Compare Power BI files with Power BI Comparer tool

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:

Fully specifying file path in Power BI Comparer

Then hit Data -> Refresh All (make sure that privacy levels are disabled)

Disable privacy settings for the Power BI Comparer Tool

Et voila: The first page of the report shows the total number of changed items in a small summary table:

Summary of the differences between the Power BI files

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:

Yellow coloring In addition to the “Change” column

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.

Comparison sheets

  • 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)

Changing keys

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: 2_7 (21 November 2020)

Enjoy and stay queryious 😉

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