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Anonymous
Not applicable

Power BI Premium - which SQL server edition for catalog ?

Hi all,

 

My organization recently bought Power BI premium. Now i'm installing the Reportserver and i am at the point of installing the reportserver catalog databases. I will use a dedicated sql server for those databases.

 

Can I use SQL Server 2017 Express Edition or other free version for the Reportserver databases? I read some messages in this forum but the answers are not consistent. Some say Enterprise edition is needed, others say Express will be sufficient. Can anybody provide clarity?

 

thanks!

7 REPLIES 7
bradsy
Microsoft Employee
Microsoft Employee

Just curious, if you have PBI Premium, why not turn on Paginated Reports and let the service take care of RDL based reports for you? No need to install and configure reporting services.

 

 https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/paginated-reports/paginated-reports-report-builder-power-b...

or

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/paginated-reports/paginated-reports-faq

 

 

v-yulgu-msft
Microsoft Employee
Microsoft Employee

Hi @Anonymous,

 


 Can I use SQL Server 2017 Express Edition or other free version for the Reportserver databases?


Yes. You can use SQL Server free version to host Power BI Report Server database.

 

I guess someone says "Enterprise edition is needed" might mean if you have purchased SQL Server Enterprise Edition + Software Assurance, then, you don't need to purchase Power BI Report Server product key separately.

 

Regards,

Yuliana Gu

Community Support Team _ Yuliana Gu
If this post helps, then please consider Accept it as the solution to help the other members find it more quickly.

Hi, Which free edition of SQL Server are you referring to? Evaluation edition of SQL Server will expire in 180 days and hence not an option. SQL Server Developer edition does not work with licensed version of Power BI report server (licensed through Power Bi Premium). We have scanned so many documents so far from Microsoft and similar blogs. But nobody has clarified if an On Premises Power BI Report Server installation(licensed through Power Bi Premium license) requires a paid SKU of SQL Server edition to be installed. If the answer to this is Yes, then why have these words been included in microsoft document "Planning a Power Bi Enterprise deployment" which goes like this. "Power BI Report Server does not require a separate SQL Server license unless you intend to use other components such as the SQL Server database engine or SQL Server Integration Services. A limited-use rights database engine comes with the Power BI Report Server for hosting the Report Server catalog and temporary databases". It is time that some authentic information gets published by Microsoft to settle this confusion. Regards Janithri

I don't believe any of the express versions will work as the back end store for Report Server since it requires SQL Agent for running report subscriptions and for scheduling data refresh. So you will need at least a standard edition instance.

 

@Janithri wrote:
But nobody has clarified if an On Premises Power BI Report Server installation(licensed through Power Bi Premium license) requires a paid SKU of SQL Server edition to be installed.

No if you have licensed PBIRS through purchasing a P-SKU you are not required to purchase a paid SKU of SQL Server.

 


@Janithri wrote:
 "Power BI Report Server does not require a separate SQL Server license unless you intend to use other components such as the SQL Server database engine or SQL Server Integration Services. A limited-use rights database engine comes with the Power BI Report Server for hosting the Report Server catalog and temporary databases". 

So what this limited use license means is that you are entitled to install a full edition of SQL Server as long as it is ONLY used for Power BI Report Server. As soon as you put a single other database on this instance you would be violating the "limited-use rights" and would need to pay for a full SQL license, but as long as it only hosts the Report Server databases you are fine.

 

But this is just my understanding based on what has been explained to me - you should be able to confirm this with your local Microsoft account representative or the local Microsoft office. 

Thanks for your response. We will get this further verified with a Microsoft Representative. Your response is reassuring. Regards Janithri
Anonymous
Not applicable

Hi,

We have installed Power BI On-Premise evalution edition to build the infrastrcture and installed SQL Express for that.

 

After purchasing the licenses for Power BI Report Server (P1), we've recieved the following error.

 

 

 

 

Do we have to upgrade from SQL Express to a higher edition? If not, do I have to rebuild the database or reinstall?

Anonymous
Not applicable

Hi @v-yulgu-msft ,

 

Thanks for your response. Good to hear its possible to use the free SQL edition. Is advanced features necessary?

Furthermore, Express has 10 GB size limitation. We're starting to use PBIRS so the data will grow and in the beginning Express will be sufficient I guess. But is it 'smart' to use Express Edition ? No sql server agent, no automatic backups.. Introducing Power BI into the organization is very important, so i would like to have a good start.

 

Kind regards.

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