Microsoft is to bring its cloud-based business analytics tool, Power BI, out of preview on 24 July.
The tool, which aims to give any user the ability to easily gain insight from their business data, has been available to try out in beta for US customers since January and the rest of the world since March.
Over the last few months, Microsoft has been making updates, adding new features, capabilities and at least one new third-party content pack to the service every week.
For example, on Friday the company contributed the Power BI visualisation framework and its complete library of visuals to the open source community under an MIT license. Source code and more is available now on GitHub, and Microsoft has said that in future, customers will be able to bring these custom visuals into Power BI for use in their dashboards, reports and content packs.
The company has also quietly launched a Power BI mobile app for Android phone users, adding to the existing mobile support for iPhone, iPad and Windows devices.
As of 24 July, Microsoft will be making its free tool Power BI Designer for the desktop (now to be known as Power BI Desktop) generally available too. Aimed at business analysts, it can be used to connect to a wide range of data sources; cleanse, transform and model interrelationships between the data; explore the resulting mashed up datasets; and create interactive reports. These reports can then be published to the Power BI service for use by end users.
In line with what Microsoft announced earlier this year, users will be able to choose between two versions of Power BI – a free service and a paid one (Power BI Pro), which comes with additional features and data capacity, costing US$9.99 per user per month.
All Power BI preview users will automatically be converted to a Power BI free account even if they’ve been using Power BI Pro, however they can upgrade to the paid service at any time.
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