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Finding all custom visuals in a Power BI Tenant

Custom visuals can fill a gap because the standard visuals in Power BI can only do so much. I want to acknowledge that the standard visuals in Power BI are improving but still, sometimes we might need a custom visuals for a specific use case.

What if you have a large tenant though and these visuals become a security, governance and performance problem?

It is quite hard to search the Power BI reports to find these custom visuals.

The key is to fetch all report layouts/definitions and then search them for custom visuals. This is not so straight forward however.

What do we have to prepare?

First we need to get access to all the workspaces we want to search and we have to have at least Contributor permissions.

Option 1 (not recommended):

Export Report (Power BI API call) -> returns the .pbix file

Careful, this export includes the data!

There are a ton of limitations for this API call and it is very slow.

Option 2 (better)

Fabric Items - Get Report Definition -> returns an InLineBase64 (needs to be converted to json)

This API call returns the report definition and there is only one limitation (for encrypted sensitivity labels) so this is a much better way to get the report layout.

Option 3 (easy and fast but costs $$$)

There is an out of the box solution out there to find all custom visuals which is Measure Killer's Tenant Analysis.

What is Measure Killer?

It is an external tool for Microsoft Power BI to analyze your models and reports, it can also run a tenant-level scan to analyze all semantic models and reports in your whole tenant (premium, fabric, pro and personal workspaces).

For the tenant scan you would need to buy a license, there are also some really nice free features of the tool however.

You can then search inside the tool for specific custom visuals and see in which reports (and on which pages) they are used, and if they are certified or not.

As you can see above, for every report it will show which and how many custom visuals it has. The blue stamp on the left of the name of the visual indicates it is a certified custom visual.

The "Is used" column shows you if something was actually built in the report using this custom visual (if TRUE) or (if FALSE) someone just imported that custom visual into Power BI Desktop but never actually built anything with it.

If you want to search for a custom visual, like what I am doing below you will see something like this:

If you just want to have a list of all custom visuals you can also use the .json export feature.

When I import the exported .json file back into Power Query, it will look something like this:

From here you can remove duplicates to get a distinct list of all custom visuals by workspace or find a contact person for each report (modified_by column which returns an email address).

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