Microsoft's Power BI comes out of preview and available on July 24th

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Image Credit: Microsoft

July continues to be a busy month for Microsoft. According to an announcement on the Microsoft Blog, July will continue to be a busy month for the company. As of July 24th, Microsoft will be taking Power BI out of beta and releasing it for general availability. Alongside the news of the July 24th availability comes news of Power BI business analytics service leaving preview status and becoming available as well on the 24th. Users of Power BI desktop preview will also see this product coming out of preview on July 24th.

Power BI news doesn’t end there either. Microsoft is also highlighting its contributions of Power BI visualization framework and its complete library of visuals to the open source community. The contributions were done under an MIT license, and the source code can be found on GitHub starting today. As a result of using framework built on an open source project, customers will be able to create custom visuals in Power BI that better suit their needs.

Bundled into today’s Power BI news is the announcement of Power BI support for a new data service. T.K. “Ranga” Rengarajan announced a new data service, Apache Spark for HDInsight. The service runs on Azure and leverages main memory in contrast to two stage, disk-based MapReduce like older data stored in Hadoop. The support for Apache Spark was added directly into Power BI last night, and now users will benefit from query performance over a Hadoop dataset, that is now up to 100 times faster using Spark. Spark users will also be able to monitor, explore and visualize their HDInsight date using Power BI.

Other features users can look forward to with the July 24th release include visual formatting, direct SQL Server Analysis Service connections as well as new data sources in the Power BI desktop. For preview users, the ‘Designer’ will just be called Power Desktop in the general availability release. 

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