What Is Power BI Report Server And How To Install It

Introduction

 
Power BI is a business intelligence platform which helps to represent data in graphical view as well as  share and analyze data. Many companies are not allowed to go to cloud services and are bound to an on-premises environment because of several reasons such as data privacy, security, compliance or data-sovereignty and data sensitivity. As Power BI is a robust platform for data analysis and visualization, it is most demanding and one of the best platforms for report designing and sharing. For those who cannot go to Power BI Cloud services Microsoft has brought Power BI on-prem services which is known as Power BI Report Server. Power BI Report server is like SQL Server Reporting Server.
 
Additionally, installation and setup steps are almost the same.
 
In this article, we will learn what Power BI Report Server is, it's features and how to install it. This article will describe steps to install Microsoft Power BI Report Server - January 2021 release. Before starting the installation steps, let us learn about Power BI Report Server.
 
Prerequisites for Power BI Report Server
  • SQL Server Enterprise Edition with Software Assurance
    Or
  • Power BI Premium
For development and test purposes we can use SQL Server 2019 Community version too.
 

What is Power BI Report Server?

 
 
Power BI Report Server is available as part of Power BI Premium which enables on-premises web and mobile viewing of Power BI reports as well as enterprise capabilities of SQL Server Reporting Services. Alternatively, it is included with SQL Server Enterprise Licensing with Software Assurance. It is an on-premises report server with a web portal where we can display and manage reports and KPIs. Furthermore, it comes with tools to create Power BI reports, paginated reports, KPIs and mobile reports. It is like  SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) and Power BI Service online. Using Power BI Premium license, we can create a hybrid deployment mixing cloud and on-premises.
 
We can do the following things using Power BI Desktop and Power BI Server,
  • We can build reports using Power BI desktop.
  • Can publish interactive reports to Power BI Server on-Prem
  • View and analyze reports in web browser. Additionally, can use it through Power BI App in your mobile or tablet or as an email in the in-box.

Power BI Web Portal features

  • Web portal is secure and supported in all modern web browser.
  • Content in web browser is managed in traditional folder hierarch.
  • Can grouped contents in folder by: Power BI reports, mobile reports, paginated reports, KPIs and Excel workbooks.
  • Custom branding of web portal according to your organization is available.
  • Can schedule report processing, access report on-demand
Features Comparison of Power BI Report Server and Power BI Service
 
Features
Power BI Report Server
Power BI Service
Deployment
On-premises or hosted cloud
Cloud
Source Data
Cloud or on-premises/cloud and on-premises
Cloud or on-premises/cloud and on-premises
License
Power BI Premium or SQL Server enterprise Edition with Software Assurance (SA)
Power BI Pro or Power BI Premium or Both
Release cycle
Three times a year
Once in a month
Lifecycle
Modern lifecycle policy
Fully managed service
Can develop reports in Power BI Desktop
Yes
Yes
Host and connect shared datasets
No
Yes
Cross-report drill through
No
Yes
Full screen view mode
No
Yes
Gateway required
No
Required for on-premises data sources
Mobile Apps Support
Yes
Yes
Paginated reports
Yes
Yes
Dashboards
No
Yes
Real-time streaming
No
Yes
Q&A
No
Yes
Quick insight
No
Yes
 
For more details on feature comparison visit Feature Comparison.
 
You can download Power BI Report Server from: Installation File
 

Power BI Installation

 
To start Installation of Power Bi Report Server double click on Power BI Report Server installation file (PowerBIReportServer.exe ).
 
You will get below screen, click on Install Power BI Report Server.
 
 
In the next step you will get the option to Choose an edition to install. If you are installing for development and test environment, choose Developer and if you want to install it for Evaluation choose default selection Evaluation which expires in 180 days and then click on Next option.
 
If you are installing for Production environment, then Select Enter product key option and insert key and click on Next.
 
 
You will get the below screen, accept the license terms and click on Next options.
 
 
Then, you will get the next screen as shown below to Install Database Engine. By default, Install Power BI Report Server only will be selected you just click on Next option.
 
 
Then, specify the Installation location of your machine as depicted below and click on Install.
 
 
After that, you will get confirmation for Installation. Click on Yes to allow the installation to proceed. Installation may take some time.
 
 
When installation  is complete, you will get the below screen to Configure it. You can start the configuration immediately or you can simply close it and can configure it later.
 
 

Conclusion 

 
In this way, this article has described what is Power BI Report Server, why we need it, its feature comparison with Power BI service and how to install it. Additionally, after installation we need to configure it. In the editnext article we will learn how to configure Power BI Report Server.
 
Reference