Hello. Tim Macaulay here again. SR. Support Escalation Engineer on the Power BI Support Team here at Microsoft. Recently had an interesting discussion around the topic of "automating the installation of the Power BI Desktop" product. Let's talk about it. Please let me know if you have any questions and/or feedback.
PRODUCT FOCUS / PRODUCTS INVOLVED
Microsoft Power BI Desktop
THE END GOAL / PROBLEM SCENARIO DESCRIPTION
In this discussion, we are looking for a way to automatically update the Power BI Desktop product without end-user intervention.
- Is this possible? If so, how can one achieve the automatic update?
- What kind of special permissions are needed to bring this to success?
Power BI Desktop Store App
The Power BI Desktop Store App utilizes the Windows 10 App Installer to execute the installation. The key to note about the App Installer, is that it does not utilize Programs and Features inside of Control Panel.
That stated, when the Power BI Desktop Store App is updated, it is then pushed down and updates the installed Power BI Desktop App, which will not require any interaction by the end-user. Additionally, it does not require any administrative permissions to execute the update.
One can discover more information here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/desktop-get-the-desktop#install-as-an-app-from-the-microso...
- Enable Automatic Updates: https://support.microsoft.com/en-ca/help/15081/windows-turn-on-automatic-app-updates
- Download Power BI Desktop from the Microsoft Store: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/desktop/
Power BI Download
(Download from Internet)
The Power BI Download is a Windows Installer based install and is deployed each month with a MSI (Microsoft Installer) file. The Windows Installer based install does add the application to the Programs and Features in the Control Panel.
At this point and time, there is no Out of the Box way to automatically update the Power BI Download installation. In order to update the Power BI application that has been downloaded, you must first uninstall the current Power BI and then install the new Power BI with the new MSI file.
The question is how does one uninstall / install to create an automated installation. To achieve this, one can utilize the msiexec.exe file to execute the uninstall / install via command-line.
Windows Guidance and Examples
Here, find information on syntax and examples.
One can discover information about the command-line syntax here at the Microsoft Documentation on the Windows Installer Command-Line: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/desktop/msi/command-line-options
One can utilize the
- /x switch to uninstall the product
- /i to install the product
- /q for quiet mode
Msiexec /x < GUID from the uninstall key > /qn
You can find the GUID for the Power BI Product in the Uninstall Key
To obtain the GUID Key from the registry, one could use PowerShell to iterate through the Uninstall Registry key to obtain the information.
There are some great blogs out there that can assist with such a task.
The snapshot below is just an illustration. The GUID might be different
Msiexec /I "<Location and filename of the Power BI MSI>" /qn ACCEPT-EULA = 1
In many cases, companies would do things like utilize deployment software like Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager.