Configuring and Updating a Workspace App
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This course is designed to lead users through the experience of working with Power BI content in the Power BI service. This web-enabled environment is where content creators and business users go to develop, deploy, and consume content. This course will walk through the process of creating Power BI workspaces in this environment, provisioning user roles, and publishing content to these spaces. It will also walk through the steps necessary to make that content available to a larger business audience by developing workspace apps.

Content in Power BI is also constantly iterated upon, and this course will establish best practices for development lifecycle strategy and the use of premium features like deployment pipelines. Once Power BI content is deployed, it must also be accessible and discoverable. This course will examine processes for promoting and certifying Power BI content and configuring subscriptions so that content can be emailed to users at a defined frequency.

Learning Objectives

  • Create a Power BI workspace
  • Assign workspace roles
  • Publish a Power BI desktop file
  • Create a workspace app
  • Create a dashboard in a workspace
  • Certify a dataset
  • Configure a subscription

Intended Audience

This course is designed for individuals who are working with Power BI and those studying for Microsoft’s Power BI Certification assessment.


To get the most from this course, you should have reasonable experience working with Power BI. If you're new to Power BI, we recommend taking our Introduction to Power BI course.


Once content has been updated and published to a Power BI workspace, it's time to prepare it for larger distribution. For this, we recommend using a workspace app. Let's take a look at how to configure and update an app. As stated earlier, the purpose of workspace apps are to provide business users access to Power BI content. Once created, apps appear in a different part of the Power BI portal and can be thought of similar to how we download and use apps on a smartphone.

By using workspace apps, we prevent the need to invite business users to the workspace itself. Instead, they will consume content from this dedicated app environment. Users can get apps one of two ways. The first way is that the apps can be automatically sent to them when they are created. The second way, shown in this image, is that users can search for and load apps from an app marketplace. To do so, we would first select the Get Apps button.

In the window that opens, users can see a large selection of publicly available apps created by other Power BI super users. In addition to these, there is a tab that holds apps specific to an organization. This is where users would navigate to find content created for their line of business. Let's have a look at the process of creating a workspace app from within a workspace. Here we see our previously published workspace report, and we notice that each report has a radio button that allows it to be included in an app. When multiple reports appear in a workspace, these buttons can be toggled on or off depending on which content is desired to be included in the app.

To create an app, we click on the button labeled Create App. Importantly, a workspace can only have one app, so we'll want to take this into consideration as we think about the design of our workspace and report environments. After clicking the button, a dialog window opens that includes a few pages. On the Setup page, shown here, we can provide a name, description, logo, theme color, and contact information to the app. The logo will show prominently when the app is displayed and is encouraged to be used.

On the Navigation tab, we can now reorganize and group the pages of each report that is included in the app. We'll also notice that we can hide pages if we don't want them to be included in the published app. This is accomplished by toggling the eye icon on the Report page. The Navigation page also gives us the ability to rename our report or build sections to hold various content. The Permissions tab is where we determine the audience that will have access to this app content. We can choose for the app to be available to everyone in the organization or only a smaller population based on a security group or individual email addresses. 

There are also buttons to determine if users can access the underlying data model in the app. This is called build permission and would allow users to access a shared dataset of this model in Power BI or Excel to be used to build their own reports. Remember that user access to data is determined through row-level security, but access to the app is determined in this window. With all the information entered, we can now publish the app. This pushes the app content out to the selected users and the app catalog. Here we can see our app now appears in our app window.

One of the reasons we use apps for report distribution is because they exist separate from those in the workspaces. What this means is that we can change and edit report elements in the workspace without disrupting the app being consumed by business users. Changes to a report must be pushed out to the app in order for business users to see them. However, it should be noted that any changes to the underlying dataset will instantaneously impact the app. To update an existing app, we simply select the Update App button in the workspace and verify the selections on the dialog box that appears.

About the Author

Steve is an experienced Solutions Architect with over 10 years of experience serving customers in the data and data engineering space. He has a proven track record of delivering solutions across a broad range of business areas that increase overall satisfaction and retention. He has worked across many industries, both public and private, and found many ways to drive the use of data and business intelligence tools to achieve business objectives. He is a persuasive communicator, presenter, and quite effective at building productive working relationships across all levels in the organization based on collegiality, transparency, and trust.