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What is Power BI Report Server?

Power BI Report Server is an on-premises report server with a web portal in which you display and manage reports and KPIs. Along with it come the tools to create Power BI reports, paginated reports, mobile reports, and KPIs. Your users can access those reports in different ways: viewing them in a web browser or mobile device, or as an email in their in-box.

Power BI Report Server web portal

Comparing Power BI Report Server

Power BI Report Server is similar to both SQL Server Reporting Services and the Power BI online service, but in different ways. Like the Power BI service, Power BI Report Server hosts Power BI reports (.PBIX) and Excel files. Like Reporting Services, Power BI Report Server is on premises, and hosts paginated reports (.RDL). Power BI Report Server is a super-set of Reporting Services: everything you can do in Reporting Services, you can do with Power BI Report Server, along with support for Power BI reports.

Licensing Power BI Report Server

Power BI Report Server is available through two different licenses: Power BI Premium and SQL Server Enterprise Edition with Software Assurance. With a Power BI Premium license, you can create a hybrid deployment mixing cloud and on-premises.

Web portal

The entry point for Power BI Report Server is a secure web portal you can view in any modern browser. Here, you access all your reports and KPIs. The content on the web portal is organized in a traditional folder hierarchy. In your folders, content is grouped by type: Power BI reports, mobile reports, paginated reports, KPIs, and Excel workbooks. Shared data sets and shared data sources are in their own folders, to use as building blocks for your reports. You tag favorites to view them in a single folder. And you create KPIs right in the web portal.

Depending on your permissions, you can manage the content in the web portal. You can schedule report processing, access reports on demand, and subscribe to published reports. You can also apply your own custom branding to your web portal

Power BI Report Server web portal

Power BI reports

You create Power BI reports (.PBIX) with the version of Power BI Desktop optimized for the report server. Then you publish them to and view them in the web portal in your own environment.Power BI reports in Power BI Report Server

A Power BI report is a multi-perspective view into a data model, with visualizations that represent different findings and insights from that data model. A report can have a single visualization or pages full of visualizations. Depending on your role, you may read and explore reports, or you may create them for others.

Paginated reports

Paginated reports (.RDL) are document-style reports with visualizations, in which tables expand horizontally and vertically to display all their data, continuing from page to page as needed. They’re great for generating fixed-layout, pixel-perfect documents optimized for printing, such as PDF and Word files.

Paginated reports in Power BI Report Server