I did a thing tonight that I swore I would never do. I used the “Publish to web” feature in Power BI. I had a good reason and I followed the guidelines I always tell people to follow, but I still feel a bit icky about it.
I was writing a document for a customer this afternoon and once again I ran into a situation where I wished that I could have the old Service Description Excel workbook that Microsoft used to put out. It was a really cool pivot table that allowed you to quickly see what features aligned to which Office 365 & Server based licenses. Unfortunately they stopped publishing it a few years ago. It is a giant pain in the ass to drill through all of the features across all of the SKUs to make sure that you are giving customers the best recommendations when it comes to licensing.
To be honest what I really missed was the ability to use conditional formatting on the thing and create a REALLY easy to consume version of the document for “at a glance” use. The goal is to be able to look at the features list and see which Microsoft SKUs they are available in.
This afternoon I ran across a nice table that does just that in the Office 365 Service Description part of Docs.microsoft.com for SharePoint, but the layout makes it relatively unusable. I got excited thinking that this was the answer to my old Excel workbook and immediately attempted to copy & paste into Excel, which failed miserably because of formatting. Then I got mad. I swore a ton. I called and yelled at Mark Rackley because that is one of the things I do when I get mad at SharePoint stuff. I believe that my last words on that call were “going to have to go PBID on their shit to get what I want”. Sorry for the colorful language gentle reader, but I warned you I was mad and swearing…
I grabbed the Web connector and pulled in the data that I wanted, wrote a bunch of queries, unpivoted some columns, hacked away for about 2 hours and ended up with a passable version of my old favorite tool. Then I went a bit nuts and decided to do the same thing for the Office 365 Platform Service Description which is considerably more complex and lengthy.
Finally I created a new Power BI Workspace and published it to the web. I still feel icky, but hopefully people will find this useful and that will make up for it. I have embedded the report below or you can visit https://jasehimm.online/servicedescriptions to access it directly.
In the coming days I plan to add more to this. Let me know if you feel this is useful & what you would like to see added in the comments below or you can tweet at me @jasehimm.