Microsoft Power BI is a business analytics service that provides interactive visualizations and business intelligence capabilities with an interface designed to enable end-users to create their own reports and dashboards. Power BI provides cloud-based business intelligence services, along with a desktop based interface. It offers data warehouse capabilities including data discovery and tailored dashboards. Microsoft provides an additional service, Power BI Embedded, on its Azure cloud platform. Key components include:

  • Power BI Desktop A Windows desktop application for PCs used primarily for developing and publishing reports to the Power BI Service.
  • Power BI Service A Software as a Service (SaaS)-based online service used to deploy reports and visualizations via the Internet. The Power BI service is also known as PowerBI.com, or simply Power BI.
  • Power BI Mobile Apps Mobile applications for Android and iOS devices and Windows phones and tablets.
  • Power BI Gateway The Power BI Gateway is used to synchronize external data in and out of Power BI. These are required for automated updates of underlying data. Gateways can also be used by Power Automate and PowerApps.
  • Power BI Embedded Power BI’s REST API can be used to incorporate reports and dashboards into custom applications.
  • Power BI Report Server An on-premises Power BI solution for organizations that can’t store and deploy data using the online Power BI Service.
  • Power BI Premium A capacity-based deployment that can be used to publish reports across an enterprise. Users can access reports without having individual licenses. This solution offers greater scale and performance than the shared environment in the Power BI Service.