Power BI desktop June Update

Now let’s get to what’s new in the June release of Power BI Desktop:

Report View

  • New visual: Shape Map (preview)

Shape Map is a new mapping visual that has been added to Power BI.  Unlike the existing map control, it cannot show precise geographical locations of data points on a map, but its main purpose is to show relative comparisons of regions on a map by coloring them differently.

To use ShapeMap, drag the control onto the design surface.  Then in the Fields settings, drag a data field that has the region names (or abbreviations) onto the Location bucket and a data measure field into the Values bucket. In the Format settings you must then select one of the default maps to show your data, and the rendering will appear (we’ll look to make this process smarter in the full release).


You can then configure the map projection and zooming settings as well as the colors of data points.

Alternatively, you can add a category data column to the Legend bucket in order to classify the map regions based on categories:


  • Searchable slicers

Slicers are now searchable.  If the list of items is long and you can’t easily what you need, choose the “…” menu on a slicer and choose “Search”.  This will open a search box at the top of the slicer that will filter out the items as you type.


  • Configurable line chart labels

You can now control the density of data point labels on a line-chart via the Label Density property slider under Data Label format options:


  • New sign-in entry points

Power BI Desktop users can now sign-in more easily to their Power BI service account.  Getting started dialog on app startup has a sign-in screen now, as well as the top-right corner of the ribbon.  Users can sign in, change the user or configure their account settings.

Data Acces

Power BI row-level security allows you to secure your data at the row level by defining security filters for Roles or in a table in the model.  You can define a Role and an associated security filter in the Power BI desktop and then assign members to that Role in the service.  To define Roles, click on the Manage Roles button in the Modelling tab on the ribbon.


Data Connectors

  • New Connector: Azure Enterprise
  • Enhanced SAP BW and HANA connectors:
    • Allow multi-select of values for Variables/Parameters
    • Support for Hierarchies in SAP BW.
  • Enhanced OData connector – imports Open Type columns
  • Enhanced Access DB connector – Button to “Select Related Tables” in the Navigator dialog

Query Experience

  • Templates: Option to Load or Edit. When importing a template into Power BI Desktop, users can now pick whether to Load or Edit, after specifying any required parameters in the template
  • Query Parameter Enhancements:
    • Option to always allow Parameter specification: Before this update, this control was only available when at least one parameter already existed in the current PBIX file.
    • Create a new parameter directly in context
  • Option to generate Step Names in English: Users can now control whether the Query Editor should automatically generate Step names in the current installation language (old behavior, and still the default behavior going forward), or lock it down so that step names are generated in English. This setting applies to all files created in the current machine.This option is available under “File -> Options -> Global” and it only shows up in non-English versions of Power BI Desktop (as it means no change in behavior for English versions).
  • Descriptions for Query Steps:can be accessed within the right-click menu for any step in your queries (“Properties…”):
  • New Data Transformations:
    • Extract Week Day and Month Name from a DateTime column
    • Merging Dates and Times into a DateTime column
    • Extract Time.Start/End of Hour/Minute/Second






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