Joshua Fennessy

Getting to know Power View – Part 1: Getting Started

In this multi-part blog series, I will be introducing you to one of the newest features in the SQL 2012 BI Stack — a new reporting engine called Power View.  The first part of this series will explain a little bit about the application, and how to launch it to start building great looking reports. Throughout this series, I will be using the freely available AdventureWorks 2012 RC0 data set.  If you don’t have it yet, you can download it here.    Without further adieu, let’s dive into Part 1 – Getting Started.

Congratulations!  You’ve successfully installed and configured SQL Server Reporting Services 2012 in SharePoint Integrated mode. The new Reporting Services installer makes it a bit easier doesn’t it?  You’ve probably heard a lot about this new tool called Power View (formally Project Crescent). So what is it all about?

The Basics

Power View is an analytic reporting tool catered towards end user functionality. You’ll soon notice that there is no longer a “Design View” and “Preview View”  It’s all there in one really simple to use editor.  Speaking of the editor, you may also notice that it’s a Silverlight application. That means no right-clicking and selecting Properties.  Every function necessary to build  great looking reports is available right there on the Office Ribbon.

So, how do you get to Power View?  There doesn’t seem to a button on SharePoint anywhere. Nothing was installed local on your computer.  Hmmm. This is odd.

Setting up the Application

To understand how to even launch Power View, it’s importing to know a little bit about how it works.  Power View generates DAX. So therefore, it becomes evident that we can only use it with certain types of data sources.  For now, those types are PowerPivot 2012 enabled workbooks, and SSAS Cubes running in Tabular Mode.

There’s a little hint!  In order to launch Power View, you have to start with one of those data sources.

Launching from PowerPivotCreate PowerView Report

If you’ve successfully installed PowerPivot for SharePoint and have at least one workbook deployed, then you’re ready to use PowerView.  From any of the standard PowerPivot Library View – Gallery, Theater, or Carousel – click the middle icon titled Create Power View Report. If the stars are aligned, you should see a Silverlight application launching, and within a few seconds, have your data source loaded up in Power View, ready to create your first report.  This is great!  What was that I said about SSAS Cubes in Tabular Mode?

Launching from a Tabular Cube

Connecting PowerView to a Tabular Cube is a bit more involved than connecting to a PowerPivot workbook.  First, we’ll need to pick a library where we want to keep these reports.  That’s easy enough.  Next we’ll need to make sure that the library will allow us to create the type of connection that we need to create.  We need to create a New BISM Connection. If you can’t see BI Semantic Model Connection content type in the SharePoint 2010 ribbon,then you’ll need to add it through the Library options menu.  Follow the instructions here to do that task


After creating a new BISM Connection, you’ll need to configure it to point to your datasource.  This is pretty straightforward, and I’ve included a complete example here.

Make sure that you are connecting to a SQL 2012 Analysis Services instance running in Tabular Mode. Currently, this is the only SSAS mode that PowerView supports.

Once you have configured the connection to point to your cube, Either click directly on the new BISM Connection that you’ve made – or —  open the context menu and select Create Power View Report.  Pretty simple!

Up Next…

Getting Power View open and connected to a data source was pretty painless, if a little bit hidden.  Coming up next, let’s take a look at the Power View application.

13 thoughts on “Getting to know Power View – Part 1: Getting Started”

  1. Hi,
    I uploaded two excel workbooks. One has “Create Power View Report” ICon; one does not have. What is the matter? and How to make the one that has no “Create Power View Report” ICon to show the ICon?

    thank you for your help!

    1. Hi Hua,

      There are lots of variables in play within the SharePoint realm. For starters, do both workbooks contain PowerPivot models? Only Excel worksheets that contain PowerPivot models managed by SharePoint will be accessible via PowerView.

  2. Thanks for your article.
    When I click on ‘Create Power View Report’, there is an error : rsInvalidDataSourceReference
    The report server cannot process the report or shared dataset. The shared data source ‘EntityDataSource’ for the report server or SharePoint site is not valid. Browse to the server or site and select a shared data source.
    Not sure where to start. thanks

  3. Hi,
    Do you need to create your workbooks in excel 2013? I am not getting the “Create Power View Report” icon for any of my reports.

    1. No, you can use Excel 2010 to create PowerPivot enabled workbooks for use in Power View. You must have PowerPivot for SharePoint installed and configured, in addtion to Reporting Services 2012 Integrated with Sharepoint.

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