So, You Want to Be an Azure Synapse Spark Wizard? A Beginner’s Guide to Conjuring Data Magic

Greetings, noble data explorers! Are you ready to embark on a perilous journey into the mystical realm of Azure Synapse Spark? Fear not, for I shall be your humble guide through this enchanted land where data is transformed, and insights emerge like a phoenix from the ashes.

Azure Synapse Spark, the magical engine behind Azure Synapse Analytics, is the ultimate tool for big data processing, machine learning, and other sorcerous activities. In this enchanting blog post, I shall bestow upon you arcane knowledge that will aid you in your quest to become an Azure Synapse Spark wizard. So grab your wand (or keyboard), and let’s begin!

  1. Enter the Synapse Workspace

Before you can begin your spellcasting journey, you must first venture into the Synapse Workspace. This mystical chamber is where all your Azure Synapse Analytics resources are stored and managed. To gain entry, you’ll need an Azure account – the modern-day equivalent of a wizard’s enchanted scroll.

  1. Summon the Azure Synapse Spark Pool

Once inside the Synapse Workspace, you must summon the Azure Synapse Spark pool by navigating to the “Apache Spark pools” tab and clicking on “New.” As the portal to the magical realm opens, you’ll be asked to provide a name, size, and other mysterious properties for your Spark pool. Choose wisely, for these decisions may impact the power and performance of your spells.

  1. Conjure a Notebook

Now that you have created your Azure Synapse Spark pool, it’s time to conjure a magical notebook. These enchanted tomes will hold the spells (or code) you cast to tame the wild data beasts lurking within. To create a notebook, navigate to the “Develop” tab, click on “+” and then “Notebook.”

  1. Choose Your Wizarding Language

A wise wizard once said, “The language you choose defines the spells you can cast.” In the land of Azure Synapse Spark, you have three primary wizarding languages at your disposal: PySpark, Spark SQL, and Scala. Each language possesses unique incantations and charms, so select the one that best suits your mystical needs.

  1. Channel the Power of the Data Lake

As a budding Azure Synapse Spark wizard, you must learn to harness the raw power of the Data Lake. This vast reservoir of knowledge contains all the data you’ll need for your magical experiments. To access it, you must create a Data Lake Storage account and then link it to your Synapse Workspace. Once connected, you can import your data from the Data Lake into your enchanted notebook.

  1. Cast Your First Spell

Now, with the Data Lake’s power coursing through your veins (or notebook), you’re ready to cast your first spell. Begin by writing a simple incantation (or code) to read data from your Data Lake Storage account. As the data materializes before your very eyes, marvel at your newfound powers.

  1. Unleash the Magic of Data Transformation

With your data in hand, it’s time to weave your magic and transform it into insightful, actionable knowledge. Use your wizarding language of choice to cast spells that filter, aggregate, and manipulate the data to reveal hidden patterns and insights. Remember, practice makes perfect, and as you grow more experienced, your spells will become more potent and powerful.

  1. Share Your Wizardry with the World

A true Azure Synapse Spark wizard never hoards their magical knowledge. Instead, they share their wisdom and insights with fellow adventurers. Once you’ve conjured a captivating story from your data, export your notebook to a PDF or HTML file, and share your tale with your colleagues, friends, or the entire realm (or company). Bask in the glory of your newfound wizardry as you empower others with your illuminating discoveries.

Congratulations, intrepid data explorer! You have successfully navigated the mystical realm of Azure Synapse Spark and taken your first steps towards becoming a true data wizard. As you continue to hone your skills and delve deeper into the enchanted world of big data, machine learning, and analytics, always remember the immortal words of Albus Dumbledore, “It is our choices, [data wizards], that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

So go forth, brave wizards, and let your magical Azure Synapse Spark journey be filled with curiosity, wonder, and the occasional giggle. After all, there’s nothing quite like a well-timed data pun to lighten the mood during your most intense spellcasting sessions.

This blogpost was created with help from ChatGPT Pro.

