Power BI Report Server gets September update - here's all that's new

In the past few weeks, Microsoft has pushed out September updates to various components of Power BI. The desktop variant of the service was the first to be updated this month, followed by improvements for on-premises data gateway. During this time period, a variety of changes have also been brought to dataflows, the Developer community, and more.

Now, Microsoft has finally unveiled the September release for Power BI Report Server, bringing a plethora of new features and improvements. A majority of the new capabilities concern the Reporting and Analytics sections, though there are some changes for Data preparation as well.

In a compact form, the full list of updates is as follows:

  • Reporting
    • Updated pane design
    • Visual level filters for slicers
    • Sorting for the performance analyzer pane
    • Visual header tooltips
    • Table & matrix total label customization
    • Sync slicer support for hierarchy slicer
    • Consistent font sizes across visuals
    • Icon sets for table and matrix
    • Percent support for conditional formatting by rules
    • New filter pane is now generally available
    • Data colors support when using play axis on scatter charts
    • Performance improves when using relative date and dropdown slicers
    • Grouping visuals
    • Color and text classes in themes
    • New default themes
  • Analytics
    • Custom format strings
    • Conditional formatting updates for formatting options
    • Visual background and title colors
    • Card colors
    • Gauge fill and colors
    • Alt text
    • Border color
    • Conditional formatting warnings
    • Drill through discoverability improvement
    • New DAX expressions: REMOVEFILTERS and CONVERT
    • New DAX comparison operator: ==
  • Data preparation
    • Improvements to M Intellisense
    • New Transform: Split column by positions
    • Copy to clipboard from data profiling

Most of the interface has been revamped, with lighter colors, changed spacing, consistent font icons, and more. To go along with the new look, new default themes with visual changes have been introduced as well. These include Innovative, Bloom, Tidal, and many others. For those who are fond of the previous themes, these can be found under the "More themes" submenu. Aside from the refreshed visuals, there are also new reporting features such as visual level filters for slicers and visual header tooltips, among others.

Moving on to the Analytics section, custom format strings, something that has been introduced in other components of Power BI, have now arrived to Report Server as well. Through this, users can input their own format strings, with support for most of the VBA style syntax being made available. Then, there are a bunch of conditional formatting updates, including changes for formatting options, as well as warnings. Rounding up this section, there are two new DAX expressions and a DAX comparison operator.

Finally, with regards to Data preparation, three major changes are being brought. First up, M Intellisense now has support for parameter hints in the formula bar, as well as hover support to discover the definitions of identifiers. Secondly, a new data transformation that allows users to split text columns at a specific positions has been introduced. Lastly, it is now possible to copy data profiling information to the clipboard from the Power Query Editor, offering a new way to export this data.

You can download the latest version here to check out all the new capabilities in action. And as usual, new features that you would like to see in Power BI can be voted upon here.

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