Comparison of Power BI Service vs. Power BI Report Server vs. SQL Server Reporting Services

Comparison of Power BI Service vs. Power BI Report Server vs. SQL Server Reporting Services

Following is a summary of the key feature differences available when deploying to the cloud-based Power BI Service vs. the on-premises report deployment options (this is not an exhaustive list of all features). SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) is included only for comparison to the Power BI Report Server, as SSRS is beyond the scope of this whitepaper.

Power BI
Power BI
Server June 2017
SQL Server 
2017 Reporting

Publish and View Reports:
Publish and view RDL
(Reporting Services paginated report)

Publish and view PBIX (Power BI report)

Publish and view XLSX (Excel workbook)

Rendering of custom visuals utilized in a PBIX

Use of native mobile applications
(iOS, Android, Windows)
APIs for embedding reports in a custom application

Data Sources and Data Refresh:
Power BI report rendering from imported data

Power BI report rendering from SSAS Live Connections

Power BI report rendering from DirectQuery

Data refresh schedule for Power BI imported datasets

Maximum size of an individual imported dataset
 (*=future size increases over time within Power BI Premium capacity)

Reuse of imported Power BI datasets
(Analyze in Excel)

Reuse of shared datasets
(Reporting Services paginated reports only)

Additional Capabilities:
Create dashboard
(compilation of visuals from one or more reports)

Pinning of certain visuals to a dashboard in the Power BI Service
Report editing in the Power BI Site

Q&A natural language queries

Data alerts

E-mail subscriptions (“subscribe”) for Power BI reports

E-mail subscriptions for RDL reports
(Report server paginated reports)

Apps (associated with AppSource)

Organizational content packs

R integration

Get Insights (machine learning)


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