Key Benefits and Uses of Power BI Report server for Cloud and On-premises Setup

  • Post category:Power BI
  • Post author:
  • Post published:November 23, 2021

Power BI is a collection of mobile apps from Microsoft for iOS, Android, and Windows 10. The Power BI Report Server, for example, is a web portal that you can use to manage reports and KPIs on your premises. To create paginated reports, mobile reports, and KPIs, you’ll need a few tools.

Additionally, it can be used with two types of licences: Power BI Premium and SQL Server Enterprise Edition with Software Assurance. However, the Power BI Pro licence is required to publish reports to the on-premises report server.


It has interactive features and is built on the SQL Server Reporting Services (SSR) Framework. As a result, Power BI reports can be hosted, shared, and collaborated on entirely within the user organization’s firewall. The following are the advantages of using this server:

  • On-premises – Unlike the Power BI Service or the Power BI Premium, this version of the product is installed in an on-premises setup and configured to work only on an on-premises setup.
  • Framework for SSRS – User organisations can transfer reporting assets such as paginated reports, mobile reports, KPIs, and Excel Workbooks thanks to the SSRS Framework.
  • Power BI Reports – It enables the deployment of Power BI Reports.

The database is part of the Power BI Premium capacity of the Power BI Service purchase. As a result, this method is the best option for organisations trying to establish both an on-cloud and on-premises BI architecture and model through visualisations.

Server Requirements for cloud hosting vs. on-premises:

In today’s world, businesses are increasingly turning to cloud computing because of its immense flexibility. Furthermore, there are some significant differences between cloud hosting and on-premise hosting. The following are some of these distinctions:

  • Deployment – The on-premise reporting service and data structure allow resources to be deployed within the organization’s infrastructure in-house. Organizations other than the user, on the other hand, can use the data in the cloud computing environment at any time.
  • Cost – The organisation is responsible for ongoing process costs as well as other costs such as space, power consumption, and others when using an on-premise structure. When businesses use cloud computing, on the other hand, they only pay for the resources they use, not for any additional maintenance costs.
  • Control – The on-premise computing structure gives the user organisation complete control over its data. Companies, on the other hand, struggle to maintain control over their organisational data in the cloud computing environment.
  • Security – Organizations or companies that deal with sensitive data or data that is extremely vulnerable, such as the banking industry, benefit from the on-premise setting because it provides the highest level of data security. One of the most significant factors impeding the development of cloud computing is apprehension about security.

The requirements for establishing the Report Server technology are:

  • Net Framework of 4.7
  • 1GB of HDD space
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • OGHz (or faster) ×64 CPU
  • Windows Server 8 Enterprise through Windows Server 2019 Datacentre.
  • SQL Server 2012 through SQL Server 2019.

Power BI Server installation and dashboard creation

The Power BI Report Server can be licenced through one of two methods: Power BI Premium or SQL Server Enterprise Software Assurance. You can install it by following the steps below:

How to Install Power BI Server:

  • Find the PowerBIReportServer.exe file and run the installer there.
  • Select the Power BI Report Server option.
  • Next, select the addition you want to install.
  • Click next after reading the license’s terms and conditions.
  • In order to store the report server database, a database engine must be present. To install only the report server, click next.
  • Specifically, the location of the installation. To continue, select install.
  • After the report is successfully completed, the server selects Configure report server to start reporting services.

Key Benefits and Uses of Power BI Report server | November 2021

How to create Power BI dashboard

  • The following steps can be used to create a Power BI dashboard:
  • Download a sample procurement analysis file.
  • In the browser, go to the Power BI service.
  • Get Data from the Nav Space after selecting My workspace.
  • Select Get from the Files menu.
  • Choose Connect after moving to the location of the sample file.
  • Then choose import.

Select the cross to remove the success message when it appears on the screen.

What is the Process of publishing the report to report server:

The steps to publish a report in the report server are as follows.

Step I: Installing Power BI Desktop

To begin, download and install the Power BI desktop for the Power BI Report Server. On the same computer, you can run both Power BI Desktop and Power BI Desktop for on-premises report server.

Step II: Selecting a data source

A user can choose from a number of different data sources. Get Data must be selected from the welcome screen, and the data source must be chosen from the Analysis services. It is necessary to populate the server and database. Finally, decide where the reports will be saved on the report server. There are numerous Power BI Implementation options available for various data sources, both external and internal.

Step III: Design the report

The report’s design is the third step in the process. Arrange data into various visuals in which the data can be illustrated in this step.

Step IV: Saving the report to the report server

The reports must be saved in the report server chosen in Step II as the final step.

Differences between Power BI Report Server and SAAS BI :

SAAS BI is a subscription-based cloud application that provides Business Intelligence (BI) tools such as dashboards and report servers. As a result, ‘SAAS’ stands for ‘Software-as-a-Service.’ The following are the major differences between these two services, according to a comparison of the two:

  • The SAAS BI version receives updates every month, whereas the Power BI version, which is an on-premises service, receives updates only three times a year.
  • In SAAS BI, you can create reports using the browser, whereas in Power BI Desktop, you can use the on-premises report server to create reports.
  • The Power BI Gateway is not required for Microsoft BI Report Server to access any local data, but it is required for SAAS BI if any local SQL Server data needs to be connected as the data source.
  • Another significant difference between the two is the absence of dashboards in the SAAS BI and their presence in the SAAS BI.
  • The shared data sets are later available on the SAAS BI platform, but not on Power BI.
  • In SAAS BI, downloaded data can be managed in Excel, whereas this feature is not available in Power BI.
  • The Report Server does not have the Question & Answer feature, but it is available in Power BI.

Drawbacks Power BI Report Server:

Despite the fact that the service’s design benefits its users to a large extent, this tool does have some drawbacks. When used in practise, you’ll notice a list of drawbacks-

  • Microsoft BI reports cannot be created in a browser.
  • Dashboards are not available in the tool.
  • There are no datasets. As a result, there is no way to share data between reports.
  • You can’t make content packs because you lack the necessary skills.
  • Excel cannot be used for analysis.
  • Many-to-many relationships are impossible to establish.
  • There is a dearth of quick insights.
  • There aren’t any data warnings.
  • There is no full-screen mode available.
  • There are no R-visuals.
  • There are no preview options available.
  • There are only a few updates and improvements.
  • Certain Microsoft BI community-created custom visuals don’t work.

You can use it to only assist in publishing interactive reports and sharing them with end-users, despite the disadvantages. In addition, there is no support for workspaces, apps, or dashboards. Because the tool is based on SSRS technology, reports can only be shared and published in the same way that SSRS reports can be shared and published in Native Mode.


Despite its flaws, the Power BI Report Server is one of the best on-premises analytics software infrastructures for creating custom charts and layouts for users. Additionally, the user organisation has access to certain tools such as Power BI Reports, Mobile Reports, and others that come with it.

Finally, each company or organisation must determine whether or not this app supports its enterprise reporting needs.

Addend Analytics is a Microsoft Gold Partner based in Mumbai, India, and a branch office in the U.S. Addend has successfully implemented 100+ Microsoft Power BI and Business Central projects for 100+ clients across sectors like Financial Services, Banking, Insurance, Retail, Sales, Manufacturing, Real estate, Logistics, and Healthcare in countries like the US, Europe, Switzerland, and Australia. Get a free consultation now by emailing us at or Contact us.