Create classic workspaces in Power BI

In Power BI, you can create workspaces, places to collaborate with colleagues to create and refine collections of dashboards, reports, and paginated reports. Then you can bundle the collection together into apps that you can distribute to your whole organization or to specific people or groups.

Did you know? Power BI offers a new workspace experience, which is now the default. Read Organize work in the new workspaces for details about the new workspaces.

When you create a classic workspace, you're creating an underlying, associated Office 365 group. All the workspace administration is in Office 365. You can add colleagues to these workspaces as members or admins. In the workspace, you can all collaborate on dashboards, reports, and other articles that you plan to publish to a wider audience. Everyone you add to a workspace needs a Power BI Pro license.

Video: Apps and workspaces

Create a classic workspace based on an Office 365 group

When you create a workspace, it’s built on an Office 365 group.

  1. Start by creating the workspace. Select Workspaces > Create workspace.

    Create workspace

    Here you'll put the content that you and your colleagues collaborate on.

  2. In the You're creating an upgraded workspace banner, click Revert to classic.

    Revert to classic workspace option

  3. Give the workspace a name. If the corresponding Workspace ID isn't available, edit it to come up with a unique ID.

    The app will have the same name.

    Name the workspace

  4. You have a few options to set. If you choose Public, anyone in your organization can see what’s in the workspace. Private means only members of the workspace can see its contents.

    Set Private or Public

    You can't change the Public/Private setting after you've created the group.

  5. You can also choose if members can edit or have view-only access.

    Set edit or view-only

    Only add people to the workspace so they can edit the content. If they're only going to view the content, don't add them to the workspace. You can include them when you publish the app.

  6. Add email addresses of people you want to have access to the workspace, and select Add. You can’t add group aliases, just individuals.

  7. Decide whether each person is a member or an admin.

    Set Member or Admin

    Admins can edit the workspace itself, including adding other members. Members can edit the content in the workspace, unless they have view-only access. Both admins and members can publish the app.

  8. Select Save.

Power BI creates the workspace and opens it. It appears in the list of workspaces you’re a member of. Because you’re an admin, you can select More options (...) to go back and make changes to it, adding new members or changing their permissions.

Edit workspace

When you first create it, you may need to wait an hour or so for the workspace to propagate to Office 365.

Add an image to your Office 365 workspace (optional)

By default, Power BI creates a little colored circle for your app, with the app's initials. But maybe you want to customize it with an image. To add an image, you need an Exchange Online license.

  1. Select Workspaces, select More options (...) next to the name of the workspace, then Members.

    Select Workspace Members

    The Office 365 Outlook account for the workspace opens in a new browser window.

  2. Select the Edit pencil.

    Office 365 pencil icon

  3. Select the camera image, and find the image you want to use.

    Select the camera image

    Images can be .png, .jpg, or .bmp files. Their file size can be large, up to 3 MB.

  4. Select OK, then Save.

    The image replaces the colored circle in the Office 365 Outlook window.

    Customized image

    In a few minutes, it will appear in the app in Power BI, too.

Add content to your workspace

After you've created a workspace, it's time to add content to it. It's just like adding content to your My Workspace, except the other people in the workspace can see and work on it, too. A big difference is that when you get done, you can publish the content as an app. When you view content in the content list of a workspace, the workspace name is listed as the owner.

Connect to third-party services in workspaces

Apps are provided for all the third-party services Power BI supports, making it easy for you to get data from the services you use, such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Salesforce, or Google Analytics. You can publish organizational apps to give your users the data they need.

In the current workspaces, you can also connect using organizational content packs, and third-party content packs such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Salesforce, or Google Analytics. Consider migrating your organizational content packs to apps.

Distribute an app

If you want to distribute official content to a large audience within your organization, you can publish an app from your workspace. When the content is ready, you choose which dashboards and reports you want to publish, and then publish it as an app. You can create one app from each workspace.

The Apps list in the nav pane shows all the apps you've installed. Your coworkers can get your app in a few different ways.

  • They can find and install your app from Microsoft AppSource
  • You can send them a direct link.
  • You can install it automatically in your coworkers' Power BI accounts if your Power BI administrator gives you permission.

Users see updated app content automatically after you publish an update from your workspace. You can control how frequently the data refreshes by setting the refresh schedule in the datasets used by the app content in your workspace. See Publish an app from the new workspaces in Power BI for details.

Power BI classic apps FAQ

How are apps different from organizational content packs?

Apps are the evolution of organizational content packs. If you have organizational content packs already, they'll continue to work side by side with apps. Apps and content packs have a few major differences.

  • After business users install a content pack, it loses its grouped identity: it's just a list of dashboards and reports interspersed with other dashboards and reports. Apps, on the other hand, maintain their grouping and identity even after installation. This grouping makes it easy for business users to continue to navigate to them over time.
  • You can create multiple content packs from any workspace, but an app has a 1:1 relationship with its workspace.
  • Over time we plan to deprecate organizational content packs, so we recommend you create apps from now on.
  • With the new workspace experience, we're taking the first steps towards deprecating organizational content packs. You can't consume or create them in the new workspaces.

See How the new workspaces are different from existing workspaces to compare the two.

Next steps