Organize work in the new workspaces in Power BI

Workspaces are places to collaborate with colleagues to create collections of dashboards, reports, datasets, and paginated reports. The new workspace experience helps you better manage access to content. This article describes the new workspaces, and how they differ from the classic workspaces. As with classic workspaces, you still use them to create and distribute apps.

Ready to create a new workspace? Read Create a new workspace experience.

Power BI new workspace experience

New, upgraded workspaces can coexist side by side with existing classic workspaces. The new workspace experience is the default workspace type. You can still create and use classic workspaces based on Microsoft 365 groups, if you need to. Ready to migrate your classic workspace? See Upgrade classic workspaces to the new workspaces in Power BI for details.

New and classic workspace differences

With the new workspaces, we've redesigned some features. Here are the main differences.

  • Creating the new workspaces doesn't create Microsoft 365 groups like classic workspaces do. All the new workspace administration is in Power BI, not in Office 365. You can still manage user access to content through Microsoft 365 groups, if you want. You just add a Microsoft 365 group in the workspace access list.
  • Use more granular workspace roles for more flexible permissions management in the new workspaces. In classic workspaces, you can add only individuals to the members and admin lists.
  • Assign user groups to workspace roles: In the new workspaces, you can add multiple Active Directory security groups, distribution lists, or Microsoft 365 groups to these roles, for easier user management.
  • Contact list: In the new workspaces, you can specify who receives notification about workspace activity.
  • Create template apps: You can only create template apps in the new workspaces. Template apps are apps that you can distribute to customers outside of your organization. Those customers can then connect to their own data with your template app. Read more about template apps.
  • Share datasets: To share a dataset outside a specific workspace, you need to save the report that contains the dataset to one of the new workspaces. You can't share datasets from classic workspaces. Read more about shared datasets.
  • Organizational content packs: You create and consume organizational content packs in classic workspaces. You can't create or consume them in the new workspaces. Apps and template apps replace organizational content packs in the new workspaces.

This article explains these features in more detail.

Note

Power BI continues to list all Microsoft 365 groups that you're a member of. This avoids changing existing workflows.

Features that work differently

In the new workspaces, some features work differently. These differences are intentional, based on feedback we've received from customers. They enable a more flexible approach to collaboration in workspaces.

  • Licensing enforcement: Publishing reports to a new workspace experience enforces existing licensing rules. Users collaborating in new workspaces or sharing content to others in the Power BI service need a Power BI Pro license. Users without a Pro license see the error "Only users with Power BI Pro licenses can publish to this workspace."
  • 'Members can reshare' setting: The Contributor role in the new workspaces replaces the 'Members can reshare' setting in the classic workspaces.
  • Read-only workspaces: The Viewer role in the new workspaces replaces granting users read-only access to a classic workspace. The Viewer role allows similar read-only access to the content in the new workspaces.
  • Users without a Pro license can access a new workspace if the workspace is in a Power BI Premium capacity, but only if they have the Viewer role.
  • Allow users to export data: Even users with the Viewer role in the new workspace can export data if they have Build permission on the datasets in that workspace. Read more about Build permission for datasets.
  • No Leave workspace button in the new workspaces.

Workspace contact list

The new Contact list feature allows you to specify which users receive notification about issues occurring in the new workspaces. By default, any user or group specified as a workspace admin in the new workspace is notified. You can add to that list. Users or groups in the contact list are also listed in the user interface (UI) of the new workspaces, so workspace end-users know whom to contact.

Read about how to create the workspace contact list.

Workspace OneDrive

As we've stated, Power BI doesn't create a Microsoft 365 group behind the scenes when you create one of the new workspaces. Still, you might find it useful to have a OneDrive associated with the new workspace. With the Workspace OneDrive feature in the new workspaces, you can configure a Microsoft 365 group whose SharePoint Document Library file storage is available to workspace users. You create the group outside of Power BI.

Power BI doesn't synchronize between Microsoft 365 group membership and permissions for users or groups with access to the new workspace. You can synchronize them: Manage workspace access through the same Microsoft 365 group whose file storage you configure in this setting.

Read about how to set the workspace OneDrive.

Roles in the new workspaces

Roles let you manage who can do what in the new workspaces, so teams can collaborate. New workspaces allow you to assign roles to individuals, and to user groups: security groups, Microsoft 365 groups, and distribution lists.

To grant access to a new workspace, assign those user groups or individuals to one of the workspace roles: Admin, Member, Contributor, or Viewer. Everyone in a user group gets the role you've assigned. If someone is in several user groups, they get the highest level of permission provided by the roles they're assigned. If you nest user groups, all the contained users have permission. All of these capabilities, except viewing and interacting, require a Power BI Pro license. Read more about licensing in this article.

Capability Admin Member Contributor Viewer
Update and delete the workspace. Yes checkmark
Add/remove people, including other admins. Yes checkmark
Allow Contributors to update the app for the workspace Yes checkmark
Add members or others with lower permissions. Yes checkmark Yes checkmark
Publish and change permissions for an app Yes checkmark Yes checkmark
Update an app. Yes checkmark Yes checkmark If allowed 1
Share an item or share an app.2 Yes checkmark Yes checkmark
Allow others to reshare items.2 Yes checkmark Yes checkmark
Feature apps on colleagues' Home Yes checkmark Yes checkmark
Feature dashboards and reports on colleagues' Home Yes checkmark Yes checkmark Yes checkmark
Create, edit, and delete content in the workspace. Yes checkmark Yes checkmark Yes checkmark
Publish reports to the workspace, delete content. Yes checkmark Yes checkmark Yes checkmark
Create a report in another workspace based on a dataset in this workspace.2 Yes checkmark Yes checkmark Yes checkmark
Copy a report.3 Yes checkmark Yes checkmark Yes checkmark
Schedule data refreshes via the on-premises gateway.4 Yes checkmark Yes checkmark Yes checkmark
Modify gateway connection settings.4 Yes checkmark Yes checkmark Yes checkmark
View and interact with an item.5 Yes checkmark Yes checkmark Yes checkmark Yes checkmark
Read data stored in workspace dataflows Yes checkmark Yes checkmark Yes checkmark Yes checkmark

1 Contributors can update the app associated with the workspace, if the workspace Admin delegates this permission to them. However, they can't publish a new app or change who has permission to it.

2 Contributors and Viewers can also share items in a workspace if they have Reshare permissions.

3 To copy a report, and to create a report in another workspace based on a dataset in this workspace, you need Build permission for the dataset. For datasets in this workspace, the people with Admin, Member, and Contributor roles automatically have Build permission through their workspace role.

4 Keep in mind that you also need permissions on the gateway. Those permissions are managed elsewhere, independent of workspace roles and permissions. See Manage an on-premises gateway for details.

5 Even if you don't have a Power BI Pro license, you can view and interact with items in the Power BI service if the items are in a workspace in a Premium capacity.

Note

  • You can assign users to roles, either alone or in a group, even if they can't use the role. In other words, you can assign users who don't have Power BI Pro licenses to a role that requires a license. See Licenses in this article for details.
  • To enforce row-level security (RLS) for users browsing content in a workspace, use the Viewer role. You can also enforce RLS without giving access to the new workspace. Publish an app and distribute it to those users, or use sharing to distribute content to them.

Licensing and administering

Licenses

If one of the new workspaces is in a shared capacity, everyone you add to it needs a Power BI Pro license. These users can all collaborate on the dashboards and reports in the new workspace. If you want to distribute content to others inside your organization, either assign Power BI Pro licenses to those users or place the workspace in a Power BI Premium capacity.

When the new workspace is in a Power BI Premium capacity, users with the Viewer role can access the workspace even if they don't have a Power BI Pro license. However, if you assign these users a higher role like Admin, Member, or Contributor, they're prompted to start a Pro trial when they try to access the workspace. If you want users without Pro licenses to use the Viewer role, make sure they don't also have other workspace roles, either as individuals or as part of a user group.

Publishing reports to the new workspace experience has stricter enforcement of existing licensing rules. If you try to publish from Power BI Desktop or other client tools without a Pro license, you see the error, "Only users with Power BI Pro licenses can publish to this workspace."

Note

Power BI US Government isn't available as a Free license. For licensing details, see Power BI for US government customers.

Guest users

By default, Azure AD B2B Guest users can't access workspaces. Power BI admins can allow external guest users to edit and manage content in the organization. Enabled Guest users can access workspaces to which they have permission.

Administering new workspace experience workspaces

Administration for new workspace experience workspaces is in the Power BI admin portal. Power BI admins decide who in an organization can create workspaces and distribute apps. Read about managing users' ability to create workspaces in the "Admin portal" article.

Admins can also see the state of all the workspaces in their organization. They can manage, recover, and even delete workspaces. Read about managing the workspaces themselves in the "Admin portal" article.

Auditing

Power BI audits the following activities for new workspace experience workspaces.

Friendly name Operation name
Created Power BI folder CreateFolder
Deleted Power BI folder DeleteFolder
Updated Power BI folder UpdateFolder
Updated Power BI folder access UpdateFolderAccess

Read more about Power BI auditing.

Limitations and considerations

Limitations to be aware of:

  • Workspaces can contain a maximum of 1,000 datasets, or 1,000 reports per dataset.
  • A person with a Power BI Pro license can be a member of a maximum 1,000 workspaces.
  • Power BI publisher for Excel isn't supported.

Frequently asked questions

Are links to existing content affected by the new workspace experience?

No. Links to existing items in classic workspaces aren't affected by the new workspace experience. The general availability (GA) of the new workspace experience changes the default workspace you create, but doesn't change existing workspaces.

Are existing workspaces upgraded to the new workspace experience with GA?

No. The new workspace experience GA only changes the default workspace type to the new workspace experience. Existing classic workspaces that are based on Microsoft 365 groups remain unchanged.

Are workspaces still automatically created for Microsoft 365 groups?

Yes. Since we support both types of workspaces side by side, we continue to list all Microsoft 365 groups you have access to in the workspaces list.

Next steps