Install and Configure Power BI Report Server On-Prem

In this article, I will show How to

Install and Configure Power BI Report Server (Power BI On-Prem) Step By Step

Install and Configure Power BI Report Server


What’s the Power BI Report Server (Power BI On-Prem)?

The Power BI Report Server is an on-prem reporting solution that will help you to build and publish the Power BI reports to an on-prem Report Server.

Power BI Report Server (Power BI On-Prem) Software Requirments

  • The Power BI Report Server installation is only supported on 64x.
  • The Supported SQL Server Versions (SQL Server 2008 : SQL Server 2017).
  • The Power Power BI Report Server requires .Net framework 4.6 to be installed.
  • The Power Power BI Report Server is supported on
    • Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2016.
    • Windows 8, Windows 10.

For more details check Hardware and software requirements for installing Power BI Report Server

Power BI Report Server (Power BI On-Prem) License

Unlike the SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Service), the Power BI Report Server license is not bundled with the SQL Server License.

The Power BI Report Server license has an independent license that is included in the Power BI Premium.

Where’s the Power BI Report Server Key?

You can get the Power BI Report Server Key,  from the following

Volume Licensing Service Center

  • Login to the Volume Licensing Service Center.
  • Looking for the latest SQL Server Enterprise Edition.
  • In the “download” section, check “Running Power BI Report Server“.

Power BI Admin Portal

  • Login to the Power BI Admin Portal using Global Admin.
  • At “Power BI Premium” Tab > Click on “Power BI Report Server Key

Power BI Admin Portal

If  you aren’t subscribed to Power BI Premium, you can use

  • Power BI Report Server trial edition for 180 days,
  • Power BI Report Server Developer Edition.

Power BI Report Server (Power BI On-Prem) Prerequisites

  • The installation account must be a member of the Local Administrator Group.
  • The user used to configure the Power BI Report Server must have access and create permission on the Database Server.
  • After installing the Power BI Report Server, you must have a Database Engine to can configure the  Power BI Report Server database.

Install and Configure Power BI Report Server On-Prem Step By Step

  1. Download the Power BI Report Server. (About 241 MB).
  2. Install the downloaded “PowerBIReportServer.exe” file.
  3. Follow the Power BI Report Server installation wizard steps.
  4. Configure Power BI Report Server.
    1. Configure the Power BI Report Server Service Account.
    2. Configure the Power BI Report Server Web Service.
    3. Configure the Power BI Report Server Database.
    4. Configure the Power BI Report Server Web Portal.
    5. Backup the Power BI Report Server Encryption keys.
  5. Manage Power BI Report Server Web Portal Permission.
  6. Download the Power BI Desktop.
  7. Install the Power BI Desktop.
  8. Publish Power BI report to Power BI Report Server.
  9. Browse Power BI report to Power BI Report Server.

Install Power BI Report Server (Power BI On-Prem) Steps

In Welcome Page, Click on “Install Power BI Report Server“.

Install and Configure Power BI Report Server

Choose one of the free Power BI Report Server Editions. or provide the Power BI Report Server key.

Report Power BI Report Server Editions

Check “I accept the license terms“, then press Next.

Power BI Report Server License

By default, the “Install Power BI Report Server Only” option is selected, but after the installation, you will need to have a database instance to configure the Power BI Report Server Database.

Install Power BI Report Server Only

Specify the install location of the Power BI Report Server

Report Power BI Report Server - Installation Location

The Power BI Report Server should be now ready to start the installation process.

Install and Configure Power BI Report Server March 2018

Once the Power BI Report Server installation is complete, you will be ready to configure the Power BI Report Server by clicking on “Configure Report Server” button.

Configure Power BI Report Server


Configure Power BI Report Server Steps

When you click on the “Configure Report Server” button, you will be asked to connect to the Report Server.

Connect to Power BI Report Server

The Power BI Report Server Configuration steps are considered the same steps of configuring the SQL Server Reporting Service (SSRS).

Check Also

Configure the Power BI Report Server Service Account

In this step, you should provide the service account that will be used to run the Report Server service.

Whatever you will configure the Power BI Report Server on the same server or different server,  It’s recommended to use

  • “Network Service” as a built-in account or
  • A domain account.

Configure Power BI Report Server - Service Account

Configure the Power BI Report Server Web Service URL

Make sure that the default values like “Report Server, Port 80, Reports” are available and can be used,

Configure Power BI Report Server - Web Service URL

Click “Apply” to configure the Power BI Report Server Web Service URL.

Configure Power BI Report Server - Web Service URL Result

Configure the Power BI Report Server Database

Before configuring the Power BI Report Server Database,

You must make sure that you have a ready SQL Server instance with Database Engine installed.

If the SQL Server instance is ready, click on “Change Database” button.

Configure Power BI Report Server - Database

Follow the Database Creation wizard, Check “Create a new report server database” then click “Next”.

Configure Power BI Report Server - create a new Power BI Report Server Database

Connect to the database server, by providing

  • The SQL Server Instance that will host the Power BI database.
  • The Authentication type as you prefer.

Configure Power BI Report Server - Connect Power BI Report Server Database Engine

Provide an existing account that the Power BI service will use to connect to the Power BI Report Server database.

Configure Power BI Report Server - Power BI Report Server Database Credentials

Review the summary

Configure Power BI Report Server - Power BI Report Server Database Summary

Wait for a moment until the database creation is finished.

