Data is the backbone of modern businesses, and we are creating more of it than ever before.
However, accumulating massive amounts of digital data is useless unless businesses can make sense of it. This is where Power BI comes into the picture.
In this post, we’ll take a close look at Microsoft’s flagship BI software, Power BI. Then, we will investigate the strategy of developing a Power BI solution.
The first thing to think about when creating a Power BI solution is the logical architecture of your data visualization project.
Power BI systems contain a lot of moving pieces and features, especially when it comes to the many sources of data you might use.
From local to web-based, public to private, you must ensure that your data is properly protected. As a result, you obtain a nice and safe solution with a decent and clear architecture.
Implementing a Power BI solution requires more than just producing reports, building a data model, and employing visualizations. Power BI, like any other technology, may be utilized properly or incorrectly. Likewise, any technology may be used more effectively if the appropriate architecture supports it. After gathering requirements and creating elements and components of technology to match the requirements, a proper architecture can be produced.
Without going into too much detail on the physical architecture, a short overview of the major logical architectural components is shown below. The sections are labelled with the numbers seen in the screenshot.
Personas / Actors
Developers and designers – The first category includes individuals who develop content. They have the ability to produce data sets and visualizations. They serve as the solution’s developers and designers. This group is cross-functional in terms of departments and functions. They may not work full-time on Power Bi, but they should play a role in your solution.
User Community – This is the group of individuals who will be the solution’s eventual consumers. There may be overlapping in certain organizations, but this is defined by the minimal roles required.
Data Sources This architecture categorizes data sources into two types: cloud-based and on-premises. Based on your organization’s regulations, you may need to build your solution to work on data that is contained within your firewalls.
Data Sources from the Internet- These can take many different forms. The main distinction between these sources is that they do not require data access to your own on-premises systems through your firewalls.
On-Premises Data Sources – These are data sources that are located within your networks. You don’t have to worry about your data being stored in the Cloud if you utilize the Power BI Report Server, a server on your on-premises networks.
Maintaining the security of your data while using it in the Cloud necessitates the same care that you do with your on-premises data. Azure data may be just as safe, if not more so, than local data. Active Directory controls access to Power BI SaaS and Power BI Report Server.
Domain Services in Active Directory (On-Premises)
Active Directory Domain Services serves as the backbone for security and object access on your local network. It offers a wide range of hierarchical type identification and security-related services to users and groups. For Power BI Report Server, for example, you would build groups that include users in order to grant the appropriate amount of access to each user depending on their position in your solution.
Azure Active Directory enables centralized object protection and identification management, as well as integrated policies and regulations.
Power BI Gateway
A software package required to access data on an on-premises network. The gateway serves as a checkpoint for the on-premises data source. The gateway is used whenever someone wants to access on-premises data via a cloud or web-based service. The gateway handles all connection requests and grants access depending on their identification and requirements.
There are a few gateways available, depending on the solution you want. Power BI gateways are implemented in your local network on a server or even a desktop workstation. They supply Power BI with incoming data streams. Some ports must only be open for incoming communication.
Power BI Reporting Server
This is an on-premises solution that merges self-service and corporate reporting capabilities. Power BI Report Server is a piece of on-premises software that comes with the Power BI Premium package. This application is simply SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) with the capabilities of hosting and serving Power BI data and information.
Power BI Online
This is the web-based version of Power BI. This is where you will save any datasets, reports, or dashboards that you generate using Power BI Desktop. You may also use the Arrange Refresh options to schedule regular refreshes of the datasets.
Power BI Applications are the recommended method for sharing and distributing your Power BI solution. These may be safeguarded using Azure Active Directory and provide you with more flexibility for the collaborative development of Power BI applications.
To create a successful Power BI solution, you must address all the architectural factors of your solution. Having a strong overview can help you prevent problems in the future.
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