Mastering Paginated Reports in Power BI: Tips and Tricks for Success

Power BI is a powerful tool that enables users to create interactive reports and visualizations to facilitate data-driven decision making. One of the key features of Power BI is the ability to create paginated reports. These reports, also known as ‘pixel-perfect’ or ‘SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) reports,’ provide a high level of control over report layout and formatting, making them perfect for generating invoices, official documents, or detailed data tables that need to span multiple pages.

In this blog post, we’ll explore several tips and tricks that will help you create professional and efficient paginated reports in Power BI.

  1. Plan your report layout

Before diving into Power BI, take a moment to plan your report layout. Consider the information you need to display and how it should be presented. This will ensure a more efficient design process and will help you avoid making unnecessary changes later on.

  1. Use Power BI Report Builder

To create paginated reports, you’ll need to use Power BI Report Builder. This standalone desktop application is specifically designed for creating paginated reports and provides a familiar SSRS environment. You can download the Power BI Report Builder from the Power BI website.

  1. Set up data sources and datasets

Once you’ve opened Power BI Report Builder, you’ll need to set up data sources and datasets. To do this, go to the “Report Data” window, right-click “Data Sources,” and click “Add Data Source.” After connecting to your data source, create a dataset by right-clicking “Datasets” and selecting “Add Dataset.” This process will allow you to access the data in your report.

  1. Use tables, matrices, and lists wisely

Paginated reports offer a variety of data regions, including tables, matrices, and lists. Each data region has its own unique capabilities:

  • Tables: Use tables for displaying data in a simple row and column format.
  • Matrices: Use matrices to show aggregate data, especially when you need to display row and column groupings.
  • Lists: Use lists to create free-form reports with varying data layouts.

Choose the appropriate data region based on your report’s requirements to ensure an efficient and organized layout.

  1. Leverage expressions for dynamic content

Expressions are a powerful way to create dynamic content in your paginated reports. You can use expressions to:

  • Concatenate fields
  • Format dates and numbers
  • Calculate totals and averages
  • Implement conditional formatting

Learn the basics of expression syntax and familiarize yourself with the available functions to unlock the full potential of your paginated reports.

  1. Utilize headers and footers

Headers and footers are essential for adding context and professionalism to your reports. Use them to display important information such as page numbers, report titles, and company logos. Headers and footers can also contain dynamic content using expressions, making them even more versatile.

  1. Manage page breaks and pagination

Controlling page breaks and pagination is crucial for ensuring a clean and well-organized report. Use the “Page Break” property in the properties window to control the placement of page breaks within your report. Additionally, you can use the “PrintOnFirstPage” and “PrintOnLastPage” properties to control the visibility of report items on the first and last pages.

  1. Preview and test your report

Always preview and test your report to ensure that it meets your requirements and displays correctly. This will help you identify any issues or discrepancies early in the design process, saving you time and effort in the long run.


Creating paginated reports in Power BI can be a rewarding experience when armed with the right knowledge and tools. By following the tips and tricks outlined in this blog post, you’ll be well on your way to mastering paginated reports and creating professional, efficient, and visually appealing documents. Remember to plan your layout, use the appropriate data regions, leverage expressions, and test your report thoroughly. By doing so, you’ll not only impress your colleagues and clients with your Power BI skills but also make data-driven decision-making more accessible and efficient for your organization. So, go ahead and unlock the full potential of Power BI paginated reports, and take your reporting capabilities to the next level!

This blogpost was generated by ChatGPT Pro as an experiment to see the level of quality it would generate.

Be sure to check out my YouTube channel!

I know it’s been quite some time since I’ve posted on here, and while I hope to start to post more regularly here, you can always find me posting regularly on my YouTube channel. And by regularly I mean “More than once a year” :).

It’s focused on Power BI and paginated reports, along with some other neat items I’ll sometimes focus on (like Premium per user!).

Make sure you check it out if you haven’t had the chance to do so – Chris Finlan’s YouTube channel

Thanks for reading everyone!

Happy birthday, Paginated Report Bear!


