Complete Guide to Embed Images in Power BI Reports (Part I)

Introduction 

This blog is the first part of embedding images in Power BI. This blog series will discuss almost all methods to embed images in Power BI reports and dashboards. I will try to explain each method's pros and cons with technical limitations, and in the last blog of this series, I will share an intuitive way to embed images without any limitations. I will try to explain each method's pros and cons with technical limitations, and in the last blog of this series, I will share an intuitive way to embed images without any limitations. 

Learn more about our BI services!

Power BI Report with SharePoint Images 

Let's first embed images hosted on SharePoint using URLs.  

Embedding SharePoint images with Power BI would cover cases associated with all the secure images. It can be used for any image hosting service that doesn’t allow anonymous access to images. For now, Power BI doesn’t support a single sign-on to load images in the report 

Let's start by adding a few SharePoint URLs, manually in an empty table. I am adding URLs manually to demonstrate that this method could be used for any kind of URL. 

  1. Open Power BI desktop 
  2. Click on Enter Data 

Open Power BI desktop

3. Now paste SharePoint image URLs with names and descriptions. You can use any Image URL that can be accessed through the internet.  

SharePoint image URLs

(Optional): Instead of adding data manually, we can also connect Power BI with SharePoint List\Folder to get URLs 

i. Connect with SharePoint Online 

SharePoint Online 

 

  ii. Paste Site URL  

  iii. Combine columns for images to generate SharePoint URL  

  iv. SharePoint URL = Folder Path & ”\” & Name 

SharePoint URL

4. Change the SharePoint URL “Data category” to “Image URL” 

Data category

Now, add these values to the table visual to display images. In Power BI Desktop, you will see broken images icon. To see these images, we need to publish report on the Power BI service.  

If URLs are available on Anonymous access, then we can also see these images on Power BI Desktop.  

Anonymous access

Limitations 

Important!  

  1. SharePoint Online doesn't allow to generate URLs with anonymous access. We need to provide authentication to get access to these images. We cannot see SharePoint images with URLs on Power BI Desktop. We have to publish a report on the Power BI service, and the user must be logged in to SharePoint before accessing this report to see images properly. If the user isn't logged in with SharePoint, then images will not render even on a web browser.    

SharePoint Online

2. We cannot export a report with images; for instance, if you export this report or create a subscription broken link will appear in the report.  

image014

Exported PDF report: 

PDF report

3. Binaries of these images are not inside the Power BI data model. If the image hosting server archives or changes the image location, it will impact the report.  

Some Pros: 

  1. This relatively very simple process and doesn’t need any expertise in DAX or M Query. 
  2. We can embed an image of any size in report using this method. 
  3. Power BI data model size will not increase because of images. 
  4. We can also embed images with Power BI Dashboards using the same approach by adding an “Image” Tile. 

Power BI data

Contact us to find out more!

Summary 

We have learned that we can embed Images in the Power BI report and Dashboard that are accessible through user credentials or with anonymous accessIt was easy, although we have observed that there are many limitations associated with it. We will talk about other methods to avoid the aforementioned shortcomingsThe next blog will guide you about embedding images in the Power BI report by reading binaries from the source.  If you have any question or queries, do not hesitate to reach out to us! 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *