Power BI Report Distribution Options by License

User requirements for distributing Power BI reports vary widely. They include everything from sharing dashboards within a division to embedding a dashboard in an external application to emailing pixel perfect PDFs on a regular basis. Each Power BI license-type allows for different distribution options. Puzzling out the best license to meet your report distribution requirements is complex. For that reason, we created a matrix that makes it easy to match up methods of report and dashboard distribution to license. Because guess what? You can save a good chunk of change with the right environment.

Use our matrix to match up the type of license with your architectural implementation (cloud or on-prem) and your business requirements. With it you’ll be able to answer questions like some of these we commonly hear from clients:

  • We have Power BI Premium and need to start sharing reports outside. What are our options?
  • I want to do paginated reporting. Now what?
  • We have multiple requirements: We want to embed reports internally and externally plus we want paginated reporting for some internal departments. What do I use?

Power BI report distribution options by license

Report distribution options, with and without Premium

While report bursting and paginated reporting functionality are limited to Power BI Premium, many license types offer:

  • The ability to embed reports in other applications
  • Excellent report integration with Excel, Sharepoint and Teams
  • Great mobile apps that allow users to view and interact with reports

If you were thinking you can’t do these things without having to pay for a Premium experience, think again! Many of these options are available with a Pro license and you just need Power BI Service to get mobile access.

For bursting and paginated reports, however, you will need to move up to Power BI Premium.  But the answer isn’t always to use a P-level license. Depending on your needs, you might be able to stand up an A-level license to fulfill your requirements.

Comparison Chart of Microsoft Data & Analytics Technologies

Common report distribution requirements

In addition to the standard dashboard sharing or using the mobile apps, there are four general report distribution requirements.

Bursting/data-driven subscriptions. Bursting lets you automatically send parameterized reports, meaning you can determine who gets what data. For instance, you can set parameters so that your sales managers get a report showing the performance of all their salespeople while the salespeople receive a report showing just their individual numbers.

Paginated reports (pixel perfect reporting). Paginated reports are formatted to allow easy printing or sending as a PDF in email. You can also send them as CSV files and Excel extracts.

Report subscriptions. Power BI email subscriptions allow your users to receive regular emails of the reports of their choice. The email can include a snapshot image with a link to the report on Power BI service or it can include an attachment of a paginated report.

Embedded reports. Embedding reports let you share reports with non-Power BI licensed users, inside or outside of your organization or application. Reports can be embedded in external or internal applications (e.g. an ERP system where you want to show trending reports), websites, SharePoint and Teams. The embedded application handles who can see and interact with the data.

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Jumping on the Premium bandwagon may not be the most efficient or most cost-effective way to meet your reporting requirements. It pays, no pun intended, to look closer at the capabilities included with each license. Use our chart to help you piece together the right combination of licensing options and save yourself money.

Power BI report distribution options by license

We love Power BI, but we know navigating all the options and knowing where to optimize the platform can be tricky, not to mention time consuming. If you’d like help with any aspect of your Power BI environment – whether it’s around report distribution options or system performance concerns or reducing cost of ownership around Premium capacity – we can help.

Just starting to move beyond the free Power BI capabilities? In about a day, Senturus will put you on the path to efficient, accurate and shareable dashboard reporting. Learn more.

Need to upgrade to PBI Premium to get the report distribution you need? We can help you (and save you money) by configuring it correctly so you need to purchase less capacity. Learn more.

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