Power BI Deployment Reports Tips for Business Central Users

“Publish and Deploy Power BI Dashboard and Reports to users using alternative scenarios”

In addition to integrating Power BI into Business Central, it could be useful to be able to use a fast access portal or receive scheduled reports from Power BI automatically without going through the complete Power BI (Pro and Premium) solution. All this is already existing and usable if I use Power BI Premium license or Pro license, or if I integrate MS-Flow, MS-Sharepoint Online etc. etc.

With Power BI Pro license, you can publish and distribute any dashboard or report and manage users’ permissions and data segmentation\filtering for users. If you have only the FREE license, you can run ALL on Power BI Desktop but you can only publish and share with no permissions.

Report Publishing

Assigning Permissions

Power BI Pricing (PRO & PREMIUM) https://powerbi.microsoft.com/it-it/pricing/


WORKAROUNDS – Alternative Solutions

Now we will see some tips that these are just small workarounds that could be useful; you can automate a minimum the creation of Dashboards and Power BI reports and distribute them to users via email.


To Publish, Deploy and email reports you only need:

One Power BI Pro License – to schedule data update more times during the day, in other cases, you can use FREE license.

Google Sites – to publish Dashboard and Reports Links and manage user’s permission FAST (like in Business Central or from email link)

Powershell & Excel – to deploy PDF Files to Partners via email.


#1 – Publish on Google Site with Google integrated Security

Publish Power Bi Dashbords\reportss on Google Site

Manage Permissions from Google Admin Center, you can map and use your Business Central account.

Publish and share the page to users.




What can you do?

You can add ALL published Reports in the Master Browser page (or create more than a single page); you can Add\Manage permission to Open Master Browser Page to users and add link for other Power BI Dashboard like a Portal; you can use Google site as a BLOG managing user security.

You can also abbreviate and crypt link if necessary.

Shorted Link-example http://tiny.cc/trAjd8y


#2-Use PowerShell Integration Script to Print & Distribute Excel Files in PDF Format with data created in Power BI.

With a little Powershell Script you can ad example:

  • Save Excel report from Power BI Report
  • Filter Excel Report
  • Create various PDF filtering Excel Reports
  • Send email with PDF attachments


A “part” of simple script (and technology) to Filter Excel reports and deploy Reports to users in PDF Format

# PATH – define the Folder Path

$path = “C:\temp\PowerBI\REPORT_DISTRIBUTION\”

# Open Excel Application (ComObject)

$xls = New-Object -ComObject excel.application

# Assign Path & File Names

$pathPdf = $PSScript + “\” + $pathXls + “.pdf”

# Open the first excel sheet on Excel Workbook

$wb = $xl.Workbooks.Open($path + $pathXls)

$ws = $wb.ActiveSheet

# Example to Access To Pivot table and apply filters sets 

$tblpivot = $ws.PivotTables(“Pivot_Table1”)

$tblpivotfield = $pivot.PivotFields([int]$split[0])

# Addmonth(-1) example of Power Pivot Filter

$pivot_field.CurrentPagename = “[Date].[Month].&[“+$d.AddMonths(-1).ToString(“yyyy-MM-01T00:00:00″)+”]”

# Save the XLS File after completition


# Remove existing file if existing

if(Test-Path -Path $pathPdf) { Remove-Item -Path $pathPdf }

# Export from Excel to PDF File format (after filtering)

$xlFixedFormat = “Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel.xlFixedFormatType”

$ws.ExportAsFixedFormat($xlFixedFormat::xlTypePDF, $pathPdf)

# Send Email (SMTP) with attached PDF Files

$SMTPClient = New-Object System.Net.Mail.SmtpClient(“Server IP”, portNo.)

$msg = New-Object System.Net.Mail.MailMessage(“sender@sender.it”, $destination[0], $mailObject,$mailtext)

$attach = New-Object System.Net.Mail.Attachment($pathPdf)



#3 – Another solution to Schedule and Distribute Reports: PBRS

PBRS™ (Power BI Reports Scheduler) : “Automated filtering, scheduling & distribution of Power BI Reports & Dashboards”

PBRS™(Power BI Reports Scheduler) saves time and money by making it easy to automate the filtering, distribution & delivery of Power BI Reports & Dashboards. Simply define single or packages of Power BI reports, schedule, run them automatically, and send the reports to print, fax, folder, FTP, SMS, Dropbox, SharePoint, Google Drive, Google Sheets, Slack & email in a number of standard formats including Excel, Excel Data Only, CSV, MS Word, PDF, HTML and more.

Emails with



#4 –Use Power BI Report Builder to create reports using Power BI Datasets

@1 of July, Microsoft dropped the latest update to Power BI Report Builder in the download center.  It includes, for the first time, the ability to connect to your Power BI datasets, whether or not they are backed by premium capacity.  This means any Power BI Pro user can connect to and author, render and export reports locally against her or his Power BI datasets with Power BI Report Builder.