Latest Power BI updates in Service and Mobile in 2023, part 3

BI & Data Science Analyst at 10 Senses

If you are a Power BI developer, data analyst, or other data professional who uses the Power BI suite on a regular basis, you must be aware that they release feature summaries with the latest Power BI updates each month as blog posts.

In fact, it is worthwhile to keep track of these updates. They usually contain:

  • new functionality announcements in public preview or general availability,
  • new connector updates,
  • new visuals in the Microsoft Store, or
  • bug fixes.


As a result, they can not only help you enhance the quality of your Power BI reports and dashboards with better performance, a new set of visuals, or new exciting settings in a format pane, but also increase the user experience.

We have decided to make it easier for you. As a result, each quarter we publish a condensed summary of new Power BI features. This is already the third part of the Power BI feature updates in 2023.

In this article, we will go through Power BI new features in Power BI Service and Mobile. We have already covered Reporting, Modeling, and Developer updates here. There you can discover all the Power BI improvements to Power BI Desktop, Power BI datasets modeling, or Developer capabilities.

Power BI new features in Service

Row-level security test as role improvements

Row-level security is a powerful feature in Power BI. It allows you to manage control over data accessibility. Recently, responding to users’ feedback, Microsoft enhanced this feature by improving the test as a role experience.

As a result, with the latest update:

  • there is a new dropdown that allows you to choose and test any report connected to the dataset,
  • when you are role testing for a specific person, you can now easily check all their important permission settings,
  • warning and error messages were improved.


XMLA Write support for Direct Lake datasets

Another useful update is supporting XMLA-write operations for Direct Lake datasets. Consequently, whether you prefer to work with SQL Server Management Studio, DAX Studio, or another BI Pro tool, you can use XMLA endpoints to connect to Direct Lake datasets and perform operations like:

  • deployment,
  • customization,
  • merge,
  • script,
  • debugging,
  • testing.


What is more, with XMLA-write, you can:

  • incorporate data sources control, versioning, and continuous integrations for your data models with tools like Azure DevOps or GitHub,
  • automate and streamline your deployment processes,
  • refresh and submit changes to your Direct Lake datasets using PowerShell or REST APIs.


XMLA-write is a highly powerful endpoint for data modeling efficiency. Therefore, it is advisable to take advantage of its possibilities.

Quick access to your data in the OneLake data hub

OneLake is a control center for Fabric users where they can find and reuse existing organizational data. As a result, it enables them to investigate their data and get insights that will help them make better decisions.

Recently, Microsoft enhanced the OneLake datahub with a few capabilities, such as:

  • Quick access new pane at the top of the Explorer area. There, you can find the active workspace, pinned workspace, and recently used workspaces,
  • Favorite items feature in OneLake Datahub. As a result, now you can mark your favorite items in Power BI and have them all shown with one click.


Latest Power BI updates - Quick access in OneLake data hub
Latest Power BI updates  - favorite items

Customized deployment pipelines

When it comes to Power BI deployment pipelines, there were a few updates recently:

  • creating a customized deployment pipeline of 2-10 stages,
  • deployment pipeline multi-tasking,
  • a new entry to the deployment pipelines main page.


Creating a customized deployment pipeline of 2-10 stages

With this new feature, you can set up the number of stages your new deployment pipeline during creation.

As you can see, when you create a deployment pipeline, you can easily name each stage. It is worth mentioning, though, that you can always change the names any time later using the settings pane, but you cannot change the number of stages.

Consequently, if you need to enrich an existing deployment pipeline with more stages, you need to create a new one manually. Then, the workspaces will be unassigned from the existing deployment pipelines and re-assigned to the newly created one.

It is also worth noticing that you can use the arrows on the top-right corner to easily navigate between different stages.

Deployment pipelines

Source: Power BI October 2023 Feature Summary | Microsoft Power BI Blog | Microsoft Power BI

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Deployment pipeline multi-tasking

Another useful update released for deployment pipelines is multi-tasking.

This new option opens a new tab on the left navigation pane when you open an item or a deployment pipeline. As a result, you won’t have to have 10 explorer tabs for the same workspace anymore.

Multi-tasking in deployment pipelines

A new entry to the deployment pipelines main page

Finally, Microsoft added a new entry point at the bottom of the workspaces list, which leads to Deployment pipelines main page.

 Source: Power BI October 2023 Feature Summary | Microsoft Power BI Blog | Microsoft Power BI

Preview Power BI feature updates in Service

Automatic replica synchronization for dataset scale-out

In September, Microsoft also announced that they had finished the dataset scale-out configuration APIs and the replica synchronization capability.

As a result, you no longer must enable scale-out at the workspace level using an XMLA request. Now, it is deprecated and won’t longer work. Instead, you can now enable scale-out on a dataset-by-dataset basis using the Power BI REST API for datasets.

Moreover, automatic replica synchronization is enabled by default. Therefore, you don’t have to synchronize read replicas manually anymore. Nevertheless, you can disable automatic synchronization to synchronize the read/write and read replicas of a dataset manually for controlled refresh isolation.

Power BI features update in Mobile

Choosing your start-up content

When it comes to Power BI Mobile updates, from now on, you can choose a file that you want to open automatically when you launch your Power BI Mobile app.

As a result, if you mostly use a specific item on your Power BI Mobile app, you will no longer waste time on the search. Remember, though, that you have the limited ability to choose only one fixed item.

If you want to configure your start-up content, you need to:

  • open the item you want to be your start-up item (for example, a report page with certain visual, a dashboard, a scorecard, or the entire app),
  • once the item, for example, a report, opens, you need to click on the More options menu from the header and select Set as launch item.


It is also worth mentioning that admins can also benefit from mobile device management (MDM) tools to remotely configure a start-up item for a group of users to facilitate their mobile app experience.

Latest Power BI updates  - Power BI Mobile

Source: Power BI August 2023 Feature Summary | Microsoft Power BI Blog | Microsoft Power BI

Preview Power BI feature updates in Mobile

AAD Shared device mode supported

In August, Microsoft enhanced Power BI mobile apps with support for Azure Active Directory (AAD) shared device mode.

This mode allows you to configure devices to be shared by a group of users in an organization. It is especially popular among frontline employees who use a work-related mobile device that they got from a shared pool of devices for these tasks.

The shared device mode allows you to perform single sign-on (SSO) and device-wide sign-out for Microsoft Power BI and other applications supporting shared device mode. As a result:

  • when you log in to a supported application, you will be logged in to any app compatible with shared device mode as well,
  • when you log out of a supported application, all other applications integrated with the shared device log out to prevent unauthorized users.


For example, if you choose a device at the start of your shift, you will only sign in to one supported app. As a result, you are automatically signed into all other applications that support shared device mode.

When you log out at the end of the day, you will be automatically signed out globally from all other applications that support shared device mode.

All in all, although the new features in Service and Mobile were not numerous, they are useful additions to the Power BI ecosystem.

Together with new visuals and improvements in Power BI desktop, like new settings in a format pane or enhanced visualizations we mentioned in the previous part of the third quarter update, the Power BI ecosystem is getting stronger and stronger.

Therefore, it is not recommended to download the new version of Power BI Desktop and check out which Power BI enhancements released can enhance the quality of your Power BI reports, data analysis, and performance of your reports and dashboards.

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