Getting Started with Power BI Report Server
Part one of a three-part series of blogs

Power BI encourages you to publish reports to an online service so that you can share your beautiful reports with the world. If you'd rather keep them a secret you can use Power BI Report Server to deploy your reports to an on-premises server, as this blog series shows you.

  1. Installing Power BI Report Server (this blog)
  2. Configuring Power BI Report Server
  3. Power BI Desktop for Report Server

Posted by Andrew Gould on 19 March 2019

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Installing Power BI Report Server

Microsoft's Power BI Desktop application allows you to create beautiful reports using data from a variety of data sources.  Ordinarily, once you've created a report, you publish it to the online Power BI Service.  You can then share the published report with the outside world in a variety of ways.  If your report is of a somewhat sensitive nature, you may prefer to keep it in-house, sharing it only with other members of your organisation.  This is where Power BI Report Server comes in!

You can compare the Power BI Service with Power BI Report Server here.

Downloading Power BI Report Server

You can download Power BI Report Server directly from Microsoft:

Download

Google "Power BI Report Server" to reveal the page you need to visit.

 

When you visit the page in the link shown above, you can choose to download Power BI Report Server using the links at the top of the page:

Download

Click the DOWNLOAD FREE TRIAL button to begin downloading immediately.

You can click the Advanced download options link shown in the image above to see the details of what you're getting:

Advanced download

This page shows you which version of Power BI Report Server you're about to download (it's updated roughly every four months) and has extra information on how to install the product.

Installing Power BI Report Server

You can begin installing Power BI Report Server by double-clicking the file you have downloaded:

File

Double-click the file to launch the installer.

 

On the first page of the installation wizard click the Install Power BI Report Server button:

Install

Click the button shown here.

You can now choose which edition of the software you want to install:

Edition

Choose the edition of Power BI Report Server that you want to install.

 

You can obtain a product key by paying for either Power BI Premium or SQL Server Enterprise edition, both of which are somewhat expensive for a humble blog such as this!  Instead, we'll opt to install a free edition of the software for testing purposes:

Developer

Use the dropdown to select a free edition of the software. For this blog we're installing the Developer edition.

 

Click Next and then agree to the licensing terms before clicking Next again.

By installing the Developer edition you're agreeing to use the software for testing purposes only.  If you want to use Power BI Report Server in a production environment you'll need one of the paid-for solutions.

The following page warns you that you'll need an instance of SQL Server Database Engine to hold the database that the report server requires:

Database

There isn't much you can do about this at this stage, so just click Next.

You can learn how to install and configure a Developer edition of SQL Server using the videos listed here.

On the final page of the installation wizard you can choose a location to install the software:

Location

Accept the default location or click Browse to choose a new one.

Click Install to install the software.  When the installation process has finished, the wizard will offer to open the Report Server Configuration Manager tool so that you can set up the report server:

Finish

You can complete the installation wizard by clicking either of the two buttons at the bottom of this page.

You may find that you need to restart your machine before you can run the configuration tool.  You can learn how to configure your newly installed report server in the next part of this blog.

  1. Installing Power BI Report Server (this blog)
  2. Configuring Power BI Report Server
  3. Power BI Desktop for Report Server
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