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Csummers828
Frequent Visitor

Recreating Universes from BOE / Webi in the Power BI Service

Good morning everyone,

We recently started rolling out Power BI and plan on replacing our QlikView, Qlik Sense, and Alteryx tools with it. It appears we won't have any major issues bringing that data over and replacing all of our existing dashboards and reports. That said, we have a lot of concerns with potentially replacing BOE / WebI, specifically with replacing the semantic layer (Universes). It doesn't appear like import, datasets, or dataflows can handle hundreds of millions or billions of rows. Or dozens (if not hundreds) of tables like BOE does.

Unrelated to pro or premium licensing, I wanted to reach out to the community to see if anyone might have any guidance. We are working with a few Microsoft partners, but have heard mixed solutions with most pushing Direct Query. The problem with Direct Query is, our DBAs are in a panic about having dashboard visualizations being their own connections out to a given DB. Any guidance or advice or any direction we might want to pursue would be greatly appreciated.


Thank you

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Great question. The Power BI data storage is close to SSAS Tabular but also not too far removed from Parquet.  The whole idea of Fabric seems to revolve around Direct Lake and all its exciting features (imagine you can access these Parquet files with the Vertipaq engine where they are...).  It would be a risk (as it is all new stuff) but may be a risk worth taking.

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Csummers828
Frequent Visitor

Thanks for your response Ibendlin!  don't think we would be against holding onto BOE given its price, but leadership is pushing Power BI hard since we are becoming a fully fledged Microsoft shop.

QlikView, Qlik Sense, and Alteryx have features WebI doesn't and provide visualization options BOE simply can't match. With that in mind, we would be moving ~500 users from those tools over to Power BI, but we have a lot of analysts who are familiar with Power BI and Power Query in Excel and have interest in taking advantage of it as well. Are we basically stuck with it comes to trying to mirror something after the Universes? Even if we were to recreate them as views, CTEs, or stored procedures? Would it be plausible to approach them with tabular models or .parquet files instead?

Great question. The Power BI data storage is close to SSAS Tabular but also not too far removed from Parquet.  The whole idea of Fabric seems to revolve around Direct Lake and all its exciting features (imagine you can access these Parquet files with the Vertipaq engine where they are...).  It would be a risk (as it is all new stuff) but may be a risk worth taking.

lbendlin
Super User
Super User

More than anything this is a question of money.  I'm pretty sure a P5 or P6 capacity can handle your data volume but it will cost you dearly. How about keeping BOE for detailed reporting and a much smaller Power BI capacity for ad hoc reports based on csv extracts from BOE?

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