Paginated Report Bear turns 1 year old today.  He wasn’t expected to last more than a few weeks.


For those of you who aren’t familiar with Paginated Report Bear, my friend Chris Webb described him as follows – “Well, he’s the breakout social media star of 2019, a furry YouTube sensation whose incisive interviews of members of the Power BI development team have become renowned for their deep technical content and insights into the Power BI roadmap. If you’re not watching his videos on YouTube, you’re missing out.”


If you watch the very first video that “Padgie” did 1 year ago today, Chris’s description seems EXTREMELY generous.  The production quality was very low, and Mr. Matthew (my son) couldn’t even say “Paginated Reports”.  Why even do videos with a bear in the first place?  You see, my son had for some time wanted to do a YouTube video series with me where his stuffed animals would be included.  They had been granted various personalities and voices throughout the years by yours truly, and these characteristics have carried over to the videos.  I decided to rename “Mickey” to “Paginated Report Bear” because he was the lovable but dumb one, and I thought the name sounded ridiculous.  And since my (naïve) assumption was we’d do a few of these videos during my vacation, and my son would get tired of doing them, that would be that.  And that almost happened – there wasn’t any videos for a month from December to January, and I figured that was the end of it.


Then something strange happened – not only did my son want to do more, but some members of the Power BI community seemed to actually ENJOY the videos.  He was featured on Guy in a Cube, he was mentioned on the BiFocal podcast, and he was a hit at the MVP Conference in March (he even got an MVP pin!).  It was then that we decided to have him start interviewing members of the product team, starting with Lukasz back in April, and the rest is history.


But the biggest achievement of Paginated Report Bear is the one he’s taught my kids as they’ve watched their dad carry a cheap stuffed bear purchased from EBay to conferences across the country just so people can take a selfie with him – you can do something different, or be different, and be successful in your career and in life.  That means a lot, and shows the broad Power BI community can have an impact outside of the day to day product details.


So thank you, and I look forward to what the future has in store for Paginated Report Bear in the year ahead!


Free sample Power BI paginated report – Ultimate Export Report available for download

I recently came across an interesting article on MSSQLTips for SQL Server Reporting Services that showed how you could use a T-SQL query as the parameter value, and have it return a table of data as the result set from that query.  (The original article is here, and I will fully admit that all I did was take this author’s idea (and that of one of the commenters) and stick it into this sample report  – ). I wanted to see if this worked for Paginated Reports in Power BI, and of course it does!  So once I put in my connection string information for my Azure SQL database (the original article was against a traditional SQL Server database), I can write just about any select query against that database as a parameter at runtime and get back results in a nice table that can be exported out to Microsoft Excel.  I created a short video to show you how it works in practice –

Now there’s little chance I’d use this report as is in production – it’s really just a way for me to test some things, dump out data quickly, and it demos nicely.  But there are some ways you could potentially change this to make it more production friendly – have a list of dropdown values that represent the queries that you update on an ongoing basis, or even allow users to submit queries through a workflow you approve that updates the parameter list.

If you’d like to try it out yourself, feel free to download the sample report –

Ultimate Export Report

Once downloaded, you’ll need to update the data source with your connection string to whatever database you’ll use this against in Power BI Report Builder before you can use it in the service, but once you do that, you should be good to go.


Thanks for reading!

Use a Conditional Preview Image in Paginated Reports subscriptions in Power BI

Recently in Power BI, a new feature was added for Paginated Reports e-mail subscriptions where you could optionally add a preview image in the body of your e-mail message.  By default, this is the first page of your report.  However, it doesn’t have to be.  For example, in my e-mail subscription, I see the following preview image –


But when I view the report in the PDF attachment or in the web, I see the following report links as my first page –


How is this possible?

