Update: This solution will currently not work with the new enhanced metadata format, that’s currently in preview in Power BI!
Have you ever wanted to compare a version of a Power BI file with a previous one? … In the unlikely case that you haven’t yet, just wait until the auditors are in again – my new Power BI Comparer tool will save your day then 😉
Or maybe even before you uploade a new version of a report that has already been published to the service. How do you communicate the changes to your colleagues? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a tool that performs that comparison and documentation fully automagically?
Power BI Comparer
Fortunately my Power BI Comparer-tool makes it super easy to compare all properties of 2 Power BI files with each other: Just convert your pbix-files to pbit (as we need to access the data model properties as well) and drop the paths to these new files in my Excel-file like so:
Then hit Data -> Refresh All (make sure that privacy levels are disabled)
Et voila: The first page of the report shows the total number of changed items in a small summary table:
Just hop to the sheets with changes and either filter on changed items directly or use Ctrl+ arrow-keys in the “Change”-column to see the changes in their original context:
I prefer navigating with Ctrl + up- or down-arrows, as often the keys of the rows themselves don’t contain enough information and very often one finds helpful information the rows above the changed items.
- In the column “Change” you see if an item has been changes, added or deleted.
- The “Key” column contains the full path of the value within the JSON-file. For list items, I tried to fetch the name of the following property. That’s actually a bit tricky and could lead to duplicates. In such a case, you’ll get a warning on the first page. If you send me your pbit-file, I’ll adjust the tool accordingly.
- The columns left to the “Key” column are made for easier navigation and you can use slicers on them.
- The “Property” column holds the name or the property to which the Values belong to. (That’s also the last element of the Key)
If you change the name of a query (table), measure or column, this will not be recognized as a change (of name), but as a deletion of the old element and the creation of a new one. That’s one of the reasons why I made this tool in Excel, as you can easily bring these information together and perform a manual comparison (if eyeballing isn’t sufficient) instead.
What’s not covered?
Nothing. The comparison includes everything from the pbit-files: So beneath your M and DAX code, you’ll see all about your visual definitions (incl. filters set !), row level security and much, much more. Actually, I found some information a bit noisy (like many date fields, telling you when which changes happened). So I filtered them out in Excel. I’d recommend to check it out and play a bit with it to find the most suitable settings for you.
What can go wrong?
Getting an error message: ..”The field “model” of the record wasn’t found”?
This will occur if you haven’t transformed your pbix to pbit like described above.
However, if you find a bug or missing features, please add a comment or send me a message.
Download the file here: PowerBIComparer_Upload.xlsx
Latest version: 1_1 (15th September 2019)
Enjoy and stay queryious 😉