbelievable characteristic final week (6/05/2020) named “Deployment Pipelines” which does precisely what we’re after, however it’s presently a preview characteristic which is just obtainable solely to organisations with Energy BI Premium. So it’s out of the sport for almost all of us.

Having mentioned that, there’s nonetheless a strategy to maintain historical past of modifications within the form of various variations of PBIX information. That is referred to as Model Management.

There are a number of methods you possibly can allow model management over your PBIX information whereas growing the report. Whatever the model management platform you might want to take into consideration having a number of environments and who can entry them for doing what.

SettingAccessible toDescription
ImprovementBuildersInformation modellers and report writers entry this atmosphere for improvement functions.  
Person Acceptance Check (UAT)Builders, SMEs, Technical Leads, Energy BI AdminsAfter the event is completed the builders deploy the answer to the UAT atmosphere. The answer will then be examined by SMEs (Topic Matter Specialists) to verify the enterprise necessities are met.
Pre-prod (Elective however advisable)Technical Leads, Energy BI AdminsAfter the answer handed all UAT testing eventualities Technical Leads or Energy BI Admins will deploy it to Pre-prod for last checks to verify all knowledge sources are appropriately pointing to manufacturing knowledge sources and all stories and dashboards are working as anticipated.  
ManufacturingTechnical Leads, Energy BI Admins, Finish CustomersAfter pre-prod checks accomplished Technical Leads or Energy BI Admins deploy the answer to the Manufacturing atmosphere which is then obtainable to the tip customers.

Model Management Choices

In case your organisation doesn’t have a Premium capability then “Deployment Pipelines” characteristic will not be obtainable to you. So you might want to provide you with an answer although. On this part I title some Model Management choices obtainable to you

  • OneDrive for Enterprise
  • Microsoft Groups/SharePoint On-line

Model Management with One Drive for Enterprise

Within the absence of an official supply management mechanism, the inherent supply management functionality of “One Drive for Enterprise” can be utilized for model management. It might be good to create a challenge listing, then 4 sub-directories, one for every atmosphere. We then copy information to every challenge listing in related atmosphere listing. We then share the challenge directories and their sub-folders with related folks.

Ideas:

  • It is strongly recommended to have separate Workspaces in Energy BI Service for every atmosphere. After copying PBIX information to the following atmosphere, the stories have to be revealed to the related Workspace atmosphere in Energy BI Service.
  • Information connections should to be switched to the right knowledge supply when deploying from Dev to UAT.

Restoring an Older Model

Restoring an older model could be very easy. The person with the right degree of entry must login to “OneDrive for Enterprise” on-line, navigate to the corresponding listing, click on on the ellipsis button on the correct facet of the file then click on “View Historical past”.

A “Model Historical past” web page exhibits a full historical past of modifications within the file. Now you can click on on the ellipsis button of an older model then click on “Restore”.

Preserve the Reviews Up to date After Publishing to Energy BI Service

One of many coolest options of utilizing OneDrive for Enterprise along with Energy BI Service is that you just publish the report only one time, then Energy BI Service retains the stories undated straight from OneDrive for Enterprise. Because of this you actually don’t must republish the stories a number of instances. You simply make the modifications to the file and reserve it. By default, OneDrive updates information each hour, you possibly can choose to maintain the information updated from the dataset settings.

Tip:

  • DO NOT publish the stories to Energy BI Service from Energy BI Desktop. As a substitute, get the report straight from Energy BI Service out of your OneDrive for Enterprise. In any other case you lose the automated file updates characteristic in Energy BI Service.

Publishing the Reviews From Energy BI Service

  • In Energy BI Service navigate to a workspace
  • Click on “New” then click on “Dataset” (you may also click on “Get Information” on the button left of the web page)
  • Click on “Recordsdata”
  • Click on “OneDrive for Enterprise”
  • Click on a Energy BI report file (PBIX)
  • Click on “Join”
Publish Power BI Reports from OneDrive for Business Directly from Power BI Service

Setting Auto Replace on the Dataset

After publishing the file to Energy BI Service navigate to Dataset settings and verify that “OneDrive refresh” is enabled. That is enabled by default anyway, by no means the much less, it’s good to know the place to search out it.

  • Click on the workspace
  • Hover over the specified dataset
  • Click on “Schedule refresh”
  • Increase “OneDrive refresh” to see if automated refresh is enabled
Enable Automatic Dataset Refresh from OneDrive in Power BI Service

Notice:

It is very important know that the OneDrive refresh is completely different from Schedule refresh. Once we join to a Energy BI report file (PBIX) saved in OneDrive for Enterprise from Energy BI Service, every time we edit the PBIX file in Energy BI Desktop and save the modifications again to our OneDrive for Enterprise, the linked dataset (knowledge mannequin) and report will probably be mechanically refreshed if we setup the OneDrive refresh. So, if we added a brand new measure to the mannequin, the change will probably be propagated to the linked dataset within the Service. That is DIFFERENT from the Schedule refresh setting or after we manually refresh the dataset from the Service. If we require the dataset to be refreshed mechanically from the linked knowledge supply(s) then we have to setup the Schedule refresh. On this case the dataset from the Service will get knowledge straight from the underlying knowledge supply(s) which suggests the information refresh course of has nothing to do with the PBIX file saved in our OneDrive for Enterprise.

