By: Brad Lathrop

 
Many Power BI report developers can attest that sometimes a report requires a visual that’s not available in the default Power BI visual library. Sometimes a report demands or calls for something with a bit more functionality, creativity, or charm to really generate valuable insights for users.

We’ve certainly run into this scenario many times (here at Key2 Consulting) when creating Power BI reports for clients.

Fortunately, Power BI has an additional library of visuals known as custom visuals. These visuals are created by developers who use Power BI’s custom visuals SDK (software development kit), which is open-source and downloadable on GitHub.

Developers create these custom visuals and share them on AppSource, a Microsoft online store that features thousands of business apps.
 

Screenshot of AppSource

Note: Microsoft has a process for certifying Power BI custom visuals so that report developers can select and use a custom visual with confidence knowing that the visual meets the Microsoft Power BI team code requirements.

When Power BI developers browse AppSource for custom visuals and find the one they want, the visual may be free or it may not be. In order to use a visual that is not free, developers must purchase a license, which enables the buyer to use the custom visual’s full functionality.

The process of purchasing and managing custom visual licenses has historically been a little complex, especially when purchasing multiple licenses. Buyers have often had to work with various third parties to purchase and manage licenses.

Now this is no longer the case! Microsoft just announced that users can purchase licenses for Power BI visuals directly in AppSource. No more third-party interaction needed.

Users can now see all of the licensing options available to them when looking at a custom visual.
 

Screenshot of Power BI visual licensing info in AppSource


 
Furthermore, users can now get a clear, comprehensive view of their custom visual licenses (including status) all in one place. You can read Microsoft’s official announcement about the matter (including a nice walkthrough of how it works) here.
 

Thanks for Reading! Questions?

Thanks for reading! We hope you found this blog post useful. Feel free to let us know if you have any questions about this article by simply leaving a comment below. We will reply as quickly as we can.
 

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