One of the most distinctive features of Power BI and Power BI Desktop are data visualizations, also known as visuals. Visuals allow users to interact with their data and help them find business insights.
Back in July 2015, Microsoft announced the release of custom visuals, along with the general availability of Power BI. Now, the company has announced in a blog post that it has begun moving the Power BI custom visuals to the Office Store.
As for the custom visuals gallery, it will still be available after Microsoft has finished moving the custom visuals to the Office Store.
The Office Store is the place to find apps (called add-ins) for the Office 365 software. It provides millions of Office 365 users with solutions which help them work more efficiently.
Custom visuals have been a part of Power BI since the suite’s launch. According to Microsoft, transferring the custom visuals gallery to the Office Store will help users search and download them more easily.
Users can already find many visuals in the Office Store and Microsoft is working to onboard the rest of them within a few weeks.
Some of the custom visuals you can find at the Office Store are:
- Mekko Chart: A mix of 100% stacked column chart and 100% stacked bar chart combined into one view
- Bullet Chart: A bar chart with extra visual elements to provide additional context. Useful for tracking goals
- Histogram Chart: Visualises the distribution of data over a continuous interval or certain time period
Here is what the integration of custom visuals with the Office Store means for users, according to Microsoft:
- “An easy navigation experience using categories and search. We created a set of categories just for custom visuals.
- A details page for each visual with high quality screenshots and videos to introduce you to the visual.
- Reviews and ratings are available as a feedback channel to the developer and also a way for you to help others gauge quality of a visual.”
Developers get broader exposure
The transition of the custom visuals gallery to the Office Store also improves the experience for developers of custom visuals. Thanks to the gallery moving to the Office Store, developers will now be able to use the Office developer center.
Developers are now be able to:
- “Submit [their] custom visuals in an easy to use web portal.
- Manage [their] custom visual submissions.
- Track how many people visited [their] custom visual page in the store and downloaded it.
- Get direct feedback from users through the review system to help [them] improve the visual.”
In addition, thanks to the huge user base of Office 365, the custom visuals created by developers will be available to millions of Office 365 subscribers. For more information on how to submit custom visuals to the Office Store, check here.
Microsoft to “kill” gallery on April 30
According to Microsoft’s blog post, the current custom visuals gallery will still be available after the company has finished moving the custom visuals to the Office Store. However, VentureBeat claims to have spoken with a Microsoft spokesperson who has said that the gallery will be retired on April 30.
To learn more about Power BI visuals, check the videos below: