What are Power BI template apps?

The new Power BI template apps enable Power BI partners to build Power BI apps with little or no coding, and deploy them to any Power BI customer. This article is an overview of the Power BI template app program.

As a Power BI partner, you create a set of out-of-the-box content for your customers and publish it yourself.

You build template apps that allow your customers to connect and instantiate within their own accounts. As domain experts, they can unlock the data in a way that's easy for their business users to consume.

You submit a template apps to the Partner center. The apps then become publicly available in the Power BI Apps marketplace and on Microsoft AppSource. Here's a high-level look at the public template app creation experience.

Power BI Apps marketplace

Power BI Template Apps allow Power BI Pro or Power BI Premium users to gain immediate insights through prepackaged dashboards and reports that can be connected to live data sources. Many Power BI Apps are already available in the Power BI Apps marketplace.

Microsoft Project web app Microsoft 365 Usage Analytics web app Dynamic 365 Business Central - Sales web app Microsoft Forms Pro Customer Satisfaction web app

Process

The general process to develop and submit a template app involves several stages. Some stages can include more than one activity at the same time.

Stage Power BI Desktop Power BI service Partner Center
One Build a data model and report in a .pbix file Create a workspace. Import .pbix file. Create a complementary dashboard Register as a partner
Two Create a test package and run internal validation
Three Promote the test package to preproduction for validation outside your Power BI tenant, and submit it to AppSource With your preproduction package, create a Power BI template app offer and start the validation process
Four Promote the preproduction package to production Go live

Before you begin

To create the template app, you need permissions to create one. See the Power BI admin portal, Template app settings for details.

To publish a template app to the Power BI service and AppSource, you must meet the requirements for becoming a Partner Center publisher.

High-level steps

Here are the high-level steps.

  1. Review the requirements to make sure you meet them.

  2. Build a report in Power BI Desktop. Use parameters so you can save it as a file other people can use.

  3. Create a workspace for your template app in your tenant on the Power BI service (app.powerbi.com).

  4. Import your .pbix file and add content such as a dashboard to your app.

  5. Create a test package to test the template app yourself within your organization.

  6. Promote the test app to pre-production to submit the app for validation in AppSource, and to test outside your own tenant.

  7. Submit the content to Partner center for publishing.

  8. Make your offer go 'Live' in AppSource, and move your app to production in Power BI.

  9. Now you can start developing the next version in the same workspace, in preproduction.

Requirements

To create the template app, you need permissions to create one. See the Power BI admin portal, Template app settings for details.

To publish a template app to the Power BI service and AppSource, you must meet the requirements for becoming a Partner Center publisher.

Note

Template apps submissions are managed in Partner Center. Use the same Microsoft Developer Center registration account to sign in. You should have only one Microsoft account for your AppSource offerings. Accounts shouldn't be specific to individual services or offers.

Tips

  • Make sure your app includes sample data to get everyone started in a click.
  • Carefully examine your application by installing it in your tenant and in a secondary tenant. Make sure customers only see what you want them to see.
  • Use AppSource as your online store to host your application. This way everyone using Power BI can find your app.
  • Consider offering more than one template app for separate unique scenarios.
  • Enable data customization; for example, support custom connection and parameters configuration by the installer.

See Tips for authoring template apps in Power BI for more suggestions.

Known limitations

Feature Known Limitation
Contents: Datasets Exactly one dataset should be present. Only datasets built in Power BI Desktop (.pbix files) are allowed.
Not supported: Datasets from other template apps, cross-workspace datasets, paginated reports (.rdl files), Excel workbooks
Contents: Dashboards Real-time tiles aren't allowed (in other words, no support for push or streaming datasets)
Contents: Dataflows Not supported: Dataflows
Contents from files Only PBIX files are allowed.
Not supported: .rdl files (paginated reports), Excel workbooks
Data sources Data sources supported for cloud Scheduled Data refresh are allowed.
Not supported:
  • DirectQuery
  • Live connections (no Azure AS)
  • On-premises data sources (personal and enterprise gateways aren't supported)
  • Real time (no support for push dataset)
  • Composite models
  • Dataset: cross-workspace No cross-workspace datasets are allowed
    Query parameters Not supported: Parameters of type "Any" or "Binary" type block refresh operation for dataset
    Power BI visuals Only publicly available Power BI visuals are supported. Organizational Power BI visuals not supported
    Sovereign clouds Template apps are not available in sovereign clouds

    Support

    For support during development, use https://powerbi.microsoft.com/support. We actively monitor and manage this site. Customer incidents quickly find their way to the appropriate team.

    Next steps

    Create a template app