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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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Creating a SQL Server 2019 Demo Environment in a Docker Container

Creating a SQL Server 2019 Demo Environment in a Docker Container

About a month ago, I learned something new. I learned how to run SQL Server 2019 in Docker and how to set up my demo environment in a container. Cool stuff! I like whales. Whales are cool.

While learning, I started writing this blog post. Then I got distracted and never finished it. This weekend, I had to set up my demo environment again. It was the perfect opportunity to update the content and finally publish this post.

(Why did I have to set up everything again? Oh, it’s a long story that involves disk cleanup and a Cathrine who likes to delete things to keep her computer tidy. Ok, it’s not really a long story. It was more like “oops, I accidentally deleted my container”.)

Anyway! Back to the actual content.

In this post, I share my approach and code snippets for:

  1. Installing Docker
  2. Getting SQL Server 2019
  3. Running SQL Server 2019 in a Docker Container
  4. Restoring Demo Databases (AdventureWorks and WideWorldImporters)

Installing Docker

I knew nothing about Docker or containers a month ago. But! I’m lucky to have smart friends :) Andrew Pruski (@dbafromthecold) wrote Running SQL Server 2019 CTP in a Docker container as part of his brilliant blog post series on containers.

I decided to start with his walkthrough and do exactly what he did. It worked pretty well for me! See below :)

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Speaking at Microsoft Tech Summit Oslo 2018

Cathrine Wilhelmsen Speaking at Microsoft Tech Summit Oslo 2018

On Thursday, December 6th, I will be presenting my session Deliver Your Modern Data Warehouse at Microsoft Tech Summit Oslo. Yay!

This is the first time I’m speaking at an official Microsoft event in my own country. And it’s not just in my country, it’s basically in my neighborhood! I live just 10 minutes away from the venue. I’m very excited about speaking, but I’m almost more excited that I could walk there if I wanted to, hahaha :)

Microsoft Tech Summit Oslo Agenda

Microsoft Tech Summit Oslo is a free, one-day event with over 15 sessions across three tracks: IT Management, Development, and Data & AI. Check out the full agenda and list of speakers for more details.

(And do you know who will be delivering the first keynote? Mark Souza (@mark_AzureCAT)! Mark will be in my neighborhood! So cool :D)

Deliver Your Modern Data Warehouse

I will present a 45-minute session called Deliver Your Modern Data Warehouse. My main focus will be on choosing the appropriate products and technologies for your project. There are so many options today that it can be a little overwhelming, and things are moving fast.

Do you need an Azure Data Lake? When should you use Azure Data Factory and when should you use Azure Databricks? What are the new Azure Data Factory Data Flows anyway? Is Azure SQL Data Warehouse always the best alternative? Do you even need a Data Warehouse or can you just use Power BI now?

My goal is to provide an overview of products and technologies, as well as plant some ideas on where to start and which questions to ask. I could probably talk about this for a day, but there is only so much I can cover in 45 minutes.

See you there?

I will be tweeting from the event using the hashtag #MSTechSummit. If you haven’t registered yet, go do it now. It’s free! Hope to see you there :)

Custom Power BI Themes: Getting Started

Cathrine Wilhelmsen creating custom Power BI themes

Power BI comes with several built-in themes and a whole gallery full of custom themes available for download. But what if you still can’t find the perfect look for your reports? No problem! Just create your own custom Power BI themes :)

…sounds simple enough, right? It only takes a few minutes to create a custom Power BI theme with a color palette of your choice. Whoosh – instant custom branding!

But if you are like me, simple color changes might not be enough. Maybe you want finer control of borders, fonts, labels, or other visual elements. Or maybe you just don’t want to keep changing the same settings over and over and over again in multiple visualizations and reports. (Please don’t do that.)

You can control all of these things in custom Power BI themes. It is, however, not quite as simple as creating a color palette… yet. (You never know when the Power BI product team will blow your mind with a new update!) But for now, we need to define custom themes in JSON files.

(Does the thought of writing JSON make you go “eww” or “ugh“? Don’t worry! Just head on over to the PowerBI.tips Report Theme Generator instead and let it do the work for you. It is a fantastic resource!)

Learning with Cathrine

Since I have an awful memory and can barely remember what I did last month, I will be blogging while learning how to create my own custom Power BI themes. That means that all posts and examples may change at any time. And I’m sure they will, every time I learn something new.

My posts will be more like journal entries than technical references, but my goal is to create a series of cheat sheets for myself that I can reference later. Maybe you can learn something as well? :)

In this post, I will focus on the basics and share some resources to help you get started. I will first create my color palette, then define the basic JSON theme file that I will continue to build on in later blog posts.

Ok. Let’s go! :)

Picking Colors

Cathrine Wilhelmsen Creating Custom Color Palette

First, make sure you read Meagan Longoria’s excellent post Choosing a Color Palette for Your Power BI Report. She explains what to consider when choosing colors, why you want to choose certain colors over others, and how to check if your color palette is accessible.

Then, find a color picker or color palette tool that works for you. There are many free apps available, so you may have to try a few different ones. My favorites are:

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PASS Summit 2018 Feedback and Ratings

Biml (Business Intelligence Markup Language)

Oh, the nerves… We have now received our PASS Summit 2018 feedback! It is always terrifying opening up session evaluations for the first time :)

This year, I presented a 10-minute Lightning Talk on Azure Data Factory and a 75-minute General Session on Biml. In this post, I will share the feedback, ratings, and comments I received on my general session. I will also include my own thoughts.

But first: Thank you to everyone who attended my session at PASS Summit 2018, and a huge thank you to everyone who also spent time providing feedback! It is much appreciated and extremely important so we can learn and improve :)

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