Power BI has become one of the essential tools for decision-making. It is utilized to manage every aspect of a business, such as supply chain management, human resources, client relations, financial transactions, sales, market analysis, manufacturing procedures, and more. Power BI is a business intelligence and data visualization application that transforms information from many data sources into dynamic, interactive dashboards and reports. Power BI Desktop, Power BI service based on SaaS, and mobile Power BI apps accessible for various platforms are all part of the Power BI package, which offers a variety of products, connectors, and services. Business customers utilize this group of services to gather data and create BI reports.
An Overview of PowerBI
Power BI is a business intelligence and visualization application that transforms information from many data sources into interactive dashboards and reports. Power BI Desktop, Power BI service based on SaaS, and mobile Power BI apps accessible for various platforms are all part of the Power BI package, which offers a variety of products, connectors, and services. Business customers utilize this group of services to gather data and create BI reports. Reports are made using the Power BI desktop program, published using the Power BI Services (Software as a Service - SaaS), and viewed using the Power BI mobile app.
Power BI is an excellent business intelligence software that effectively drives the business. Power BI is reliable and built for the enterprise, making it suitable for bespoke development, in-depth modeling, and real-time analytics. As a result, it may be a tool for creating personal reports and visualizations and the analytics and decision-making center for teams, departments, or even whole businesses.
Learning about Power BI architecture and its components will greatly help scale and optimize the reports creation or data visualizations on the dataset process. In this article, you will learn about Power BI Architecture which will help you understand its components. So, let’s start with this first question what is Power BI?
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What is PowerBI
Microsoft offers the business analytics software Power BI, which enables you to share insights and display your data. Microsoft Power BI is a suite of software services, applications, and connections that combine to transform your various sources of data into unified, engaging visuals and interactive insights. Power BI makes it simple to connect to your data sources, view (or discover) what's essential, and share that with anyone or whomever you want, whether your data is a straightforward Microsoft Excel worksheet or a combination of cloud-based and on-premises hybrid data warehouses.
Some of the capabilities of Power BI:
- Interactive Desktop
- Customized Data Visualization or Reports
- Visibility or Presentation
- Robust data Security
- Data Accessibility
- Easy Implementation
What is PowerBI Architecture
The business suite Power BI consists of many interconnected technologies. Microsoft Power BI technology is made up of a variety of parts, including the following, to create superior business intelligence solutions:
- Power Query (for data mash-up and transformation)
- Power BI Desktop (a companion development tool)
- Power BI Mobile (for Android, iOS, and Windows phones)
- Power Pivot (for in-memory tabular data modeling)
- Power View (for viewing data visualizations)
- Power Map (for visualizing 3D geo-spatial data)
- Power Q&A (for natural language Q&A)
In plain English, a Power BI user obtains information from various data sources, including files, Azure sources, web services, DirectQuery, and gateway sources. Afterward, they use a client development tool like Power BI Desktop to deal with the data. The imported data is cleaned and modified per the user's requirements.
The data is prepared for usage in report visualizations once it has been transformed and formatted. An assortment of visualizations, including graphs, charts, tables, filters, and slicers, make up a report.
The reports you create on Power BI desktop are published on two platforms: Power BI Service and Power BI Report Server.
Unlike Power BI Report Server, which is an on-premises platform protected by a firewall, Power BI Service is a cloud-based public platform.
Using the visuals from your published reports as a starting point, you can build dashboards on these platforms. Finally, leverage distribution methods like a web browser, Power BI on iPad, tablets, laptops, phones, etc., to collaborate and share your dashboards and reports with other users inside or outside your organization.
Components of Power BI Architecture
Let's take a closer look at the Power BI architecture's components. There is a total of Ten components explained below.
1. Data Sources
Power BI's extensive selection of data sources is a key feature. You can connect directly to live connections, import data from files on your computer, or use cloud-based online data sources. There is a 1 GB limit on the amount of data you can import from on-premises or internet sources. In Power BI, a few of the frequently utilized data sources are:
- Oracle Database
- IBM DB2 Database
- MySQL Database
- PostgreSQL Database
- Teradata Database
- SAP Business Warehouse server
- Amazon Redshift
- Google BigQuery (Beta)
- Azure SQL Database
- Salesforce Reports
- Google Analytics
2. Power BI Desktop
You can connect, convert, and view your data on your local desktop using Power BI Desktop, a free software. It has many features and capabilities for connecting to data sources, transforming data, modeling data, and producing reports. Power BI Desktop is available for free download and installation on your computer. One can perform data purification, establish business metrics and data models, specify hierarchies, generate graphics, and publish reports.
