Power BI Report Server – Features & Uses

  Mar 31, 2020 17:30:00  |    Joseph C V   "Dashboards and Reports", Power BI, data


We know that the world and especially the IT arena is abuzz with the cloud and its benefits. But there are still several companies, that are yet to move to a cloud network for many reasons. You may have valid reasons not yet to have adopted the cloud. But that should not deter you from using the power of data and analytics.


Power BI, the window through which Microsoft lets data pass and turns them into useful insights, comes with powerful versions. And one excellent version of it is Power BI Report Server.

With this powerful analytics product of Power BI, you can create and manage reports on-premise. Let's know more about its features and uses:


What is Microsoft Power BI Report Server?

Power BI Report Server is an offering of Microsoft Analytics suite Power BI that enables analytics users to create, publish, distribute, and manage visualizations on the premise architecture. You don’t need to have an Azure license to utilize this powerful BI product.

It features a web portal that displays all your Power BI reports, KPIs, mobile reports, and paginated reports. This web portal allows you to distribute the report to the users that are beyond the firewalls of your organization. You can also distribute and share insights across your enterprise without demanding your users to have separate licenses.

Along with the web portal, Power BI Report Server has the tools to create Power BI reports compatible with both web and mobile, KPIs, and even the model needed to leverage data.

Power BI- Report Server

Source: Microsoft



Power BI Report Server comes with the Power BI Premium license that is for the enterprises and not individuals. While the Premium license is a capacity-based for the cloud environment, Power BI Report Server comes with the bundle and allows you to work on analytics in an on-premise mode. You can call Premium license a hybrid to deploy in the cloud and on-premise.

SQL Server Enterprise Edition with SA (Software Assurance) also procures license for using Power BI Report Server.


Features and Benefits of Power BI Report Server


On-Premise Reporting

If you are still not on the cloud, Power BI by Microsoft won’t deter you from your BI and analytics journey. Power BI Report Server helps you create a variety of reports for on-premise applications using the Power BI Desktop reporting tool. You can connect to various databases—on-premise or in the cloud.

The web portal acts as the home for all your Power BI reports—both paginated and mobile, KPIs, and Excel workbooks.


Web Portal

The web-based report system allows easy management of the reports and analytics in the traditional folder structure. This enables easy navigation and structuring. Within these folders, content is grouped into Power BI reports, paginated reports, mobile-based reports, and Excel-based reports.

You can use a favorite folder to bring all your frequently used or favorite BI content in one place.

The Report Server web portal also lets you manage the content according to your access levels. Accessing reports, whenever needed, is possible with the portal. You can set schedules for the reports to run and be sent to mailboxes through subscription.



The indispensable branding for organizations these days is also possible in the web portal. And this is possible even if you are not an expert in the cascading style sheets. With the available files in the brand package of Report Server, you can customize the environment to display the logo, color, and fonts that reflect your brand image.



Your most prominent reason to invest in Power BI Report Server could be the moat of security, which you are yet not ready to cross. If you have not yet made a move to the cloud network due to the stringent security policies of your organization, this can help you to leverage the benefits of a world-class analytics service.



Microsoft Power BI Report Server could be pocket friendly for your organization if you already have invested in one of the 2 licenses mentioned above. You just need a Pro license for the people creating reports, which might not be in double digits.



Since Power BI is highly compatible with the cloud infrastructure, when you develop analytics for an on-premise version, you have a plus to move these reports to the cloud whenever you are ready.

Instead of opting for some analytics solution, why not buy something that is in sync with cloud even in the on-premise platform then?


Create. Publish. Distribute.

A quick and easy process in 3 steps to make your data come to life from numbers to insights.

Create your reports in the Power BI Desktop by connecting to various data sources. Then publish your reports into the Report Server portal. Manage your reports for access by other users according to their roles and needs. Organize them in a folder-like structure, making it easy to navigate. Moreover, you can distribute your analytics through emails to the report users too.

Collaboration with your team members, other teams, or outside the department is also possible. Your audience can connect and access through Power BI Mobile as well. Users can also export reports into CSV format.


Limitations of Power BI Report Server


Delayed Updates

With the release of new features and product updates only thrice a year, Power BI Report Server is definitely lagging behind the cloud version named Power BI service.

The reason is the optimized version of the Power BI Desktop version in the bundle. The Power BI Desktop otherwise receives monthly updates and new features.


Missing Features

On top of the delayed updates, Power BI Report Server is devoid of R integration and some maps. The widely popular features of Power BI services (cloud version) like dashboards and apps are not available yet.

With the missing dashboards, Power BI Report Server is missing a significant attractive feature. Dashboards play a big role in rolling out insights to the executives in a summarized way, which can drive their decision-making process.


Parting Words

Whether you are on cloud or still holding onto on-premise infrastructure, Microsoft Power BI has something to offer. If you have been planning to invest in analytics for your business—which you must—Power BI is just the right tool.

We at Logesys can cater to all your analytics needs. Contact us today for a consultation.