Paginated Reports are the SQL Server Reporting services which have come to Power BI. Through Paginated reporting, we can now print and share what we call “paginated” because they tend to be well formatted and fit well on a page.
1. Understanding Paginated Reports
Paginated reports are based on the Report Definition Language file in SQL Server Reporting Services. They are also called “Pixel Perfect” because you can control the report layout for each page. We can also load images and charts onto these reports. Paginated reports are best for scenarios that require a highly formatted, pixel-perfect output optimized for printing or PDF generation.
2. Where to create Paginated Reports?
We can make use of Power BI Report Builder, a tool used to create paginated reports and have them published on the Power BI Service. This is a standalone tool from Power BI.
Alternatively, we can make use of SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS). These reports are compatible with the Power BI Service. Power BI Service maintains backward compatibility.
3. Data Sources for Paginated Reports
Paginated Reports can have multiple data sources connected. It does not have an underlying data model. Report builder can directly fetch and read the data onto the reports from the server.
Currently, the below data sources are supported;
- Azure SQL Database and Data Warehouse
- Azure Analysis Services (via SSO)
- SQL Server via a gateway
- SQL Server Analysis Services via a gateway
- Power BI Premium Datasets
There will be more additional sources added in the future.
4. Licensing for Paginated Reports in Power BI
We will need to either have a License purchased for Power BI Embedded or have a Power BI Premium – Capacity P1, P2 or P3. This is used to host the paginated reports onto the Power BI Service.
In order to use Paginated reports in your Power BI Service, you will need to do the following. In your workspace go to settings, under Admin Portal-> Capacity Settings.
Scroll down to Workloads-> Paginated Reports and turn it ON. You will need to specify a memory (capacity) provided for the paginated reports to be used on the Power BI Service.
Create a workspace and assign Dedicated Capacity by turning the toggle to ON.
5. Setting up subscriptions of the Reports to Users
We will need to click on the subscribe button which can be found on the top right of the Paginated Report. This will enable the option to send the Paginated Report as an email to users. You can then set the subscription frequency, body and header of the email to be sent with the pdf file of the paginated report.
6. Exporting options in Power BI Service
We can currently export Paginated Reports in multiple formats like Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, PDF, CSV, XML, and MHTML.
7. Limitations on Paginated Reports
- Pinning report pages or visuals to Power BI dashboards. You can still pin visualizations to a Power BI dashboard from an on-premises paginated report on a Power BI Report Server or Reporting Services report server. See Pin Reporting Services items to Power BI dashboards for more information
- Interactive features such as document maps and show/hide buttons are currently not possible
- Subreports and drill through reports
- Shared data sources and shared datasets
- Visuals from Power BI reports
- Custom Fonts
Know more about Microsoft Power BI services offerings from Visual BI solutions here.