3. Power BI Service
Power BI Service is a web-based platform where you can collaborate with other users, share reports created in Power BI Desktop, and create dashboards.
It is available in three versions:
- Free version
- Pro version
- Premium version
The names "Power BI.com," "Power BI Workspace," "Power BI Site," and "Power BI Web Portal" are also used to refer to the Power BI Service. Advanced features like notifications and natural language Q&A are also available in this component.
4. Power BI Report Server
The Power BI Report Server and the Power BI Service are related. The fact that Power BI Report Server is an on-premise product is the only distinction between these two. Organizations that worry about their data's security and do not want to publish their reports in the cloud use it. Thanks to Power BI Report Server, you may build dashboards and share your findings with other users while adhering to the necessary security rules. You must have a Power BI Premium license to access this service.
5. Power BI Gateway
In secured networks, this component is utilized to connect to and access on-premise data. Power BI Gateways are typically used in businesses where data is protected and closely observed. Gateways assist in transferring such data to Power BI solutions for analysis and reporting via secure channels.
6. Power BI Mobile
Power BI Mobile is an iOS, Android, and Windows mobile device native Power BI application. These programs are used to see reports and dashboards.
7. Embedded Power BI
The APIs provided by Power BI Embedded is used to integrate visualizations into unique applications.
8. Power Pivot
This component imports and combines various datasets from various sources to create in-memory data models. Thanks to such integration, functional users can quickly increase the overall value by merging different data sources. The most well-known instance of these integrations is when Power BI is used to examine corporate sales, demographics, and meteorological data.
Additionally, this component offers intricate calculations, key performance indicators, and other metrics that data analysts can utilize to prototype and analyze various business scenarios.
9. Power Query
This function, a game-changer for many analysts, searches for data across various corporate data sources or the internet and then smoothly imports the chosen dataset into an Excel table. This component's native data connectivity functionality makes it possible to retrieve the data more quickly and easily.
Power query performs crucial data adjustments such as renaming columns, changing values, merging data, and more. This element is vital since it makes data shaping and purification simple.
10. Power View
Power View is the preferred component for displaying the data and making it even more dynamic. The data is meant to be cross-filtered and highlighted. It almost seems like using Excel and PowerPoint tools when working with the data in the Power view component.
Power View also offers graphs, tabular data, and charts supporting various maps with zoom and pan features.
Workings of Power BI Architecture
All reports you build in Power BI Desktop are published on the Power BI Service cloud platform.
Users can use client platforms, including websites, mobile devices, etc., to view the reports and dashboards from the Power BI Service. As a result, each client wishing to access content generated by Power BI must engage with the Power BI Service. Therefore, we must examine the inner workings of Power BI Service to understand how it functions.
The architecture of Power BI Service is divided into two sections:
- Front End cluster
- Back End cluster
1. Front End Cluster
Clients and the back end are connected by the front end, commonly known as the web front-end cluster. The front-end services handle the initial connection and Azure Active Directory client authentication. User IDs are kept in the Azure Active Directory. After authentication, user requests are routed through Azure Traffic Manager to the closest data center. The Azure Content Delivery Network (CDN) makes static Power BI content and files available to users when a client or user has been authorized.
2. Back End Cluster
Visualizations, datasets, storage, reports, data connections, data updating, and other Power BI interactions are handled by the Power BI services on the back end. A web client can only directly interface with Azure API Management and Gateway Role on the backend. These two parts are in charge of routing, load balancing, authentication, and authorization.
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Power BI Desktop
Power BI Desktop is free software that enables you to connect to, convert, and visualize your data on your local desktop. With Power BI Desktop, you can connect to various information sources and combine them (commonly referred to as modeling) into a data model that enables you to produce graphics and collections of images that you can share with other people in your organization as records. Most users working on business intelligence projects create their reports using Power BI Desktop, then share those reports with others using Power BI.
Power BI Gateway
Power BI Gateway software is needed to access data in an on-premises network. For the data source, the gateway serves as a gatekeeper. The gateway responds to requests, and access is allowed according to users' authentication needs.
Data from the on-premises source is not transferred through gateways to the client platform. It establishes a direct link between the platform and the on-site data source. The client can directly access data from the customer's location for usage in reports, dashboards, and data analysis. A gateway is utilized to make possible connections between a single or multiple data sources.
