This was Microsoft BI in 2016

This was Microsoft BI in 2016

Door: Nick Faes

With the latest version of Microsoft SQL Server, we – BI folks – have a lot of new features to play with. Reporting Services (SSRS) has brought the biggest changes since years. Also Analysis Services and Integration Services deliver some major updates. It’s not just SQL Server that gave us a lot of new BI features. Power BI, the all-in-one clean-up and reporting tool/portal from Microsoft, has also made an enormous progress in 2016. Let’s take a look at some of the new, enhanced and/or interesting features of 2016.

SSRS 2016

Custom Branding

Mobile Reports

A New reporting Services Web Portal

Subscriptions using an SMTP server outside your network

Migrating your DataZen to SSRS

Power BI and SSRS integration

Improved embedding paginated reports into ASP.NET

Embed paginated reports into ASP.NET web apps using the Report Viewer 2016 control

KPI Report Type

Simplified installation modes and SharePoint integration options

SSIS 2016

Incremental package deployment

Improved Debugging (like column names in the error output and custom logging level)

Target Server Version (backwards compatibility)


Calculated tables

Display Folders and Translations

Bi-directional cross filtering (also in Power BI)

Tabular Model Scripting Language (TMSL)

Power BI

First of all, you can always check out the very latest additions here

R-powered custom visuals

TOP-N Filter

Drop-down slicer

Grouping and binning

Power BI Templates

Advanced Mathematical Formulas using the M Language

Shape Maps (also custom shape maps)

R script transformations (Query Editor)

Power BI Embedded

SQL Server

Even more power with column store indexes

R Server is now part of SQL Server

What’s New in Master Data Services (MDS)

Data Science

R is being integrated more and more in Microsoft’s BI stack and this Free eBook – Data Science with R – is confirming this trend

Business 2016

Gartner places Microsoft as a leader in the business intelligence quadrant


It has been going fast in 2016 for Microsoft BI. If we continue to move on like this, we’re in for a treat in 2017. And the first signs are already promising. In the latest SQL Server vNext we see a major update for getting data in Analysis Services. Also, on-premise Power BI reports via SSRS will soon be publicly available. With the monthly updates of Power BI, chances are big that we‘ll see a lot more things happening over there. So keep checking our blogs and last but not least: Happy New Year!