Opening the same PowerBI file multiple times….

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Today, I opened accidentally twice the same PBIX file. The standard behaviour would have been an error message, saying that you can’t open the same pbix multiple times.

But…. no warning! No error! Curious I tried it a third and a fourth time and – still no error! I’m pretty sure, I haven’t seen this behaviour before. So I reached out to the Twitter community.   confirmed my observation in brief time.

Opening the same PowerBI file multiple times
Opening the same PowerBI file multiple times

What does this mean?

My first thought was something like “Hooray, now we can share Power BI reports without the need of using the Power BI Service!”.

But wait! Not using the Power BI Service would also mean

  • no reports on your smartphone
  • no Dashboards
  • no scheduled refreshes
  • no Power BI Apps
  • and so on……

And even more – imagine that multiple users open the same PBIX File at the same time. Each user adds some data, changes the layout of reports etc.
That would result in PBIX HELL!!!
(A term I heard the first time last week when used it at the #SQLKonferenz.)

And even more – imagine that User1 changes a measure, but the other users won’t. This would mean same data, but different results….

But what, if this is not a bug?

Well, I’m pretty sure, it is a bug. But what if it isn’t one?
The advantage of this new behaviour is, that you can share and open the PBIX multiple times. Ok, that’s what you could have done before by copying the file. But now you only have to edit the file once and share it.
Furthermore, you don’t need the Power BI Service anymore to share the same report.

On the downside, this would mean, that you must secure your file even better than before. Versioning of files is not new to BI Pros and for sure we are used to not expose the reports. But, I’m pretty sure, that Excel hell would be replaced by the new term PBIX hell. That is not something I would like and explain to customers….

But after all, my best guess is, that it is a bug!

What do you think? Is it a bug or not?
And if it is not a bug, what would that mean for you?
Feel free to use the comment section to share your opinions with us.

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Happy Querying!

2 thoughts on “Opening the same PowerBI file multiple times….

  • 12. June 2018 at 16:00

    Its a ploy by Microsoft to get you using Power BI on a widespread basis, then they will pull the rug, fix the hole and make you pay for pro 🙂
    A little like drug pushers do, get you hooked then make you pay 🙂

    • 12. June 2018 at 16:39

      Hi Neil
      Thank you for your comment.
      I do not agree on that, as Microsoft declares Power BI as a Freemium.
      I know some companies that run Power BI without using Power BI Service and are now happy that they can open the Power BI file several times.


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