Well, one of the cool things you can do with Paginated Reports is set the visibility of items in your report to be conditional.  You do this by adding an expression that sets the condition for when it should be shown or hidden.  Since the preview image in your e-mail subscription uses the “IMAGE” output format, all I did was set the visibility of an item to be conditional based on that.  So I took all of the items you see in that preview image and added them to a tablix, then made that conditionally visible based on the following expression –
=ucase(Globals!RenderFormat.Name) <> “IMAGE”   

Now, the report renderer knows to hide that part of the report whenever the renderer is something other than the “IMAGE” output format.  I’ve attached the sample report below so you can try this out yourself.  You can test this in the Power BI service (if you have Premium) by setting up a new e-mail subscription with it, or in Power BI Report Builder by exporting it to a TIFF file.

Download Sample Report

Thanks for reading!

Use Outlook, Microsoft Flow and Paginated Reports to create Power BI Report and Dashboard E-Mail Subscriptions with PDF attachments


I hear this ask quite a bit these days – I want to be able to create e-mail subscriptions with PDF (or other file format) attachments of my full Power BI report or dashboard.  Well, you can actually do this already, thanks to Microsoft Flow and Paginated Reports in Power BI Premium or SQL Server Reporting Services/Power BI Report Server if you chose to do so.

If you read my blog post last week, I showed you how to use Flow to take your e-mail attachments and save them to a OneDrive for Business folder.  While I did it for PDF’s in that example, you can do it for any attachment type, including images, which is what you get today as an attachment when you subscribe to a Power BI Report or Dashboard.  The challenge is if you want an attachment of a full Power BI report, you only get one report page image per subscription.  However, you can stitch those items together into a paginated report that’s hosted either in Power BI Premium or SSRS and set that up as a subscription with a full report attachment.  Here’s how –

Let’s say I have four report pages total in my Power BI report.  I’ll create four subscriptions, 1 for each page.


Next, I’m going to create a paginated report where I show each of those images on a different page.  Since they are optimized for landscape, I am going to change my report properties to landscape in Power BI Report Builder.


With paginated reports, you can surface images one of three ways in your report.  You can do it either as an embedded image, an external image, or from a Database. 


Embedded images are what I used for the Paginated Report Bear sample report – I literally just saved the image files in the rdl you could download.  That doesn’t help in this use case. 

If I want to use an external images for each of the files, which is a URL image I point to, than I can create a Flow where I save the e-mail attachments from my Power BI subscriptions to a folder in OneDrive (personal), and then use the embed URL from each of those images as external sources for my report.  Each time I save a new image with the same name, my embed URL doesn’t change, so I can update the images as often as I like using Flow and my report will always show the latest.  I just need to add four images to my paginated report, each with a link to one of the report page URLs, and I’m done!

Anyone who cares about security is going bonkers right now, since sticking them in my personal OneDrive means they’re publicly available to anyone in the world.  A better (and safer) solution I’m using is saving them to an Azure SQL database, and then surfacing them as “Database” images in my paginated report.  My flow looks like this for that scenario –


What I did here was create a table in an Azure SQL database with three fields, and the Attachment field is an Image field.  (This is an admittedly sloppy table written for a blog post vs. production use.)  I also narrowed down the scope of the attachments by limiting the flow to those e-mails from the following address (I could be even more precise, but dinner is waiting in the other room) –


Now when my Flow is triggered (it checks my inbox every minute), if it finds a new item matching that rule, I see a new entry in my SQL table like so. 


With them saved to a SQL database, I have a few different options how to surface them in my report.  Either I do them as standalone items with a page break in between (Check out these two pages when I export out the report out to Word) –


With this method, I’m setting my SQL query to always show the most recent image for each page of my report.

Or perhaps in a table as a collection showing different report states over time if I want to show all the report images


Now, with my images saved in a paginated report, I can load it to either the Power BI service OR SQL Server Reporting Services, setup my subscription, choose the output format (PDF, Word, etc.) and there you have it – full report attachments of my Power BI reports sent as e-mail subscriptions!

Thanks for reading!

