Azure Search Basic Tier Now Available

When Azure Search launched, I posted that a basic tier would be very helpful as the standard tier started at $250 per month.  This seemed like a lot of money for a basic search engine.

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Microsoft has just launched in preview a new Basic tier that costs $38 / month.  The basic tier has some limits on overall storage (2 GB), queries per second (3), indexes per service (5), number of documents (1 million) and the number of scale out units (3) but for many small web sites they likely won’t exceed these limits.  For example, this blog uses Azure Search and it barely uses the available capacity in the free tier. 

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Latest Version of Power BI Desktop Provides a Number of Enhancements

Microsoft has just launched the latest version of Power BI Desktop, the tool for designing reports and dashboards for the Power BI service.  The latest version can be downloaded here.

The list of new features and enhancements is too long to provide in full here – see this blog article for the complete list.  Here are a few of the highlights.

View Data Behind Visual and Export to CSV

You can now interact with any visual in Power BI and go into “focus mode” which maximizes the visual.  Within this mode, you can then view a split screen that shows the underlying data in a table format and export the table to CSV.

Plot Maps with Longitude and Latitude

You can now plot maps using raw Long and Lat data instead of a location text field.

Improved Support for KPIs

There are a number of new features related to KPIs including:

  • KPI consumption from SQL SSAS multidimensional models
  • Support for display folders when using SSAS exploration mode
  • New KPI Visual

The new KPI visual provides the ability to see a trend line over time as well as a current indicator.

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Support for User Defined Hierarchies

One of the key missing features in Power BI that existed in Power Pivot in Excel, you can down create your own drill down hierarchies.  Similar to Power Pivot, you can create a hierarchy and the add fields from the model to the hierarchy to support drill up/down within your models.

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Live Query Support for Oracle and Teradata

Similar to existing support for live query of SQL databases, Power BI will now support live query (e.g. not cached in the report) of Oracle and Teradata data sources.

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