Configuring Subscriptions
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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.


When Power BI content is published to the service, business users must regularly sign in to Power BI to consume reports and content that have been shared with them. However, there are tools available in Power BI for bringing report content directly to a user's email. These are called subscriptions. Let's take a look at how to configure subscriptions. In most Power BI content, users will see a button labeled Subscriptions that allows them to initiate the process of setting one up. This feature only exists in the Power BI service and allows for report pages to be sent as an email.

Subscriptions are self-administered, meaning that in most cases, users must create and manage their own subscriptions. Only report creators and Power BI admins have the ability to create subscriptions that send reports to other users. Currently, subscriptions can be created on report pages, dashboards, and paginated reports. They are available to all users that have access to the selected report. Subscriptions are typically turned on by default, but can be toggled on or off by the Power BI admin in the admin portal, as shown here, once a user selects the subscription button, a sidebar opens that shows any existing subscriptions, as well as a button to create a new one.

When a new subscription is started, the user can set a number of parameters around the particular subscription. These include giving the subscription a name, identifying the report page desire to be sent as an image, identifying the frequency and time of the emails, and a start and end date for the subscription. As we move down the panel, there are also options for including a preview image, link to the report, and access to the full report, if enabled. Once created, the subscription will now appear in the sidebar menu.

We can test the subscription by selecting the Run Now button. This will kick off an email to demonstrate what the subscription would look like during its normally scheduled run. We can also see an option on the sidebar for turning the subscription off using the radio button. Here's what a subscription email from a Power BI report looks like once it's received. We'll notice an image of the report page generated at the time the subscription ran, as well as links to the report and to manage the subscription. Aside from managing subscriptions from the sidebar menu, we can also access our subscriptions in the dataset settings menu by navigating to the subscription tab.

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.