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If you work with Power BI on a frequent basis like me, chances are you like to follow the “latest & greatest” of its development:

  • Monthly features updates through the official blog;
  • Release plan for a glimpse of what is expected later this year;
  • … Or even feature “leaks” on Twitter!

The May 2020 update of Power BI came out recently with lots of new features. But what about Power BI for Report Server, the on-premises solution with a slower update cycle, which hasn’t been updated since January? Does anyone care? I hear the crickets chirping at night in my head right now. However, as many organizations are working with the on-prem version, it is no surprise that the Power BI ideas site is flooded with requests to bring more features to Power BI RS. I am working with Power BI RS everyday right now, so I do care about Report Server. And I think (or hope) that the next update is around the corner… so I have gathered five “small” reporting features I am expecting to see in the next release.

1. New ribbon menu

The new ribbon has been around as a Preview feature since last year and became activated by default in March 2020. It would make sense for the team to harmonize the interface of PBI RS with the new default interface, just as they did when they updated the UI from dark to light last year.

2. Theme Editor

Power BI has introduced a “theme editor”, allowing end users to create a custom theme from scratch without the need to edit a JSON file (psst… check out my article on how to make a custom theme for Power BI). The release plan tells us that it will switch from “Preview” to “Generally Available” for May 2020, so we can truly hope that the Theme Editor will also make it to PBI RS.

3. Multi-column sort for tables

The multi-column sort came out in March 2020 and was directly generally available. It is a well-known feature in Excel: I have heard several times end users asking me how to multi-sort a column in Power BI. It is a small change, but definitely a no-brainer to add to PBI RS.

4. New action types for buttons

Buttons are a great way to build a custom interface and add value to your story-telling objectives. I have not used them much because the need to create bookmarks for each action is a nightmare to make & to maintain. This changed when “navigation” and “drill through” button types were introduced in March 2020. Here again, I see no reason why they would find their way to PBI RS.

5. Decomposition Tree

The decomposition tree is a powerful visual, which has came out as a “Public Preview” feature back in January and just became “Generally Available” as of May 2020, so we can have some hope that this visual will make it to the next release of Report Server. 

Edouard Clément

Data Analyst