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Power BI Premium and Pro get object-level security

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A couple of days back, Microsoft revealed a revamped sharing experience for Power BI, aiming to bring more easy-to-use and familiar sharing techniques for its users. Then, yesterday, the Power Platform and Dynamics 365 release wave 1 for this year finally kicked off, after initially being unveiled in January.

Today, the Redmond firm has announced general availability for object-level security (OLS) in Power BI Premium and Pro. The capability had previously been available in the form of a public preview since February.

For those unaware of how the feature works, it essentially allows model authors to prevent report viewers from viewing certain tables and columns. What this means is that these objects are hidden in such a manner that from the point of view of the users who have limited access, they simply do not exist. Sensitive data that may need restricted viewing could include personally identifiable information (PII).

Looking upon this capability from a security standpoint, even the object names and associated metadata is hidden, such that malicious users cannot take advantage of business critical data. This is a key way in which the feature differs from previous implementations of data hiding in Power BI reports, such as row-level security (RLS). For now, OLS is not created natively in Power BI Desktop and can instead be implemented through external tools that utilize the XMLA endpoint.

This addition is part of Microsoft's recent push to make Power BI a more secure offering.

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