Use Microsoft Flow to archive PDF’s of your Paginated Reports in Power BI

With the recent announcement around E-Mail Subscription support for Paginated Reports in Power BI, you can now have full PDF’s of those reports sent to your inbox on a regular basis. This has been an ask for quite some time in Power BI, but many users have also been looking for the ability to subscribe and have these files delivered a specific location as well, like a OneDrive for Business folder. While we don’t have native functionality for that yet in Power BI, you can use Microsoft Flow to achieve this by taking the e-mail attachment from your inbox and moving it.  Here’s a step by step way to do just that.

First, go to and do a search for “OneDrive”

The first result returned (for me, anyways) is “Save Office 365 email attachments to OneDrive for Business”


Select that, and you’ll see the following recipe –


It’ll confirm you’ve provided your credentials for both Office 365 Outlook and OneDrive for Business


At this point, you can simply hit “Create Flow” and be done if you wanted to.  However, if you do so, all attachments sent to your Office 365 inbox will be saved in a folder called “Email attachments from Flow”.  Instead, you might not want EVERY attachment in your inbox to go into this folder, but instead just the ones from your Power BI subscriptions, or maybe just a few specific subscriptions.  If that’s the case, we’ll need to make a couple quick changes.  Hit the “Edit” button at the top of the screen


The recipe will look like this right now


Click on the “Show Advanced Options” under new email.  You’ll see a number of new options you can set to narrow the criteria under which this Flow will run.


I’m going to set one where the Subject Filter is based on my e-mail subscription subject name


Now it’ll only be done for that particular subscription.  However, I’d like it to add the date to the name of the file so I can easily keep track of which PDF file is for which date.  To do that, I’m going to edit this item


by adding two new steps and modifying the “Create file” to append the date to the attachment name.  Add two “Compose” steps – in the first, add the attachment name.  In the second, add the following expression  –


Finally, change the “Create file” name to the Output of Compose 2.  This will change the file name to a combination of the date and the attachment name.   Once you’re done, your steps in the “Apply to each attachment” item should look like this –


And your entire Flow like this –


To make sure it works, let’s test it out.  I’ve sent myself a sample e-mail


So I’ll run a Test clicking the “Test Icon” in the upper right-hand corner


And I’ll use the data from Office 365 Outlook, since I already have the mail in my inbox


The test runs, and says it has been successfulimage

Checking my OneDrive folder, I see that sure enough the attachment is there with the proper date format appended.


That’s all you need to do.  Just hit save, and it’ll automatically run against your inbox on an ongoing basis without any work needed on your part.

Microsoft Flow, in combination with Power BI Paginated Reports, provides a powerful way to save report snapshots or, with several additional file types soon to be available for your paginated reports subscriptions, data extracts, in a central location for you to easily archive and share.

Thanks for reading!

Create your first table export report from a Power BI Dataset in Paginated Report Builder

Welcome back!

In last week’s post, I promised to walk you through how to create a simple table report in Power BI Paginated Report Builder from a Power BI dataset.  Why would someone want to do this, you ask?  Well, how many tables in your Power BI Desktop reports look like this?


So while you can interact with it in the browser and scroll to see all the rows, when you export it out to PDF, it looks like this.


Having tables in Power BI reports auto-expand when exporting is a common ask amongst Power BI users.  Unfortunately, the current behavior won’t be changing anytime soon.  With paginated reports, however, your tables can auto-expand across several pages upon export, and they’re designed for just this type of use case.  Let’s walk through how to build a paginated report for this table against the same Power BI dataset.

Make sure you’ve downloaded and installed Power BI Report Builder as a first step.  Once that’s done, create a new blank report as your project.


From there, right-click on the “Data Sources” folder and select “Add Data Source”


You have two options at this point –

1. You choose SQL Server Analysis Services as your source and connect to your Power BI Dataset in the service.  (Currently, this requires your dataset be in a workspace backed by Power BI Premium, but this will work against datasets in non-premium workspaces in the near future.)  You’re doing so using the “XMLA endpoint” that was discussed in a recent announcement.  As Christian states in the post, use the following URL format to address a workspace as though it were an Analysis Services server name –

powerbi://[your workspace name]

myorg can be replaced with your tenant name (e.g. “”).

