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Need help choosing between Power BI Embedded and Power BI Report Server editions


I need a little help clearing up some terminology and managing some business expectations please. I'm sorry this is a lengthy post, I hope it reads quicker than it looks.


We have an online application which currently has a report page which has a rolled up view of transactions (by category) and allows drill-down from the aggregated view right down to listing the transactions. If I click on a transaction I am then taken to the appropriate page in the application to view the transaction.

We are looking to replace this bespoke functionality that we built ourselves with Power BI so that we not only replace the on-platform reports we have, but also so that we can develop reports using a best-in-breed tool without the need of significant custom development.

The idea we currently have is to build the reports and then embed them into a page on our application. This is why we assume that Power BI Embedded would be the right tool for that to work. However, if we need to do development on our pages each time we have added a new report, or in the future, some dashboard component, then maybe we've looked at the wrong version of Power BI.


The expectation is to have a white labelled (branded like our application) reporting and dashboard capability accessible by users who are logged into our application who can only access the data which is associated to their organisation in a multi-tenant environment. As all of our client data is held on-premises, we would prefer to also process the data on-premise rather than have to continually move it to the cloud for processing.

Day one

It would be for reports which are run and delivered to various parties on a schedule and on-demand. The reports can also be opened from our platform and interacted with (drill-down) but not necessarily in our own interface if it looks like our brand. It might also navigate users to individual transactions in our application (if it can be done, isn't that deep linking?).

We would also restrict the creation of reports to internal users rather than our client's who would simply be data consumers.

The reports would be be performed against end of last business day and no real-time data required.

Day Two

There are real-time statistics that we would want to deliver to our clients and we would use our event messaging service (Solace) and setup an ESP (Event Stream Processing) capability to respond to new data events as they come in. These 'tiles' might be displayed on a dedicated dashboard page or, prefereably, available incorporated within our pages.


Given the background and our expectations, what are the pros and cons on the different types of Power BI? Does any one of the solutions stand out as the best one for the job? What are the trade-offs to consider (example, if Embedded Power BI only works in the cloud then I need to understand what compromises or resets of expectations to make).


Whoever has picked this post up, thank you so much for your time, patience and support. Your recommendations and expertise are very much appreciated.



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