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Power BI and Source Control Integration

Yes! This is a real problem with the Power BI team to source control Power BI report files (.pbix) with the team. I too have faced problem with it.

Questions arise:

  1. How to integrate Power BI files to a source control tool like TFS, SVN, Git, Azure DevOps, etc. as there is no Project structure available?
  2. Will we get proper versioning of .pbix files as they are not XML/JSON based as we get in case of SQL Server Reporting Services?

Different teams have adopted different ways to handle it.

One of the teams used Visual Studio to have a Solution with any project. Created Solution Folders to organize the report files and added all .pbix files to respective folders. Finally, associated that Solution to the TFS. Whenever they need to work on a particular report, open the Visual Studio Solution and double click on .pbix file. It opens the report up into Power BI Desktop. Work on it and save it. Come back to Visual Studio and Check-In. That’s it! Though, the real issue is Power BI Developer needs to have Visual Studio installed on their local system to make it work. The management questions, why a Power BI team needs to have Visual Studio??? Of course, they need to buy VS licenses for them.

Does it really maintains different versions of .pbix file? Technically a .pbix file is not a XML/JSON file the way we have SSRS reports. So, how does it maintain different versions of .pbix file? Practically, I have seen it working fine with TFS. God knows how it works, but it works, at least so far. Never got any issue from anyone on this.

I wish if Power BI team can integrate the Desktop tool to Azure DevOps the way Azure Data Factory team has done it for ADF V2 version. Azure Data Factory has implemented CI/CD in the Azure Portal itself. So, there is no need for Visual Studio and other stuff, which had been there with ADF V1 version earlier. Yes! I faced problem working on ADF V1 when it comes to sharing files with other team members. Hope, Power BI team does same sooner.

Let me know your experience on this issue.

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