There are two types of Power BI Gateway :
On-premises Data Gateway (Standard Mode)
This mode of on-premises data gateway enables connectivity with several on-premises data sources for more than one user. The data can be used in Microsoft Flow, Power BI, Azure Analysis Services, Azure Logic Apps, and other applications. By establishing this kind of data gateway simply once, you can create direct links to numerous data sources. This data gateway is advised for complicated scenarios where several users must access various data sources.
On-premises Data Gateway (Personal Mode) :
Only one user connects to several data sources using the on-premises data. Gateway's person mode. It is advised whenever only one person needs to access the data sources. The user cannot grant other users access to their Power BI account to produce reports and dashboards.
Power BI Mobile Apps
For iOS, Android, and Windows mobile devices, Power BI provides a selection of mobile apps. You may connect to and interact with your on-premises and cloud data through mobile apps.
Power BI Desktop allows you to produce reports. The Power BI report service will enable you to create and examine dashboards and reports. Power BI Report Server is where you may access on-premises Power BI reports. Whether on-premises or in the cloud, all these reports and dashboards are accessible through the Power BI mobile apps; try viewing and engaging with them on your mobile device, whether an Android phone or tablet, a Windows device, or an iOS device (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, or Apple Watch).
Power BI Service
The user can get information anytime and anywhere by using these mobile applications. It supports several platforms, including iOS, Windows, Android, and others. Additionally, these tools are helpful for quickly seeing different dashboards and information.
Power BI has created a variety of mobile app layouts for various devices. It provides different designs and services for multiple device types and applications. Each service updates often and is compatible with every device. Customized solutions that offer better engagement and service can be configured for these apps. Many apps are also available for these devices, including iOS, Android, tablets, etc.
Features of Power BI
Three key features make Power BI an excellent data visualization tool:
1. Interactive Power BI desktop
With the help of this interactive Power BI desktop tool, you can easily access the data and create reports. With this robust tool, one doesn't need to be an expert to make a report; it is quick to learn and simple to use. The best part about his application is that you can create reports using it without having any technical skills, and it is free to download.
2. Customized Dashboard Visualization
Due to complex data, the Power Bi tool has a default standard that is occasionally insufficient for companies. In such cases, businesses can efficiently utilize the custom visualization library and create visualizations that meet their requirements.
Data is at the core of every business, and today's most significant problem for enterprises is combining data with other datasets to provide meaningful information. Well, one efficient approach is to compile numerous datasets and arrange them aesthetically for easier comprehension. With this form, firms can gain a competitive edge over rivals by having a deeper grasp of the data. These were a handful of Power BI's features. Let's go on and examine what enables Power BI to provide insights that can be put to use.
Power BI makes it possible for data analysis to be speedy, flexible, and user-generated. It makes the process of sharing, collaborating, and analyzing data simpler and advances it.
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Our discussion of the Power BI architecture is now complete. Here, we learned about each of the crucial parts of the Power BI architecture and observed how they interact. Additionally, we thoroughly understood the Power BI Service's operation. Power BI is a fantastic and robust business intelligence tool that will be in data visualization for a long time. Power BI has solved five key business issues; It allows you to access the company’s data analytics almost without lag, It reduces the possibility of error by allowing reports to run instantly using only the latest data, and It easily creates visualization reports of the data and provide accurate presentations for your meeting, It allows IT members to publish data catalogs for others to view which makes it easier for you to find the data sets needed to perform an analysis and Power BI solutions that can make your company’s day-to-day activity far more efficient, tech-savvy, and less frustrating for you and your employees
It facilitates the rapid connection of hundreds of data sources, giving the data life through thorough reporting. If you have any concerns about its ability to influence the future of the data-driven world, you should be aware that it already is and won't become obsolete very soon.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is BI and BI architecture?
Business intelligence (BI) is a technology-driven data analysis and information delivery that aids managers, employees, and executives make wise business decisions.
A business intelligence architecture (BI Architecture) is a framework for a company's different technologies to run its business intelligence and analytics applications.
2. What are the components of Power BI?
The following are the main components of Power BI:
- Power Query.
- Power Pivot.
- Power View.
- Power BI Desktop.
- Power BI Website.
- Power BI Mobile Apps.
- Power BI Gateway
- Power BI Service
- Power BI Report Server
- Embedded Power BI
3. Is Power BI frontend or backend?
Still today, Power BI is regarded as a front-end data visualization tool.
4. What are the three components of the Power BI desktop?
Power BI Desktop is an integrated development tool for Power Query, Power Pivot, and Power View.