Share reports and workspaces to free and outside people

Hey everyone
I believe you’re the person to give a good advice, that is, if it’s ok with all of you.
I’m starting my new business intelligence site to get clients and star working from home, permanently. I’m gonna start slow with easy stuff and with time, doing more complex things, cose i don’t have enough knowledge as you guys have.
That said, i’m a pro user license and as i am out of job now, i’ve send some emails to a specific group of companies. The same day i got 3 answers, 2 of them, i think i will have them.
My question and need of your advice is, what’s the best way to give access to my clients to see my reports and “play” with those filters i’ve created, without paying anything? They’re are companies owners, not executives person. They don’t have the time for more than 1 click you know?
I think we have some options:

  1. There’s a video about “Share Power BI reports” it worked with 2 of my friends but not with the third
  2. Publish to web option.I believe it’s not a good option
  3. Give them emails of my domain. Also not a good one cose nobody wants 2 many email inbox.
    I don’t understand much but could it be an option with azure? I just want to give to power bi their email account when i’m sharing reports with them, you know?
    Do you advice any other option, like a cheap one?
    Thank you so much guys and i’m sorry to boder you all.
    Best regards


I’m curious as to why you think Publish to Web is not a good option? If I understand correctly, you’d be using it to allow potential clients access to your sample reports. In that case, PTW would seem ideal, since not only don’t you mind if people forward the web link around, but it would be to your benefit from a marketing standpoint if they did.

And in PTW, it’s literally one click and you’re in - no login, no authentication. I’d recommend checking out the postings under eDNA Data Challenge 1 and 2 - a lot of folks published their results to web, and you could take a look and see if that approach would meet your needs too.

I hope this is helpful.

  • Brian
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Hey Brian
I’m completely speechless! Such an awesome presentations!!! And all with PTW !
The thing about PTW, no companies wants their data on the internet. Can i ask you something?

  1. Let’s imagine they sign at pbi, as a pro for 60 days and after that a free user. Will they be able to just see the reports without any problem as a free user? If nothing in microsoft has changed, the answer is yes, right?

  2. Do you find any other solution for my clients, without paying and don’t have their data on the internet?

Thank you so much for helping me Brian

Hello @pedroccamara, welcome to the world of PowerBI reporting to small companies.

Unfortunately, there is no real ‘viewer role’ option for your customers. If they sign up for the free trial and try to access their shared report after the 60 days - they will get a prompt to pay for a PowerBI Pro license.

That being said - my suggestion would be to have them sign up for the 60 days (once you have reports prepared for them of course), and once the trial period is up they need to make a decision to commit to the $10 per month fee to keep access to the report. In my case, this was normally an easy decision for the person wanting access to make.

In your original post, you state that nobody wants too many email boxes - In my company, we do exactly this - but the client isn’t expected to maintain the email box, they just have to use the address to login.
Our IT department has put a rule on the email box that forwards any emails coming from the PowerBi service to the client’s actual email account (so if the client subscribes to get regular emails on their report it is sent to them).

The benefit of this method - for my company - is that if something happens and we want to remove the client’s access to the report, we can just delete the email. The control of access remains with us the entire time.


Hello Heather
I think i would agree with you, if i haven’t test with an email from hotmail account of a friend. And it worked.
I don’t know why, but it did.
Also it worked for a user from my company, (same domain) 6 months ago, that he already have passed the 60 days trial periode and still seing the reports.
Weird right?

Regarding the hotmail account, I don’t think it is impossible to share a report with someone using a hotmail (or even gmail) account.

But if they did not pay for a Pro license, and did not already have a Pro license, they should not still have access to your report - unless Microsoft has extended the free period as a grace due to COVID-19.

The only other thing that might be working in your favor is if you are building the reports in a workspace backed by Premium capacity. I assumed that you were not, because of your mention of being ‘out of a job now’, and Premium is not something most users could afford on a monthly basis, it is intended for large enterprise customers. The way to check if your workspace is backed by Premium is to look for a diamond icon on the Workspace box

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ooohhhhh…ok. It seems logic now…“unless Microsoft has extended the free period as a grace due to COVID-19.”
Now i understand why the gmail, hotmail and others can access to my reports. One day, Microsoft will return to their original “thing” and no one but pro users and 60 days trial can see the reports.
Thank you so much Heather

Well, that is what I am assuming @pedroccamara, but I don’t work for Microsoft, so they may have changed something that I’m not aware of.
I would really like to have a way for free viewers of reports - but I haven’t found a solution for that when working with only a Pro license. :slight_smile:

Good luck with your (hopefully) new clients!

Hello @Heather and a very good morning to you.
As you told me, and it makes sense, i will also then create each email of my domain for any of my clients. I believe you agree with me. That said, and once i have the email created, is there any rule (as far as you know) and steps to add that client new email to my reports.
I think (but i don’t know how) i should first login as the new user in power bi, accept the 60 trial periode, and once it’s done, i will send this email, the password of that email and also the pbi password.
Do you agree with me on this?

Yes, this does make sense.
With one note: if you are creating a Microsoft e-mail account (using your company domain), the email password and the PowerBi password will be the same.

Of course, if you sign up for the trial period, you’ll need to set up some sort of reminder for yourself to get the customer’s paid Pro license before the trial expires (so they don’t have a time that they can’t login to their report).

As for how to add the user to the report - that is done in the PowerBi service, once the report is published, you have the option to add users to the report.

Check out this video for more detail:

Ok. That’s what i thought.
One last question: what if i publish my pbi report as a ptw on my webpage, under a username and password to enter, are the data secure and the report still good and interactive?


“…are the data secure…”

No, the data still will not be secure. If you have any concerns at all about the data becoming public, stay far away from PTW. The following video addresses this issue in depth.

  • Brian
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Hey @BrianJ
I was about to give up you know? But then i saw this new video of these guys that talks about the new feature File - Embed (securely embed this report in a website…)
Am i reading this right? Did we found a way to publish to my web page a report from power bi? Are these reports fully functional, with all filters and so on?


> Did we found a way to publish to my web page a report from power bi? Are these reports fully functional, with all filters and so on?

Yes, but to read these reports the person at the other end will still need a Power BI Pro license.

Keep in mind that “pay to view” is the way Microsoft recovers their costs on this product. This is why I believe we will never see a presentation/reader view in Power BI Desktop. If you look at the fact that Tableau sold for $15.7 billion last year, imagine what Power BI is worth, and how much Microsoft likely has invested in making it the premier business intelligence tool on the market. My experience has been that once I show senior managers/budget decision-makers what Power BI can do in terms of transforming an organization, $10 bucks per user per month (i.e., “the cost of a sandwich”) is an easy sell.

  • Brian

Absolutely agree with you Brian.
Thank you so much again for all your help.
Please stay safe and healthy