Power BI is constantly evolving – there’s a new version of Power BI Desktop every month, and the Power BI service is updated every week. Many of the new capabilities in Power BI represent gradual refinements, but some are significant enough to make you rethink how you your organization uses Power BI.
The new app navigation capabilities introduced last month to Power BI probably fall into the former category. But even though they’re a refinement of what the Power BI service has always had, they can still make your apps significantly better. Specifically, these new capabilities can be used to add documentation and training materials directly to the app experience, while keeping that content in its current location.
It’s surprisingly simple and easy to do. When publishing your app, select the Navigation tab.
On the Navigation tab, select New and then Link.
And finally, provide the URL of the content, the name for the tab in the app navigation, and select where you want the link to open.
When you publish the app, there will be a tab that contains the content from the link you specified in addition to tabs for the reports and dashboards from the workspace.
This approach is very simple, but it’s also very important for at least two reasons:
- Having self-documenting apps will help ensure that the people who need to use it will be able to do so. End-user training for Power BI apps, reports, and dashboards is easy for BI developers and authors to overlook, but its importance cannot be overstated. To reach the users who need it the most, your training and documentation needs to be discoverable where those users need it – and that is often in the app itself.
- Your content can stay in the system or application where it belongs. Power BI is great at many things, but it’s not a content management system. If you create training content in your Power BI reports, you’re probably not going to be as happy as you could be. And you deserve to be happy.
If you’re interested in a different take on the same feature, check out this post from the fine cows over at FourMoo. I think this new capability is exciting more for what you can do with it and less for how it works, so I skimmed over a lot of the details. FourMoo goes into more of the how-to detail, so you may want to check it out.
How do you plan to use these new capabilities? Do you have existing content that you will add to your Power BI apps? I’d love to hear what you think.
 Yes, I reused this opening paragraph from my last blog post. Yes, I do think I’m more clever than I actually am.
 Watch this session recording for a more in-depth exploration of this statement.
 I’m pretty sure they’re cows. They say that on the internet no one knows you’re a cow, but honestly these bovines aren’t even trying.
8 thoughts on “Quick Tip: Making self-documenting Power BI apps”
I agree it’s a great feature and it will make a big difference. Maybe it is just semantics, but is it really self documenting, or self documented? I think the latter.
It’s pronounced puh-DAN-tick, with them emphasis on the DAN. Can we at least agree on this?
I always knew my comment ran the risk of poking the bear 🙂 (I have poked before, and I am a quick learner). I did however come to the blog specifically looking to see how I could get the tool to automatically create my documentation for me.
I hope my response was taken in the humourous tone in which it was provided. I too would love to see that automatic creation of documentation, but sadly we’re not there yet…
All good 🙂
Hi Matthew, another great blog post, thanks for linking back to my blog post on embedding a word document!
And yes they are cows – Ref to 
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