Deployment pipelines in Power BI

Paula Lotsari Integration Specialist, Solita

Published 06 May 2024

Reading time 3 min

This is the second part of a blog series on good Power BI practices. Topics vary from development tips to governance and from documentation to version control with concrete examples when applicable.

Read the first part of the series about documentation here.

The deployment pipeline provides an efficient and reliable content delivery mechanism that minimises data usage interruptions for the end user. With a deployment pipeline companies can organise their production environment and manage the lifecycle of the content. It’s a way to ensure the integrity of the content before it reaches a wider audience. Simply put, when a company is using reporting to get value out of data the use of deployment pipelines is essential.

Here are a few insights everyone should consider when using deployment pipelines in Power BI:

  • To get the most value out of a deployment pipeline, set it up right away when you start to create reports. When using Power BI’s deployment pipeline, you can do backwards deployments. But this can cause problems such as workspace item duplication. So, to get the pipeline running optimally the deployment pipeline right from the get-go.
  • Sharing a pipeline with another user grants them admin privileges, including the ability to view, share, edit, and delete the pipeline. This is good to keep in mind when managing access rights. Don’t forget to add rights to the Power BI admin.
  • When setting up a deployment pipeline, use parameters to differentiate between development, testing and production environments. With parameters, it is easy to define data sources used in different environments and set environment-related other parameters such as fetching data from different time periods to limit the amount of data the environment has access to.
  • If Power Apps visuals are used in the Power BI report, the deployment pipeline doesn’t support changing the data source environment Power App visuals are using.
  • Even though deploying items using deployment pipelines is easy and fast, remember that you don’t need to deploy everything from your workspace. Utilise selective deployment and choose only the updated report and its related items for deployment.
  • A pipeline’s deployment history is an important tool when reading up on changes in certain reports or troubleshooting deployment issues. In addition to the automatically viewable information about the environment, the changes that were made, the date and time, the person who did the deployment, and the new and/or changed items included in the deployment, developers can leave a note about the deployment they made. Notes are especially useful when there are several people developing the same reports.
  • Make sure that the newest version of the report is always in version control before deployment.
  • To make deployment even easier, you can automate deployment by using Power BI’s REST APIs. Power BI has REST APIs for selective and full deployment. We at Solita can help you out with automated deployments, so don’t hesitate to contact us.

Power BI’s deployment pipeline feature is accessible to those using Power BI Premium capacity, Premium per user licenses or Fabric licenses. 

  1. Data
  2. Tech