Configure Power BI Report Server - Power BI Report Server Database created

Configure the Power BI Report Server Web Portal URL

Click “Apply” to configure the Web Portal URL

Configure Power BI Report Server - Web Portal URL

When the web portal URL is configured, browse it to make sure the web portal is up and working correctly.

Install and Configure Power BI Report Server

Configure the Power BI Report Server Encryption keys

To encrypt the sensitive data in the report server database like connection strings, credentials, you should take a backup of the symmetric key.

Backup Power BI Report Server Encryption keys

Note: the symmetric key backup is very significant mainly when you are planning to migrate or move to another Power BI Report Server.


Manage Power BI Report Server Web Portal Permission

Normally, the unauthenticated users will not be able to access the Power BI Report Server Web Portal URL and they will get the below error

Power BI Report Server Permission Issue

I have explained the detail steps to manage SSRS & Power BI Report Server permissions at You are not allowed to view this folder. Contact your administrator to obtain the necessary permissions.


Download Power BI Desktop Steps

  • Open Power BI Report Server Web Portal URL.
  • Click on “Download“.

Install Power BI Desktop For Power BI Report Server

  • Click on “Power BI Desktop

Download Power BI Desktop For Power BI Report Server

  • Or use this Direct Link to download “Power BI Desktop“.

Power BI Desktop Download link For Power BI Report Server

  • Check “PBIDesktopRS_x64.msi“, next to download it.

Download Power BI Desktop x64 For Power BI Report Server


Install Power BI Desktop Steps

  • Double click on the downloaded file “PBIDesktopRS_x64.msi” to install the Power BI Desktop.

Install Microsoft Install Power BI Desktop for Power BI Report Server

  • Accept the terms, then click Next.

Install Microsoft Install Power BI Desktop for Power BI Report Server

  • Specify the installation folder, click “Next”.

Install Microsoft Install Power BI Desktop for Power BI Report Server

  • Check create a desktop shortcut, then Click on “Install”

Install Microsoft Install Power BI Desktop for Power BI Report Server

  • Wait for a moment till the Power BI Desktop is installed.

Install Microsoft Install Power BI Desktop for Power BI Report Server

  • Once the installation is finished, Click “Finish”.

Install Microsoft Install Power BI Desktop for Power BI Report Server

 


Create Report in Power BI Report Server using Power BI Desktop

  • Launch Microsoft Power BI Desktop.

Start Microsoft Power BI Desktop for Power BI Report Server

  • Get Data” from any available data source as you prefer,

Get Data from SQL Server in Microsoft Power BI Desktop for Power BI Report Server

  • Build your report as you prefer,

Create report in Microsoft Power BI Desktop for Power BI Report Server


Publish Report to Power BI Report Server

  • Go to “File” menu > “Save As” > “Power BI Report Server“.

Publish a report to Power BI report Server

  • Specify the Report Server (Web Portal) URL for the Power BI Report Server.

Set the Power BI Report Server URL in Power BI Desktop

  • Specify the Power BI Report Name.

Save a report to Power BI report Server

  • Click “Save” to save The Report to Power BI Report Server.

Saving to Power BI Report Server

  • The report has been published to Power BI Report Server Properly.

The report is saved to Power BI Report Server


Browse Power BI Report in Power BI Report Server

  • Open the Power BI Report Server Web Portal.
  • You will find the published report as shown below:

Power BI Report in Report Server

  • Click on the report name to open it that should be opening properly now.

Show Power BI Report in Report Server


Show – Embed Power BI Report as a full screen without a toolbar

To show the Power BI Report as a full screen without a toolbar, you can use “?rs:embed=true” after the report name as shown below

http://reportserver/Reports/powerbi/QassasReport?rs:embed=true

Show Power BI Report as full screen


Power BI Report Server – Known Issue

If you are using “DirectQuery” in Power BI Report, you may get this error

We couldn’t run the report because we couldn’t connect to its data source. The report or data source might not be configured correctly.

We couldn't run the report because we couldn't connect to its data source. The report or data source might not be configured correctly.

To overcome this issue, check Power BI: We couldn’t connect to the Analysis Services server. Make sure you’ve entered the connection string correctly.


Conclusion,

In this article, I have explained the following:

  • What’s the Power BI Report Server?
  • Power BI Report Server Software Requirments.
  • Power BI Report Server License.
  • Power BI Report Server Prerequisites.
  • Install Power BI Report Server.
  • Configure Power BI Report Server.
    • Configure the Power BI Report Server Service Account.
    • Configure the Power BI Report Server Web Service URL.
    • Configure the Power BI Report Server Database.
    • Configure the Power BI Report Server Web Portal URL.
    • Configure the Power BI Report Server Encryption keys.
  • Manage Power BI Report Server Web Portal Permission.
  • Download Power BI Desktop.
  • Install Power BI Desktop.
  • Create Report in Power BI Report Server using Power BI Desktop.
  • Publish Report to Power BI Report Server.
  • Browse Power BI Report in Power BI Report Server.
  • Show – Embed Power BI Report as full screen.
  • Power BI Report Server – Known Issue.
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6 thoughts on “Install and Configure Power BI Report Server On-Prem

  1. We have SharePoint 2013 and SQL 2014, and i assume power BI reporting services will work on this version. SSRS is currently running but when i open the SQL server 2014 reporting services configuration manager, and when i click on find, it says “unable to connect to the report server”, does not mean we are on SSRS SharePoint mode? Will it work if we install and configure power BI reporting services on top of this?if yes, will it create a new report server instance? Can i use the existing reporting services database?

    Like

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