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How to share dashboards and reports in Power BI Service
Part two of a six-part series of blogs

There are a fair few ways to let others see your masterworks: you can create an app, share a dashboard or create and share a report URL. This blog explains all of the ways that you can choose to share your Power BI reports and/or dashboards.

  1. Sharing reports and dashboards in Power BI Service
  2. Sharing reports by publishing an app (this blog)
  3. Sharing a Power BI dashboard
  4. Sharing reports
  5. Sharing a report as a PDF file, PowerPoint presentation, etc.
  6. Publishing a report to the web

This blog is part of a longer series, which together comprise a full online training course in Power BI Service.  You can see get details of our classsrom Power BI training courses here.

Posted by Andy Brown on 04 July 2017

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Sharing reports by publishing an app

The obvious (and probably best) way to share your work in Power BI Service is by creating an app workspace and then publishing an app.  Here are the steps you'll need to follow, in order:

  1. Create a workspace in Power BI Service.
  2. Create reports in Power BI Desktop, and publish them.
  3. Create any dashboards in your workspace.
  4. Publish your workspace as an app.
  5. Choose to share the app.

These steps are shown under separate headings below.

My separate blog on app workspaces contains more detail on the subject, should you find these steps a bit sketchy.

Step 1 - creating an app workspace

The first thing to do is to create an app workspace, so that you have somewhere to publish to.  To do this, go to Power BI Service and create a new account or log in to your existing one.

Next, go to your workspaces:

Workspaces menu

Click on Workspaces to list them!


Choose to create a new app workspace:

Creating a new app workspace

Click on this button to create a new app workspace.


Type in a name for your app workspace, and save it:

Saving an app workspace

Here I've said anyone can view my reports, but nobody can edit them.

The app workspace is now listed:

Skills assessment workspace

I'll be publishing reports to this workspace, so that I can later publish it.


Step 2 - create and publish Power BI Desktop reports

The next step is to go into Power BI Desktop, and create as many reports as you want to share:

Power BI Desktop reports

My report contains two pages and uses a dataset containing a single table, but obviously yours could be much more complicated than this.


Choose to publish your report:

Publishing a report

The Publish icon is on the HOME tab of the Power BI Desktop ribbon.

Choose to publish the report to the app workspace you've created:

Publish to app workspace

You'll obviously have to be signed in to the same account as you used for Power BI Service.


You should now see your report and underlying dataset for this workspace in Power BI Service:

Report in workspace

You may need to press F5 to refresh your browser to see this.


Step 3 - create any dashboards in your app workspace

If you want your app to include dashboards, create them:

Pinning visuals

You can pin visuals to a dashboard like this.  If you're not sure how to create tiles and dashboards, see this separate blog.


For this blog, I've created a dashboard called Management summary, which contains a pinned KPI and pinned card:

Dashboard in list Dashboard tiles
The dashboard Its contents

Step 4 - publish your app 

Time now to publish your app workspace as an app.  To do this, first select the app workspace itself:

Selecting app workspace

Click on the app workspace to select it.


Now choose to publish this as an app:

Publishing app

Click on this button at the top right of the Power BI Service window.


Give your app a description, background colour and landing page on the Details and Content pages:

App description and colour App landing page

Say who can view your app:

Viewing permissions

I've chosen to share the app with everyone in Wise Owl.


Choose to finish and publish your app:

Finishing the app

This app has 1 dashboard, 1 report, 0 workbooks and 1 dataset.


Confirm you want to do this:

Publish button

Click on this button to proceed with publication.

You should now see a confirmation message:

Confirmation of publication

You can now share your app!

Step 5 - sharing the app 

One way to share your app is to copy the URL in the dialog box, and email it out.  Alternatively, a user of your app can get it through Power BI Service:

Get data icon

In Power BI Service, you can click on this icon to get an app someone has created within your organisation.


You can then choose to look at apps created within your organisation:

My organization Skills assessment app
Choose to get apps ... ... then choose your app.

You'll now be able to view the dashboards and reports in this app - well, maybe:

Power BI Pro

You'll need to subscribe to Power BI Pro (or possibly Power BI Premium) to view the contents of any app.


Having looked at the main way to share content in Power BI, I'll now go on to look at the other methods - beginning with sharing a dashboard. 

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