Microsoft Power BI Santa delivered an early surprise with an unexpected feature announcement. Sharing embedded Power View reports on a public web site or blog has now been enabled.  Finally!  It feels like I have been waiting forever since I got a sneak peek at embedded Power View in a tweet, Power BI samples and Shish’s blog last winter. Five months ago I shared a tip on embedding Excel from OneDrive in web sites but that did not support Power View content. I have wanted to embed Power View in my blogs for years.

I also wished for a live Power BI inspirations gallery that includes much more compelling real-world examples, tips, tricks and visually creative or attractive demos. At last, I will build one myself and share awesome Power BI material that I come across that has been cleansed for public usage. Stay tuned for the launch of my personal pet project, PowerBIInspirations.com (coming soon). I bet we’ll see even more of these sites pop up in 2015.

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The Scoop

So here is the scoop on what you need to showcase your own Power View creations with the world.

  1. Prerequisite: You will need Excel 2013 and an Office 365 Enterprise E3 or SharePoint Online Plan 2 account. If you don’t have those, you can sign up for a free trial account.   Speaking of that, close your eyes, make a wish and let’s see what else Power BI Santa might bring to us if we have been good this year… (Ironically, I am wearing a comical green Grinch t-shirt right now. Shhhh, don’t tell Santa.)
  2. Read step-by-step online docs for this capability that are located on the Office Support site.
  3. To embed is quite easy. You upload your Excel workbook with a Power View report to your Office 365 site.
  4. In the document library menu options on SharePoint Online, set permissions on your Excel file. For public blogs like mine, choose Everyone.
  5. Then use the Share option on the More menu (…) next to the workbook to generate a URL.
  6. Take that URL and copy it to an HTML “IFRAME” source tag with two parameters, action=embedview and wdbipreview=true. Most likely you will want to add a few other parameters like the optional download button and allow interactivity to fine tune your web presentation.

IFRAME is an integration approach for displaying web content from one web site into another web site, WordPress blog, reporting portal or even into a SharePoint site using the Page Viewer web part.

Giving it a whirl

I wanted to test this right away so I set up a new Power BI trial account. From there, I uploaded my New York Signage Analysis created in Excel Power View from the open source data posted at https://nycopendata.socrata.com/. Then I set permissions to Share the file with Everyone and generated a public link with Get a Link.  Lastly, I took that URL and pasted it into an IFRAME tag in my favorite HTML editor, Dreamweaver, and published my test web page to http://www.impactanalytix.com/powerviewembed.htm.

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Now I did notice a few oddities in my review. My black background color did not come through as expected. The Arial font I chose rendered in Safari and Chrome but not Internet Explorer. Also I had to change my Internet Explorer security settings to allow IFRAME content to display. If I left them as the default, I was prompted to open the report in another window.

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So we are getting closer to the dream… I’d better get back to work at Microsoft Power BI Santa’s workshop with the rest of the elves to perfect this one. Keep posted for more updates this week.