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It is Time to Migrate Power BI for Office 365

Don't forget to migrate Power BI for Office 365 content before you leave for the holidays. Deprecation of Power BI for Office 365 starts at the end of December 2015. Here is what you need to know to successfully move your business intelligence content to the latest and greatest version of Microsoft Power BI. 

On January 27, 2015, Microsoft announced new Power BI product offerings and licensing updates. The company also shared that the existing Power BI for Office 365 experiences and licenses will be deprecated on December 31, 2015. If you are a Power BI for Office 365 customer, the new Power BI offering was made available in a side-by-side manner with your existing Power BI for Office 365 content this past year. As the year comes to a close, it is now time to make sure that you get Power BI for Office 365 content moved into the new Power BI version. If you have been following the updates to the latest version of Power BI, you will not be disappointed in making this move!

Where to Start

If you have not already begin to do so, get familiar with what is new in Power BI 2.0. There are a lot of fantastic improvements including but by no means limited to the following:

  • Modern HTML5 reporting and dashboards
  • Power BI Desktop - free app that unifies Excel Power Pivot, Power Query and Power View
  • Larger scale reporting with streaming, hybrid on-premises and direct connect data sources
  • Intelligent data discovery with Cortana Analytics, R and automated insights
  • Native mobile apps for iOS, Android and Windows devices 

As a result, there is a learning curve to get up to speed on the latest innovations. The Power BI teams do release a ton of new capabilities on a weekly basis so also plan to set aside time just to keep track of what is new more regularly than you have in the past. Check out the material on Power BI docs online, recorded webinars and the Power BI YouTube videos

You can navigate to the new Power BI experience if you have the older version of Power BI for Office 365 by simply selecting the app launcher icon in the top left corner in Office 365. Immediately you will notice huge changes to the overall user experience. Under the covers, there are also quite a few significant changes in administration, architecture and set up. Here is a high level comparison overview from the official Power BI migration white paper, a must read paper for anyone making this transition. 

Mapping Old to New Power BI

In the earlier version of Power BI, you had My Power BI for your own BI data and BI Sites for team collaboration. In the new version of Power BI, you have still have that functionality but it is now called My Workspace and Group Workspace. For the time being, there is no longer a Favorites feature per se. You can organize your favorites content in Group Workspaces and choose to add others to your Group. There is also a different approach for the organization level data catalog and data stewardship that is now part of Azure Data Catalog

The migration process of moving content and setting up the new Power BI Gateways is not automated. You will need time to work through all of the necessary steps. Before you migrate, you will want to make sure that you have Office 365 Unified Groups set up and also ramp up on One Drive for Business. One Drive for Business is a key content storage change from the previous version architecture that relied on SharePoint document libraries. In the migration process, you will set up your data sources again and also move Excel workbook content from your BI Site to a Group OneDrive for Business location. You will likely import Excel workbooks to use as data sets, connect to entire Excel workbooks for viewing in Excel Online or pin cell ranges from Excel workbooks in the latest Power BI. To keep your data up to date, you will set up and configure new data refresh schedules with Personal or Enterprise Data Gateway. Take notes on your current Power BI settings and then uninstall the previous Power BI Gateway before installing the new one. 

For Power Bi Administrators, the Power BI Admin Center will continue to work for features that are available in Power BI 2.0. See the Power BI migration white paper and Power BI docs online for more detail. If you want to prevent users from adding Power BI 2.0 to your organization's Office 365 tenant, you can disable automatic license distribution.  Most notably administrators today will not have the centralized usage reporting or data stewardship features for the latest version of Power BI. Improved Power BI governance capabilities, administrative reporting and integration with the new Azure Data Catalog are currently a work in progress.    

Need Help

By no means is this article a step-by-step on how to migrate from the old version of Power BI. If you need help migrating content from Power BI for Office 365 to the newer version, check out the mentioned white paper, docs online topic and the Power BI Community Site to freely ask questions and get answers from those in the know. Microsoft product team members and experts in the community staff those forums. You can alternatively call a Microsoft Power BI Partner or MVP in your region to assist you.  

Don't wait much longer! Migrate as soon as you can. Time is running out. Before you know it, you will be hurrying out the door to pick up that last must-have holiday gift and to enjoy New Year's Eve celebrations. 

 

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