The Architecture of Power BI

The main element of the drive to be agile, competitive, and efficient is business intelligence. As companies develop, the regular generation of information becomes very hard to handle. This, in turn, generates a road-block for data-driven businesses that want to use their data to drive company decision-making.

In addition, the siloing impact and biased reporting structures across companies generate a scenario where decision-makers are compelled to make choices based on information that is partly accurate.

This is why smart business systems are largely embraced. Establishing an analytical system to efficiently analyze data helps a company find helpful information, propose conclusion and promote improved decision-making. With its demonstrated technology track record, Microsoft has come to the fore with the implementation of its convincing analytics instrument,  Power BI. This report authoring tool enables businesses to readily visualize and analyze their business information to transform their activities. Here in this article, we will see various components included in Power Bi architecture. This guide will help you in  installing Power BI.

Microsoft Power BI Architecture

Power BI architecture consists of four steps. Let’s look at them in detail:

  1. Sourcing Data
  2. Transforming Information
  3. Report & Publish
  4. Creating a Dashboard

1. Sourcing Data:

Power BI can supply information from a wide range of internet facilities and file kinds. The information can be imported into Power BI or a live service link can be established to receive the information. If you import a Power BI file, it limits the compressed data sets to 1 GB. If the information set exceeds 1 GB, then the direct query may be used. For big information sets, there are two other choices.

List of Data Sources supported in Power BI

  • Files:
    Excel, XML, JSON, Text/CSV,Folder and SharePoint Folder
  • Database:
    SQL Server Database, Access Database, SQL Server Analysis Services Database, SAP HANA Database, SAP Business Warehouse server, Amazon Redshift, Impala, Google BigQuery (Beta), Snowflake,Oracle Database, IBM DB2 Database, IBM Informix database (Beta), IBM Netezza (Beta), MySQL Database, PostgreSQL Database, Sybase Database, Teradata Database
  • Azure:
    Azure SQL Database,  Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Azure Analysis Services database (Beta), Azure Blob Storage, Azure Table Storage, Azure Cosmos DB (Beta), Azure Data Lake Store, Azure HDInsight (HDFS), Azure HDInsight Spark (Beta)
  • Online Services:
    Power BI service, SharePoint Online List, Microsoft Exchange Online, Dynamics 365 (online), Dynamics 365 for Financials (Beta), Common Data Service (Beta), Microsoft Azure Consumption Insights (Beta), Visual Studio Team Services (Beta), Salesforce Objects, Salesforce Reports, Google Analytics, appFigures (Beta), comScore Digital Analytix (Beta), Dynamics 365 for Customer Insights (Beta), Facebook, GitHub (Beta), Kusto (Beta), MailChimp (Beta), Mixpanel (Beta), Planview Enterprise (Beta), Projectplace (Beta), QuickBooks Online
  • Other:
    Vertica (Beta), Web, SharePoint List, OData Feed, Active Directory, Microsoft Exchange, Hadoop File (HDFS), Spark (Beta), R Script, ODBC, OLE DB, Blank Query

2. Transforming information:

After the information is imported into the Powerbi system, power bi offers a preview window for selecting columns or entities. There are many transformation choices available to perform the job if you need to edit the query.

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3. Report & Publish:

We are prepared to produce reports after sourcing and editing the information. Reports are data visualization with filters and slicers in the form of graphs, charts and pie charts. A lot of custom visualization is also available. We can publish them to power bi facilities after generating reports. You can also publish them on the energy bi server assumption.

4. Creating a Dashboard:

We can create dashboards after publishing reports to Power BI services by pinning the individual elements or by pinning the page of the live report. The visual maintains the filter setting chosen when the report is saved when pinning the individual components. By choosing slicers and filters, pinning the Live Report page enables the dashboard user to communicate with the visual.

Components in Power BI

There are four major components in Power BI which play an important role in delivering Power BI capabilities-

1. Power BI Desktop:

Power BI Desktop is free software that allows you to connect, convert and visualize your information on your local desktop. You can connect to various distinct information sources with Power BI Desktop and combine them (often called modeling) into a data model that allows you to create graphics and collections of images that you can share with other individuals within your organization as records. Most users working on Business Intelligence projects use Power BI Desktop to generate reports and then use Power BI to share their reports with others.

2. Power BI Gateway:

The on-site Power BI gateway can be used to maintain your information fresh by linking to your on-site information sources without moving the information. It enables you to query big datasets and take advantage of current investments. By linking to your on-site information sources without the need to transfer the information, you can keep your information fresh with the on-site gateways. Request big datasets and take advantage of current investments. The gateways provide the flexibility you need to satisfy your organization’s individual requirements and needs.

3. Power BI Mobile Apps:

You can remain linked to your information from anywhere using Power BI mobile applications. For Windows, iOS, and Android platform, Power BI applications are accessible.

