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2019 Life and Priority Tweaks

New year, new beginnings, new you, isn’t that what they usually say? For me, it’s more like pressing play after having paused everything during my Christmas break. I’m continuing my smaller life and priority tweaks instead of making big changes and resolutions :) But it is a new year. It’s going to be different than the last one. And the ones before that. (Like every year, really. Funny how that works.)

I don’t often write personal posts, but these life and priority tweaks might affect how active I will be in our community this year, so I felt like writing a little bit about why.

Life and Priority Tweaks - A Winter Sunrise

Oh, who am I trying to trick? I’m really only writing this so I could show off this picture of a pretty winter sunrise, taken from my parents’ house during Christmas :D

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Hello, SQLSaturday Oslo 2019!

SQLSaturday Oslo 2019

YAY! We are very happy to announce that SQLSaturday Oslo is back for the sixth time in 2019! This full day of free training will be held on Saturday, August 31st, and will cover a variety of topics within Microsoft Data Platform, SQL Server, Azure, Power BI, Analytics, and more. We will also offer a full day of paid pre-conference workshops on Friday, August 30th.

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Generating SQL using Biml (T-SQL Tuesday #110)

T-SQL Tuesday #110: Generating SQL using Biml

The first T-SQL Tuesday of 2019 is hosted by Garry Bargsley (@gbargsley), and the topic is “Automate All the Things“. Garry wants to know what this phrase means to each of us. What do we want to automate? What is our go-to technology for automation? To me, this was super easy. Surprise, surprise! It’s Biml, of course :) Since this post is part of T-SQL Tuesday, I wanted to go back to the basics and write about how you can generate SQL using Biml. But first, a little bit of background for those who are not that familiar with Biml.

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Custom Power BI Themes: Page Background Images

Cathrine Wilhelmsen Creating Custom Power BI Themes

In a previous blog post, we looked at how to change the background colors of Power BI reports. In this blog post, we will take it one step further and look at how to add background images to Power BI reports using custom themes. Fancy!

In Power BI Desktop, it is easy to add background images. In the Visualizations pane, on the Format tab, under Wallpaper / Page Background, just click the Add Image button. Choose your image, adjust the Image Fit as necessary, and tadaaa! You are done!

Custom Power BI Themes: Page Background Menu - Add Image

Using a custom JSON theme file is… well, not quite as easy. (At least not yet.) But why not?

When you click Add Image in Power BI Desktop, you basically upload a copy of the image to the .pbix file. Even if you rename or delete the local image file, the copy will continue to live in the .pbix file until you choose to remove it. This means you only have one single .pbix file to think about, which makes sharing and publishing reports super easy.

However, when you switch to a custom JSON theme file, you don’t go through the same “upload a copy” process. Referencing an image that doesn’t exist in the .pbix file is just not going to work. So what do we do?

We find a workaround! :)

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Custom Power BI Themes: Page Background Colors

Custom Power BI Themes: Background Colors

In a previous blog post, we looked at how to get started with custom Power BI themes. We created a custom color palette and defined the basic JSON theme file. In this blog post, we will look at how to change the background colors of Power BI reports.

There are two types of backgrounds in Power BI reports. The first is the Page Background, which is the background of the report itself. The second is the Wallpaper, which is the outer color surrounding the report.

Original Report

To keep things simple and consistent in my posts, I will use the Power BI sample reports by Microsoft and obviEnce. This way, I can test my themes on existing reports with several different visualizations.

(And, uh, I prefer to use existing sample reports because I tend to get hung up on details. If I work with my own reports, I will most likely get distracted building new visualizations or moving things around. So! Sample reports it is.)

In this post, I will use the Human Resources sample. The page Actives and Separations looks like this:

Custom Power BI Themes: Page Background Colors - Original

The Page Background is white, while the Wallpaper (showing as bars on the top and bottom) is gray.

Let’s change some colors!

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