June 2017 release is full of new reporting features, new data connectors, accessibility features, and more. A couple of highlights of the June release are the addition of data bars to tables and matrices, markers for line charts, new map themes, and a horizontal image slicer. In addition, to improve the “Add Column from Example” feature in the Query Editor is in progress.
• New visual: Shape Map (preview)
Shape Map is another mapping visual that has been added to Power BI. Unlike the existing map control, it cannot show precise geographical locations of data points on a map, but its basic purpose is to show relative comparisons of regions on a map by coloring them differently.
To use ShapeMap, drag the control onto the design surface. Then in the Fields settings, drag a data field that has the region names (or shortened forms) onto the Location bucket and a data measure field into the Values bucket. In the Format settings you must then select one of the default maps to show your data.
You can then configure the map projection and zooming settings as well as the colors of data points.
Alternatively, you can add a category data column to the Legend bucket in order to classify the map regions based on categories
• Searchable slicers
Slicers are currently accessible. If the list of items is long and you can’t easily what you need, choose the “…” menu on a slicer and choose “Search”. This will open a search box at the top of the slicer that will filter out the items as you type.
More details about searchable slicers in the following video:
• Configurable line chart labels
You can now control the density of data point labels on a line-chart via the Label Density property slider under Data Label format options
• New sign-in entry points
Power BI Desktop users can now sign-in more easily to their Power BI service account. Getting started dialog on app startup has a sign-in screen now, as well as the top-right corner of the ribbon. Users can sign in, change the user or configure their account settings
• Row Level Security
Power BI row-level security allows you to secure your data at the row level by defining security filters for Roles or in a table in the model. You can define a Role and an associated security filter in the Power BI desktop and then assign members to that Role in the service. To define Roles, click on the Manage Roles button in the Modeling tab on the ribbon.
Once you have defined security filters for roles, you can test them in action by viewing the data as a specific Role in either the Power BI Desktop or the Power BI Service.
• New Connector: Azure Enterprise
New data connector this month: Azure Enterprise. This connector allows users to retrieve information about their Azure accounts and build powerful reports and analytics using Power BI Desktop.
The new Azure Enterprise connector can be found under the “Online Services” category in the “Get Data” dialog.
• Enhanced Sap BW And Hana Connectors
This month enhancing done on the SAP HANA and SAP BW connectors in two ways:
o Allow multi-select of values for Variables/Parameters: Users can now select more than one value for a given variable or parameter when leveraging the SAP BW and SAP HANA connectors. This can be achieved via the Navigator dialog.
o Support for Hierarchies in SAP BW: Based on customer feedback on the SAP BW Preview connector, support for hierarchies in SAP BW is added. With this month’s update, users can now see hierarchies in the Navigator dialog and select one or multiple levels of the hierarchy to be included in the output data.
• Enhanced Odata Connector – Option To Import Open Type Columns From Odata Feeds
The OData connector now supports importing Open Type columns from OData feeds. Prior to this update, such columns were not supported in Power BI Desktop. This option is exposed under the “Advanced Options” section in the OData connector dialog.
• Enhanced Access Db Connector – Button To “Select Related Tables” In The Navigator
The Access Database connector is enhanced to enable users to easily “select related tables” by adding this new button into the Navigator dialog. The behavior when clicking this button is the same as for all other databases which already supported this capability: it will select all tables that have a direct relationship to any of the already selected tables.
• Templates: Option To Load Vs. Edit From The Import Template Ux
When importing a template into Power BI Desktop, users can now pick whether to Load or Edit, after specifying any required parameters in the template. This enables users to jump into the Query Editor for additional data transformations or filtering before triggering load of the full dataset for a template.
• Query Parameter Enhancements
The Query Parameter capabilities update is introduced in a couple of different ways:
o New option to “always allow parameterization” in data connector and transformation dialogs: In the View tab inside the Query Editor new option to turn on the “Parameter selection” control, so that users can interact with this widget without having to create a parameter beforehand. Before this update, this control was only available when at least one parameter already existed in the current PBIX file.
o Create a new parameter directly in context: (i.e. from where you want to use it): Enhancement to create new parameters from the “Parameter selection” control is in progress.
• Option To Generate Step Names In English
Users can now control whether the Query Editor should automatically generate Step names in the current installation language (old behavior, and still the default behavior going forward), or lock it down so that step names are generated in English. This setting applies to all files created in the current machine. This option is available under “File -> Options -> Global” and it only shows up in non-English versions of Power BI Desktop (as it means no change in behavior for English version)
• Description For Query Steps
Another feature request from existing users has been to allow them to provide “Comments” or “Description” for their query steps. Before this update, it was possible to provide a Description for queries, but not for steps within these queries.
With this update, a new Description field for Steps, which can be accessed within the right-click menu for any step in your queries (“Properties…”):
• New Data Transformations
As with every monthly update, making incremental improvements to the Power BI Desktop Data Transformation capabilities in the Query Editor is continued.
This month, three new types of Data Transformations are added:
o Extract Week Day and Month Name from a DateTime column: Another very common customer request has been to provide a built-in transformation to extract the WeekDay or Month names from a given Date/Time column. We’ve made this available from the Query Editor ribbon (either via Transform to modify an existing column, or via Add Column to insert a new one). These two options can be found under “Date -> Day -> Name of Day” and “Date -> Month -> Name of Month”, respectively. Note that the Day/Month names are localized according to the Locale setting for your Power BI Desktop file (available under File -> Options -> Current File -> Regional Settings).
o Merging Dates And Times Into A DateTime Column: Another new transformation this month allows users to combine a Date column and a Time column into a single Date/Time column. This can be achieved by selecting those two columns and clicking “Combine Date and Time” under Transform or Add Columns tabs (Date or Time menus).
o Extract Start/End Of Hour: The last new Data Transformation this month allows users to easily extract the Start or End of an Hour based on a Date/Time or Time column. These two options can be found under the Time->Hour menu in the Transform and Add Column tabs.