Microsoft has previewed dynamic subscriptions for paginated reports in Power BI. The feature aims to distribute a personalized copy of a report to each recipient of an email subscription. It allows users to set up subscriptions with parameters that can change based on data-driven logic. This means that the content of the report can be tailored to the recipient's needs without manual intervention.
Paginated reports in Power BI, often referred to as “pixel-perfect” reports, allow for precise control over layout and formatting. They are designed to be printed or shared, displaying all data in a table, even if it spans multiple pages. Paginated reports have been a standard report format in SQL Server Reporting Services and are now available in the Power BI service. Microsoft details the process of setting up subscriptions for paginated reports on the Power BI Blog.
How Dynamic Subscriptions for Paginated Reports Work
Consider a scenario where a sales report needs to be sent to various regional managers, each focused on their specific sales territory. If the report is parameterized by sales territory, dynamic subscriptions can send the report so each manager only views data relevant to their region.
This distribution is achieved by connecting to a Power BI dataset that maps recipients to their respective parameters. When the report is sent, the latest dataset data determines which manager gets which report and with which parameters.
Setup of Dynamic Subscriptions for Paginated Reports
The report should be saved in a workspace backed by a capacity (e.g., Power BI Premium capacity, Microsoft Fabric trial, or Microsoft Fabric capacity). Users need build permissions to a Power BI dataset containing recipient email addresses and the parameter values for each recipient.
- Navigate to a parameterized paginated report.
- Choose “Subscribe to report” and then select the “Dynamic per recipient (Preview)” option.
- Select a Power BI dataset with recipient data.
- Choose columns from the dataset that will vary for each recipient.
- Map the dataset column with email addresses to the recipients.
- On the Parameters page, map dataset columns to report parameters.
- Specify the subscription frequency on the Schedule page.
- Review and save the subscription.
Rollout and Limitations
According to Microsoft the subscription-feature for Paginated Reports “will start lighting up in certain regions as soon as today, but depending on the geography in which your Power BI tenant is located, it may take up to two weeks to appear.”
The company points out that “the feature is in Preview, meaning it's now automatically available for all customers to try and we will be shipping improvements over the coming months. As a Preview feature, it's not available to customers located in Sovereign Clouds.”
“The initial limit on number of unique copies of a report per a single dynamic subscription is 50. Power BI tenant administrators can control whether this feature is available in their tenant, along with standard email subscriptions, with the Users can set up email subscriptions admin setting”, says Microsoft.
Licensing and Requirements for Paginated Reports
To create paginated reports, users need to install the Power BI Report Builder. Licensing requirements for publishing these reports are the same as for regular Power BI reports. With a free license, users can publish paginated reports to “My Workspace” in the Power BI service. However, with a Power BI Pro or PPU license, they can publish to other workspaces, provided they have at least a contributor role in the workspace.