4. Power BI Service:

This is a cloud service for publishing Power BI accounts and visualization of information. It allows designers and BI experts to generate and distribute extremely formatted, pixel-perfect reports alongside their interactive Power BI content, becoming the first cloud BI solution combining the energy of self-service BI with traditional Enterprise BI scenarios ‘ requirements and capacities.

There are other components as well which we should understand to get benefits of advanced capabilities of Power BI.

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5. Power Query:

Mashup data and instrument for conversion. You can connect to many distinct information sources with Power Query in Power BI, turn the information into the form you want, and be able to generate reports and ideas rapidly. Power Query functionality is given in the Power Query Editor when using Power BI Desktop. Power Query is made available in Power BI Desktop through Power Query Editor. To launch Power Query Editor, select Edit Queries from the Home tab of Power BI Desktop.

6. Power Q&A:

Natural Language Question and Reply Engine. Sometimes asking a question using natural language is the fastest way to get a response from your information. The Power BI Q&A function allows you to use your own phrases to explore your information.  Q&A is discussed in distinct papers in the Power BI mobile applications and Q&A with Power BI Embedded.

7. Power Map:

3D Geospatial Data Visualization Tool.

8. Power Pivot:

Power Pivot is an element that models information in memory that allows highly compressed data storage and incredibly quick aggregation and calculation. It is also accessible as part of Excel and can be used within an Excel workbook to build a data model. Power Pivot can load information on its own, or Power Query can load information into it. It is highly comparable to the tabular model of SSAS (SQL Server Analysis Services), which is like a Power Pivot server-based variant.

9. Power View:

Power View is an interactive visualization instrument that offers a drag-and-drop interface for users to quickly and easily create information visualizations in their Excel workbooks (using the Power Pivot data model).

10. SSRS Reporting services 2016:

The integration between SQL Serb Reporting and the Power BI Services takes SSRS tiles to a Power BI dashboard with planned SQL Server Agent updates. This integration gives you the tile from SSRS reports. Integrating SSRS reports into the Power BI service will generate a connection to comprehensive SSRS reports from the Power BI dashboard.

Clusters in Power BI Architecture

The Power BI service is based on Azure, the cloud computing platform of Microsoft. Power BI is currently being deployed in many data centers around the world–there are many active deployments made available to customers in the regions served by those data centers, and an equal number of passive deployments serving as backups for each active deployment.

Each deployment of Power BI comprises of two clusters–a cluster of Web Front End (WFE) and a cluster of Back End. The following picture shows these two clusters :

1. WFE Cluster:

The WFE cluster manages the original Power BI link and authentication process using AAD to authenticate customers and provide tokens for subsequent Power BI customer links. Power BI also utilizes the Azure Traffic Manager (ATM) to guide customer traffic to the closest datacenter, which is determined by the client’s DNS record trying to link, authenticate and download static content and files. Using the Azure Content Delivery Network (CDN), Power BI effectively distributes the required static content and files to customers based on geographic location.


2. Backend Cluster:

How authenticated customers interact with the Power BI service is the Back-End cluster. The Back-End cluster manages visualization, user dashboards, datasets, reports, data storage, information links, information refresh, and other elements of Power BI service interaction. The Role Gateway functions as a gateway between customer demands and the service Power BI. Users are not directly interacting with positions other than the role of the Gateway. The Gateway Role will ultimately be managed by Azure API Management.

How Power BI can be a game-changer for the enterprise?

Power BI combines centralized DW / BI strategies with cloud data sources and self-service tools through its data catalog and data management gateway, as no other platform has yet been able to do. And as a SaaS solution, all its functionality is packaged so that it can be easily implemented and used by any organization.  In brief, Power BI can speed up the adoption curve and make sophisticated BI Analytics as prevalent as Excel itself.

Power BI provides all BI system stakeholders with game-changing capabilities:

1. End-users:

End-users wanted the capacity to access and evaluate information readily for a long time. The natural language query of Q&A and the smart visualization engine will do more to encourage each worker to use data as a basis for decision making.

2. BI Analysts:

Power Pivot provided power users with the capacity to create effective data models over big amounts of data, but the information required to “fit” into clean data models.  The data transformation and flexibility of Power Query further empowers analysts to rapidly create their own end-to-end alternatives.

3. IT & Data Managers:

BI self-service has always been a subject of push-pull. Everyone wants the instruments and data that consumers need to create excellent choices. However, good governance, safety, and auditing are often seen as a roadblock for power users to make progress.  The Power BI information catalog is interesting because it simultaneously encourages self-service and governance.

Not every organization will move rapidly to embrace Power BI. For some, too much strategic shift will be represented too rapidly.  There may be truly regulatory or other reasons for others that prevent cloud-based systems from being considered.

But setting up an accessible and robust BI platform was challenging and cost-prohibitive for many organisations.  Power BI can be the solution that ultimately makes sophisticated BI as simple and widely accepted as a search engine to use.