PowerView as a SharePoint web part

Today I got a very interesting request from the client I’ve been working with. They loved the new features of PowerView, and wanted to embed the image of their powerview report on the home page of their BI Center site. My first reaction was, this is SharePoint 2010 and PowerView came out in 2012, so no way, ain’t gonna happen. But then I thought about a few more minutes and thought, why not? All PowerView really is to SharePoint is a Silverlight plug in, so it should be doable, right?

The answer lies in the “Other Settings” property in the Silverlight web part, which just requires a little bit of custom configuration to tell it to play nicely with the other kids. I’m going to go through creating it here:

On your site homepage (or wherever you want to create the web part, click on the page tab and then click edit. If there is no browse or page tab, click on the Site Actions dropdown and select “Show Ribbon” to make it appear.

Once you’ve clicked on edit, click the “Add a web part link”

Under “Media and Content”, select the Silverlight web part component, and click Add:

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After you do that, you’ll get a pop up asking you to enter the Silverlight web part URL. To find that URL, you’ll need to open up another browser tab, go to your PowerPivot gallery, and open the PowerView report. Once it opens, click on Edit Report, and once it loads, go up to (in IE, Page –> View Source). Look for a larger paragraph towards the bottom, and find the tag that starts with param name = “source”) Right after that it will say Value = “something”, where the something in quotes will end with a .Bootstrapper.xap? with a guid at the end of it. Put your Sharepoint browser connection string in front of it, and then copy it into your web part URL you still have open on your other tab.

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So your final connection string will look something like: http://MySharePointBIPortal/_layouts/ReportServer/My.Bootstrapper.XAP file.

After you’ve pasted it in you’ll get an error message that says “An Unexpected error has occurred.” That’s expected, so don’t worry about it for right now.

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Click on the dropdown and select “Edit Web Part” and a properties window will show up. At the bottom there is a + button with Other Settings on it, but all that’s there is a blank text box with an ellipses. Click the ellipses and then go back to your “view source” window that you have up from earlier.

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This time, look for the tag that says something like Init Parameters or Initialize Parameters and copy the entire piece out the value section. It will end after it says something like ReportSection=ReportSection. Paste that into the the text editor, making sure to replace the special characters with the correct colons and whatnot. I found it easier to just copy the URL for the Sharepoint site and kind of massage it a little.

After you’re done with that, click Apply and Voila! You have an incredibly awesome Power View report embedded as a SharePoint web part for your page. If it doesn’t work right away check the ItemPath and ReportServerURI settings, they’re usually the big culprits of it.

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