What are Power BI template apps? (preview)

Is this page helpful?

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.

Template apps are a replacement for the current service content packs. As a Power BI partner, you create a set of out-of-the-box content your customers, and publish it yourself.

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

You submit your template apps to the Cloud Partner Portal. The apps then become publicly available in the Power BI App gallery (app.powerbi.com/getdata/services) and on Microsoft AppSource (appsource.microsoft.com). Here's a high-level look at the public template app creation experience.

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 Cloud Partner Portal
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

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 Cloud Marketplace 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 preproduction to submit the app for validation in AppSource, and to test outside your own tenant.

  7. Submit the content to Cloud Partner Platform for publishing.

  8. Make your offer goes '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 Cloud Marketplace Publisher.

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 (preview) for more suggestions.

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