Updates to Report Server should be available more frequently
It seems unfair that Power BI desktop is updated each month with new and improved visuals but we will have to wait several months longer to have these improvements in Power BI Report Server. For example the new matrix visual is big improvement but those with Report Server will have to wait about 6 months before it is available to them. I'd like Report Server updates in parallel to Desktop updates.
Thanks for the feedback on this topic! Let me address a few points here.
First, a couple of you mentioned the new Table and Matrix visuals, which became generally available in July. I know they’re just one example, but I thought I’d update you about them specifically. We previously communicated that the very next release of Power BI Report Server would support them, and the August 2017 Preview is now available (https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/power-bi-report-server-august-2017-preview-now-available/). We’re still targeting Q4 CY 2017 for the next production-ready release.
Second, to confirm our current release and support lifecycle:
- We plan to release Power BI Report Server “multiple times per year.”
- Initially, we’ve planned for about 3 releases per year (in other words, on average, every 4 months).
- We support each release for 12 months, which gives customers up to a year to upgrade to a newer version while receiving any necessary security patches for the version they’re using. We performed extensive customer research and explored other options, including an 8-month support period, and customer feedback indicated that many enterprises needed 12 months of support to deploy Power BI Report Server.
- (See here: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/reportserver-support-timeline/)
Third, your feedback is completely valid. I appreciate why you’d expect and want monthly releases of Power BI Report Server, and I’d love the same! At the same time, I can shed light on the problem that’d create. One benefit of the cloud is that there’s one version of the product (the current/latest one) to patch. With an on-premises server, however, we need to develop and release patches for whatever versions of the product are within their support periods. If we had a 12-month support period and released monthly, we’d need to develop and release patches for up to 12 versions at any given time. We’d need either to shorten the support period (which many customers indicated would be an issue for them), or to spend more time developing and releasing patches as opposed to developing new features, and we don’t want to slow down development of new features.
So, in short, we’re striving to strike the best possible balance between release frequency and support period, and this is the sort of customer feedback we want to get to make sure we’re doing so, or tweak if needed. So, thanks, and do continue to share your feedback and thoughts below!
Robert Blatchford commented
Does anybody know when we will get the next release of the Report Server and Desktop for On-Prem use?
Based upon details release by Microsoft I'm expecting regular updates of Report Server and the matching PBI Desktop on a 3 or 4 month cycle. The last release was Oct 2017, so that means that the next expected release is soon, maybe Feb 2018?
However in reply to a question I raised elsewhere a guy called Amir ( I think a Microsoft Employee ) has said "We intend to release an update to the report server towards the summer time.......". That's not a 3 or 4 month schedule, its a bi annual schedule, and if true is a big disappointment.
I cannot emphasize the importance to us of an On-Prem solution. We cannot use the cloud service, we are an enterprise that has sensitive data, and governance rules that prohibit its use.
Please clarify the situation, and if possible start publishing the road map for Report Server with some detail of when and what we can expect. I understand Riccardo’s points about the balance between frequency and productivity, I would be happy with a 4 month release cycle, but the current situation is vague and frustrating. We need confidence to plan ahead, telling our user base “it maybe some time before the summer” is not going to win us any friends.
Frank van Zuilen commented
Is there already an actual target date known for the next production release; Q4 2017 could be early October but also could be a "Christmas present". The functionality introduced after June, like the new Table and Matrix visuals, bookmarking (story telling) and data sources other than TM, is really important for a major roll-out; budgets will be determined before year's end...
Mark Stacey commented
My suggestion would be to release all new visuals released for the service as custom visuals as well - this would enable us to import the custom visuals to get the usability NOW and not wait if it was important to us
Mike Foss commented
Recently Report Server was updated in July of 2017. With this release came a RS version of Power BI Desktop. The problem with this is the newer version of Power BI Desktop, lets use July release as example that includes the above mentioned features of the Matrix and other visuals does not work with the report server update forcing Either to use the RS version of power BI desktop which is limited and has many features turned off or use an older version such as the June release.
Why are these not developed in parallel to ensure changes in Power BI Desktop work with Report server and then releases made available as a monthly update like windows is.
Thanks for the detailed response and well qualified reasons as to why your team chose the release cycle. While as a community of PowerBI users we'd like to see get things shipped more quickly and more frequently, being a software development team also helps us relate to your situation. There is no point in shipping buggy or partially cooked software just to ship it faster. Our direct customers want more stable and fully flushed out product even if they have to wait slightly longer to get those much requested features.
Lately, Microsoft in general and PowerBI team in particular has made significant improvements in providing much clarity and transparency and we as a Microsoft shop love it! Thanks very much and keep up the great work you guys are doing.
jason rossi commented
I agree, this should be one version for both. The idea that there at two exposes a broken development process.
it should be single product...
Can we please update the Power BI report server when updating the Power BI Desktop.
As much as the user are happy to know that issues have been fixed on my desktop, it does't help them.
I'm left considering alternative solutions.
Mark Richey commented
Voted for this, not sure if its 6 months or 4 but the new matrix visual is essential.
This update is really critical for enterprise level user adoption.
I couldn't help but wonder this myself!
Great idea, essential improvement
For now the Power Bi Server Desktop will be released 3 / 4 times a year. It is frustrated to see every month a new version for the cloud solution and for the on premise version we have to wait a while.
I heard that only every quarter there will be a new release for Power Bi Desktop for PowerBI server. I want a new version every month like the normal version. So if you release only one version this will be solved also. I need the new Visuals and other new functions very bad on premise and don't want to wait every quarter.