• Ida Bergum

Business Apps Release Notes April'19 Highlights and Favorites

Updated: Feb 19, 2019

Today Microsoft published The April'19 Business Applications release notes for everyone to access, which can give us an overview of the major areas Microsoft is investing in right now and in the coming months. Some of the parts I would like to highlight is related to Analytics Experiences and Power BI/Power Platform. All in all after going trough some of the key areas, the Power Platform and Business Apps gets even tighter integrated and experiences more seamless. AI is everywhere. And we can do more advanced stuff, across the platform, with less code.


Here are some of the highlights (at least from my point of view):


PowerApps


PowerApps.microsoft.com

ISV Tooling. Enabling ISVs to tap into even more of the Microsoft Cloud toolbox. This area of investment gives consulting companies, partners and third-parties the ability to package, and deliver plugings professionally using a updated set of tooling.


Embed apps everywhere. A deeper integration with Microsoft Teams will enable IT admins to publish apps to a broader Enterprise Audience.


Some people are also still waiting for this from the Oct'18 release, might be it will ship in the April'19?


Microsoft Flow

Moving over to Microsoft Flow I really love the AI enabled experiences

Integrating intelligence feautures enabling extraction of entities from e-mail(s) or documents with very little effort.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/business-applications-release-notes/april19/microsoft-flow/extract-structured-data-emails-html-pdf

The Integrated alert creation using Flow within the Power BI Experience, is just great! Enabling Insights to action in a much easier way then previously, to trigger other systems directly from Power BI.


https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/business-applications-release-notes/april19/microsoft-flow/integrated-alert-creation-power-bi

Power BI Desktop

Now moving over to Power BI (Business intelligence), I believe there are some things that stand out in this release note for Power BI Desktop:


Drill between Power BI Reports

Contextual BI is a favorite word of mine these days. And yes, this feauture enables this on a new level. Bringing drilltrough to other reports published to the Power BI service with the same schema, filter context on visual, page, and report level + cross filtering/highlighting on source visual + slicers and sync slicers and url parameters gets passed to the destination report.


Expression based formatting

We have all probably had this requirement at some point, and we probably all have tried some hack to get around it as well. Well, now we don't have to. Dynamically being able to change formatting based on some data values, brings even more meaning to our data consumers.


Performance Analyzer built in

This is great! What I see with self-learned Power BI users, that does not have a data or BI background is normally performance issues on their reports. The tooling to look into bottlenecks are mostly known to superusers. This will enable more of the self-service users to get a hinch of where the issue lies, and do something about it.


https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/business-applications-release-notes/april19/business-intelligence/power-bi-desktop/perf-report-analyzer

Power BI Service

For the Power BI Service I could go on and on.. And most of the PowerBI Dataflow stuff has to be covered in an own blogpost. So I would like to highlight the Pervasive AI for BI part for now. What I really like about this, is that it bridges the gap between the data scientist and the analysts. To expose Machine Learning Models to a Power BI user in Power Query Online, gives us new possibilities to collaborate. And then offcourse to take it to the next level, the pre-made algorithms to be applied automatically during refresh by the analyst, and to top it with the Cognitive services built in to Power Query to do sentiment analysis directly in Power BI online.



https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/business-applications-release-notes/april19/business-intelligence/power-bi-service/pervasive-artificial-intelligence-bi/cognitive-services-integration-premium

Power BI Embedded

And in the end, I have to highlight some of the Embedded feautures, since I have been working on embedded solutions for a while now.. Dataset sharing and dynamic binding using the embed token. The new Scheduled Refresh API is also very welcome, to be able to configure schedule of one or more datasets dynamically. And Q&A with Row Level Security is also pretty cool!


Have a great read trough of your own! I can't wait to start testing out some of these feautures, when they arrive that is :)



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