How to get started with Power BI Project Team & Version Control

About

By Jaime Mabini, Data Engineer

Think about the story that you want to tell with data and make it happen with the help of Power BI

Would you like to know how to get the best knowledge out of your data? And also make it easily interpreted? With the help of following instructions, you will learn how to improve Power BI and versioning collaborate – without any extra costs. We will teach you step by step with the help of pictures, to how get started. 

Version control allows us to track and apply changes with ease. It presents us the capabilities to roll back with any changes implemented, provisions developers the benefits of having a backup without creating excessive copies of the file. Version control is essential for any developer regardless of level.

Most often, firms’ projects are handled by various specialists who are part of one team. Version control setup enables multiple users to have access to the same file. It applies changes depending on the permission given and provides collaboration work with specialists having to make changes.

If you need any help with Power BI or other data-related matters don’t hesitate to contact us! Our professionals are more than happy to help your company towards success.

PART 1. Let’s get started 

For using Power BI all you need is Office 365Proceed to SharePoint and create a new Team site as shown in picture. 

  1. Give a site name. In this example its named as Etlia’s PBI Projects & Version Control.
  2. Add users to the site. User group can also be added to the site and user changes can be made later if needed. 

Note that this will create a new group in Azure Active Directory and no further action is needed.

Configuring SharePoint site with OneDrive

3. Create a folder inside the new SharePoint site as shown below.
4. Under Documents -> New -> Folder
5. Name the Folder accordingly. In this example I named the folder Etlia’s PBI Projects.

OneDrive Synchronization

6. Next is you need to sync this folder with your OneDrive. Do this by clicking Sync on the top Ribbon as shown in the image below

This will automatically create you a link between your SharePoint file and OneDrive.

7. Open and check File Explorer to see if the sync is successful

7.1 Promptly you can add a File to this OneDrive folder that will automatically sync with the folder you created in the SharePoint site.

SharePoint view
File Explorer / OneDrive view

Now you have tested sync successfully! 

PBI Services: (https://app.powerbi.com/home)

Important: Note that all changes that will be applied to the report should be done in the file located in OneDrive folder and NOT the file located in SharePoint. ALWAYS Open and edit the report from OneDrive.

PART 2. Configuring PBI services 

1. First locate the Workspace that we want to published/link the file. 
1.1 For this example, we will use PBI Version Control Space workspace.

2. Next, we need to link the workspace to the OneDrive version that we created which is link to our SharePoint site.
2.1 Do this by Clicking Workspace -> locate workspace -> ellipses next to the workspace name
  -> Workspace settings

3. In the Workspace Settings click Advanced -> Locate Workspace OneDrive -> Add the OneDrive/SharePointsite that we created -> Click Save

4. After connecting the workspace to our OneDrive, go inside the Workspace, in the Bottom left corner -> click Get Data

5. Inside Get Data page -> Click Files to bring the report that is located in OneDrive.

6. Now you will see that our OneDrive version is available – great! 

7. Choose OneDrive – Etlia’s PBI Projects & Version Control. It will send us to the folders that are created inside the SharePoint site.

8. Access the folder and select the file that you wish to upload. In this case, we currently have one report VersionControl_Test.pbix -> Click Connect

8.1 This will be uploaded to the chosen workspace

Now we have our integration fully set up and functional. We can immediately start testing if the functionality completely and accurately works.

9. We can begin testing by opening the pbix. file from OneDrive. This will open the file on PBI desktop. Apply changes to the report for testing and save the report.
Note that we don’t need to re-publish the report from PBI desktop to PBI services. After saving the new changes applied to the report (in PBI desktop), this will automatically sync and update the current report published in PBI services.

10. After saving the changes, wait for a few minutes while the file is syncing, after the file successfully synced. The changes will now be updated and available in PBI services.

11. We can check the version history of the changes made in SharePoint site:

12. We can use this to roll-back the changes we applied.

Notice: In this example, we made changes to the report 4x. If I Restore this report using the first modification, it will restore the report to the state when it was firstly created and overwrite all changes made. This allows us to track and apply changes with ease. Presents us the capabilities to roll back with any changes implemented, provisions us the benefits of having a backup without creating any excessive copies of the file.

Important notes: 

  • After creating the Folder inside the SharePoint site, synchronize this folder to your OneDrive. 
  • Link the Workspace to the OneDrive file created. 
  • Always open and apply changes on the file located in the OneDrive folder. 
  • No need to re-publish the report after making changes. Save the report, and the changes will sync with report that is published.
    • If the report was accidentally re-published from PBI desktop to PBI services. Don’t worry, this will only create another copy of the report in the services. This can be deleted if needed.