Power BI report server is the on-premises version of Power BI online that was launched as preview in August. Power BI Report Server is a solution that customers deploy on their own premises for creating, publishing, and managing reports, then delivering them to the right users in different ways, whether that’s viewing them in web browser, on their mobile device, or as an email in their inbox.

In this article we will see how to:

  • Set up Power BI Server on-premises
  • Configure Power BI Report Server
  • Install Power BI Desktop
  • Create TechNet 2017 Guru Winners Dashboard

Set up Power BI Report Server

We can download the executable for setting up Power BI report server from here:

Once you have download, run the installer. Ensure that you have 64-bit version of Windows 8/10 or Windows Server 2012 or higher else we will get the below showstopper.

Click Install Power BI Server to start with the installation.

Since this is free version you can select either of the drop-down option. Both are fully functional except that the evaluation version expires after 180 days.

Accept the agreement and proceed.


Select the radio button and proceed.

This will start the installation of Power BI report server in our machine.

After few minutes the installation will be completed. Now we have to configure the report server.

Configure Report Server

In order to configure the report server, specify the report server name and the Report Server Instance name.

This will complete the mandatory configuration of the report server. We can go and update the remaining settings accordingly.

We can also enable Cloud Hybrid configuration so that we can publish the Power BI Server reports to Power BI Online.

Install Power BI Desktop for Report Server

Now we have to install Power BI Desktop that has been optimized for Report Server which you can get from here. Ensure that this is the one for report server as we can also get a copy of Power BI Desktop for Online.

Once you have downloaded the installer, run the executable.

This will take some time to complete.

Once the installation is completed, we will get the below Finish window.

Create Power BI Dashboard using Report Server

Once we have configured the report server and installed Power BI Desktop, now we can create the Power BI Dashboards by selecting the Get Data option in the below splash screen that opens up when we launch Power BI.

In this demo we will be creating the dashboard from the TechNet Guru 2017 Winners database which is present in SQL Server.

We can connect to this table by selecting the SQL Server Database option.

Upon clicking Connect, we will get the screen where we have to specify the server details and connectivity mode. Import options imports the data to the Power BI and works on the data. It is fresh up the last point of refresh. However in Direct Query the data is not imported to Power BI, instead maintains a live connection with the data source.

We can also specify the credentials to connect to the data source.

Finally, we get the option to select the table from which we will be creating the report.

Click Load to load the data using which we will be creating the dashboards.

From the table view we can see the entire data upon which we will be creating the dashboards.

Going to the report view, we can see the imported column which will be used in dashboard creation.

First, let’s create a TreeMap that will show Month Wise TechNet Guru Winners. In the columns section we will add Month to the Group field and Technology to the value field.

Now let’s add a Table to the Dashboard that will show the detailed winner details for each Month. In order to do this select the Table Visualization option.  We will then add the Month, Technology, Gold Winner, Silver Winner, Bronze Winner fields to the values section.

Report DashBoard

Thus we have created the dashboard that shows the TechNet Guru Winners for 2017. Clicking on the Month will show the details of the winners across all the technologies for that month.

Demo: January Winners

Demo: February Winners

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