[your workspace name] is case sensitive and can include spaces.

If you’d prefer, you can easily copy the full URL you need from the dataset settings and paste that into your Connection string.  I’ll do that for my report –


My connection string looks like the following after pasting it in.  Power BI Report Builder will automatically place “Data Source=” in front of the connection string I’ve pasted in to make sure it works properly.


Click “OK” to save this data source in your report.

2.  Alternately, you can use a Power BI Desktop file locally as your SQL Server Analysis Services data source to create this report against by using the diagnostics port Microsoft documented in 2018.  This may help accelerate development in certain scenarios by allowing you to build this out when you’re traveling on a plane, etc, and also allow you to test performance of the paginated report in more advanced scenarios you want to tackle (I confirmed with Adam Wilson there was no issue with letting folks know about this).  Just make sure you change your connection string for your data source after publishing your Power BI Desktop file and prior to publishing the paginated report to your Power BI workspace using the information I just covered.

Now matter which option you’ve chosen, the tutorial I walkthrough proceeds the same way.

Next, right-click on the “Add Dataset” to add a new dataset to your report.


Datasets in paginated reports are a little different than those in Power BI reports you might be used to.  A dataset in a paginated report is just a single query that runs against the selected data source and returns data.  You can have several datasets in your report, but in this example, we just need one.


I’ll name my dataset, select the data source I want to run it against, and click the “Query Designer” to create my query I want to run and return data from.  As I mentioned on Twitter earlier this week, Paginated Report Builder has a visual designer that will craft the DAX query once I drag and drop the fields in I need.  I just need three for this particular query, and get the following result when I execute it.


Looks like I have everything, so I click OK and then save my dataset.


Now let’s build the table for our report.  Select the Insert tab, then click Table and choose to run the Table Wizard


I select the dataset I just created, and drag and drop the fields into the groups accordingly.  I want each row have a “State”, and have each “Year” be a column.  My values are a simple sum of the “DODs” field.  This allows me to have subtotals and grand totals for my groups if I choose to do so.  I have what I need, so I click Next.


I’ll leave the “Show subtotals and grand totals” checked and complete the table wizard.


I’m going to delete the column group on the right of my table that says “Total” at the top by right-clicking on it.  With that change, my table looks like the following.


You don’t see data changing live when you’re designing the report like you do with Power BI Desktop.  Instead, it’s a similar experience to designing a Mail Merge document in Microsoft Word – you’re creating a layout of how you’d like your report to look, then feed the data from the data source to generate the report/document.  To see the report you’ve designed with your actual data, click “Run” from the toolbar under the Home tab.


Here’s what my report looks like.


I’ll export it to PDF to confirm it will auto-expand across multiple pages, and sure enough it does.


If you’ve stayed with me this far through the post, thank you and you’ve finished creating a simple table report against a Power BI dataset.  There’s clearly much more I could do to make this look prettier, but it isn’t necessary in this particular scenario for my users (which is, well, me).  In a follow-up later this month, I’ll have a short final post around publishing this to the service and linking to it from my Power BI report there.

Have a great weekend!

Ten reasons why you should download and learn to use Power BI Paginated Report Builder

Happy weekend all!

Yesterday was a big day for the Power BI team, as we released the first edition of Power BI Paginated Report Builder.  Why is this such a big deal?  Well, while Report Builder has been around for years, many Power BI users have not only never used the product, they’ve never tried to build a paginated report, period.  Now they can do just that, and I’m going to cover the top ten reasons why, if you use Power BI, you should download and learn to use Power BI Paginated Report Builder.

Download Power BI Paginated Report Builder

1. It’s Free.

It’s completely free to download and use.  Who doesn’t like free?

2. It doesn’t require Power BI Premium (or even Pro) to use it.

As many in the community know, Paginated Reports are available in Premium workspaces only (Here’s a link to up vote making this feature more widely available in Power BI – Paginated Reports in Pro and Premium).  However, just like Power BI Desktop, there’s no Power BI license required to use it locally.  So not only can you author reports, you can render and view them like you would in the service.  Take a look at the sample report Paginated Report Bear created back in November in the tool –


I have a similar experience as I would as a consumer in Power BI, including several key items I’ll cover shortly.