Execs & Cons

Whereas this methodology works okay in some eventualities, it’s good to find out about its limitations. So listed here are some execs and cons:

Execs
  • It’s straightforward to make use of
  • Straightforward to revive older variations
  • Leveraging dataset automated refresh from OneDrive
Cons
  • It isn’t a correct supply management supporting code merge and branching methods
  • Commentary is NOT presently obtainable, so you can not put feedback on every model to elucidate what have modified
  • The sharing technique is managed by the person who created the file not by the organisation
  • Lack of check-out/check-in
  • Lack of alerting

Model Management with Microsoft Groups/SharePoint On-line

You should use both Microsoft Groups or SharePoint On-line for model management.

Notice:

For those who enabled Block basic workspace creation setting inside the Energy BI Admin Portal, you then already prevented producing basic workspaces by creating Microsoft Groups staff. Subsequently, we have to create a staff in Microsoft Groups individually, create a contemporary Workspace in Energy BI then hyperlink our fashionable Workspace from Energy BI to the Groups staff. You’ll be able to verify if the Block basic workspace creation setting is allows as beneath:

  • After logging into Energy BI Service with a Energy BI Admin account
  • Click on the Settings button from high proper ()
  • Click on Admin Portal
  • Click on Teant Settings
  • Below Workspace settings part broaden the Block basic workspace creation and see if that is enabled for all the organisation
Block Classic Workspace Creation Setting in Power BI Admin Portal

Now let’s take a look at Groups. We now create a brand new Groups staff per atmosphere, add customers to the brand new staff and add your PBIX information.

Using Microsoft Teams for Power BI Version Control

Eventually you publish the stories straight from Energy BI Service.

Publish Power BI Reports from Teams Directly from Power BI Service

The brand new Groups staff seems as a “Basic Workspace” in Energy BI Service, you possibly can then improve the workspace to the brand new workspace expertise to leverage new options and improved safety. For those who need to take action:

Upgrade Power BI Classic Workspace

Tip:

Don’t forget to vary the information sources in Energy BI Desktop to level to the right knowledge supply atmosphere.

Sync along with your Native Drive

For extra comfort and keep away from downloading the information and importing after you make modifications you possibly can merely synchronise your information so that you all the time have an area copy of it in your exhausting drive. So you possibly can open the PBIX information straight in Energy BI Desktop to make some modifications and reserve it again to your exhausting drive. Identical to OneDrive, your modifications will probably be written again to Groups.

Sync Teams Files with Local Hard Drive

Verify-out/Verify-in

When utilizing Microsoft Groups you may have the power to check-out a file. To take action comply with the steps beneath:

  • Navigate to a desired Groups staff
  • Click on “Recordsdata”
  • Hover-over the file and click on ellipsis button
  • Click on “Extra”
  • Click on “Try”
Checkout Teams Files

The file will mark as checked out. So this file is now solely obtainable to you.

Teams Files Checked out

You and now open the file in Energy BI desktop to make the modifications (by means of the synced listing) and save the file.

Now from Groups:

  • Hover-over the file
  • Click on ellipsis button -> Extra -> Verify in
  • To envision-in the modifications you might want to put in some feedback concerning the modifications which is de facto useful
Checkin File Changes in Microsoft Teams

Restoring an Older Model

At present you can not restore an older model of the file straight from Microsoft Groups. Nonetheless, you are able to do so from SharePoint.

  • In Microsoft Groups click on “Open in SharePoint”
  • Over-over a desired file -> click on ellipsis button -> Model historical past
  • choose an older model of the file and click on “Restore”
Restoring an Older Version of a File in Microsoft Teams

Different SharePoint On-line Options

There are another options obtainable from SharePoint On-line. On this part we have a look at two of them that are extra related to model management and governance.

Alert me

You’ll be able to setup alerts so you might be notified as quickly as a file is modified. In SharePoint On-line:

  • Hover-over a file
  • Click on “Alert me”
  • Setup an alert
Set Alters in SharePoint Online

Compliance particulars

If you have already got some safety and compliance insurance policies in place you possibly can apply a few of these to your information in SharePoint On-line. As an illustration, you possibly can apply “Retention” coverage to the information so if somebody unintentionally deletes a file you possibly can later get well that file from “Recycle bin” folder. Or you could have a coverage to completely forestall file deletion. The information which can be protected by retention insurance policies stay in SharePoint for a sure time period. As an illustration within the beneath instance the file retains for 7 years, after that point it have to be audited by an admin earlier than deletion. To set add retention labels to the information comply with the steps beneath:

  • Open the folder in SharePoint On-line
  • Hover-over a desired file
  • Click on ellipsis button -> Extra -> Compliance particulars
  • Click on “Label Standing” hyperlink
  • Apply a label from the dropdown checklist
  • Click on Save
Apply Retention Labels to PBIX Files in SharePoint Online

Learn extra about Retention Insurance policies right here.

Execs & Cons

Whereas this methodology works actually good for collaboration, however it presently has some limitations. Listed below are some execs and cons:

Execs
  • It’s straightforward to make use of
  • Commentary is obtainable on this methodology
  • Whereas it’s built-in with SharePoint On-line sharing methods might be ruled by SharePoint
  • Verify-out/check-in performance
  • Organising alerts
  • Making use of retention labels
  • Leveraging dataset automated refresh from OneDrive
Cons
  • It isn’t a correct supply management supporting code merge and branching methods
  • Not all options straight supported inside Microsoft Groups. It’s generally fairly complicated to change to SharePoint On-line to do some actions like restoring an older model

Tip:

Within the above eventualities the method of selling information from dev listing to UAT and from there to Manufacturing might be automated utilizing a mix of instruments resembling Energy Automate and Approval apps obtainable in Workplace 365 which is out of scope of this submit. It wants a devoted weblog submit.

Have you ever ever used any of the above strategies? Are you utilizing one other strategy? Please share your ideas with us within the feedback part beneath.

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