Power Bi project files were showcased as an exciting upcoming feature by Microsoft for Power Bi.
Developers can finally smile as it allows significantly easier collaboration with other developers and source control within Power Bi.
We’ll go through a brief introduction to Power Bi Project files.
How to get a Power Bi Project File
At the writing of this blogpost they are currently in preview and can be accessed via the ‘Preview features’ tab in Power Bi desktop’s settings.
Once you’ve enabled this feature, you will have the option to save your Power Bi file as a ‘Project file’ instead of as a PBIX file in your File Explorer.
By saving your report as a ‘Project file’, instead of getting just a PBIX file, you will now get four different files.
We finally get the Dataset and the Report as separate folders and can view their individual config and metadata files.
We also finally get Git integration files which enable us to view Git branches.
And finally we also a PHIP file which opens your Power Bi report similar to a PBIX file.
How to use Git Integration with Power Bi
A great feature of Git integration is it allows us to use branches to view changes made to a Power Bi report.
In this example, we will be using Visual Studio Code. It’s significantly easier then you’d expect.
First you want to open your Power Bi project File folder in Visual Studio Code and go to the ‘Source Control’ tab on the left pane.
From here you can click the ‘Initialize Repository’ button to get our repository.
Now any changes made to the Power Bi report, such as edits to measures, can be viewed in the ‘changes’ tab in that Git Repo!
Power Bi Project Files will go down as an underrated addition in my opinion, it might not seem like much, but source control and collaboration is what can take software to enterprise level.
Power Bi projects can now be developed an a significantly higher scale with more developers contributing. Pushing the boundaries for what a Power Bi report can be.
If you are a Power Bi developer, this is certainly something you want to keep your eye on and play around with yourself.