3. You can use it to connect to any Power BI dataset in Premium to build reports

As my colleague Christian Wade announced last week, you can now use the XMLA endpoint to access your Power BI datasets in Premium.  Paginated Report Builder supports this connectivity option as well, and it’s super easy to do.  Simply copy the connection string from the “Settings” tab of your dataset in the Power BI service –


Then create a new “SQL Server Analysis Services” data source in Power BI Report Builder.  Type the phrase “Data Source =” in the Connection string dialog, paste the copied string from Power BI in there and hit “Test Connection”.  You’ll be asked to sign into Power BI, and assuming you’ve followed these simple steps, it’ll connect successfully and you can start building paginated reports with it!


4. You can connect to any Power BI dataset via XMLA, even if that capacity or workspace doesn’t also support Paginated Reports

While Paginated Reports are only available in a P1 SKU and above (or A4 SKU and above), the XMLA endpoint is available in every SKU, including down to A1 or EM1.  So you can create and use Power BI datasets from any workspace that supports the XMLA endpoint when authoring your reports.  The only restriction is that when we support publishing reports with Power BI datasets to the service later this month, you just need to publish it back to a workspace that does support Paginated Reports.  Don’t worry that your dataset might be sitting in a different capacity or workspace – we’ll explain more when we announce support in the official blogpost.

5. With the ability to use the same Power BI datasets used for your interactive reports, you can easily create basic paginated reports for scenarios as simple as exporting tables of data, or a print-friendly view of your Power BI Desktop report.

I’ll be the first to admit many things in Paginated Report Builder are harder for report authors to achieve than they are in Power BI Desktop.  But for many basic scenarios, like creating a simple table I know users will want to export out large amount of data from, Paginated Report Builder makes that very, very simple and is often times a better option.  I’ll have a walk through in a follow-up post where I can show you how to do either of these scenarios with your Power BI datasets, in some cases in a matter of minutes.

6. Paginated Reports published back to Power BI don’t have any data export limitations

I covered this in an earlier blogpost – Yes, you can export unlimited** rows of data from Paginated Reports in Power BI, but if your organization has Premium workspaces that support Paginated Reports, this is worth keeping in mind.  Now that you can create paginated reports against your datasets in Power BI Premium, having a simple paginated report for export scenarios might help unlock certain scenarios you couldn’t before for your users.

7. You can print your reports right from Paginated Report Builder

You probably noticed in the earlier screenshot there was a print option for a report you’re viewing in the tool.  You weren’t imaging it – you can print out your report right from the toolbar, and can even look at a Print Layout view of your report while interacting with it.  This option isn’t even available in SQL Server Reporting Services (!), and is a great way to see how your report will look once you do print it out.


8. You can export your report from Paginated Report Builder to several different formats, including PDF, Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

In addition to the ability to Print, you can also export to several different formats right from the toolbar when viewing your report.  This is a powerful capability that few tools have in their authoring environment right out of the box.

9. In a future update, we’ll have support to connect to Power BI datasets in non-Premium workspaces when authoring reports. 

This will make this even more of a no-brainer, as it’ll open up all the scenarios we’ve discussed in this post to any Power BI dataset.  Look for more details on this in the coming weeks.

10. There’s a lot of material to help you get started

A great place to start is with Patrick LeBlanc from the Guy in a Cube channel, who I work closely with.  He has put together several videos around Paginated Reports to help get you going.  Additionally, you should see several more in the coming weeks as more and more functionality is announced, plus the blog posts I’ll be adding as well.  I’ve added the playlist from YouTube below.

Paginated Reports playlist

I could keep going, but ten feels like a good place to stop on a lazy Saturday.  If you’ve never tried paginated reports before, now is your chance!  Go download Power BI Paginated Report Builder today and learn what all the fuss is about.

Thanks for reading!