You can select dashboards and reports and publish them as an app, either to a group or to your whole organization, but how do you package up a Power BI app for a third party, as part of an application lifecycle management (ALM) system for good governance? — Let's find out what best practice looks like in September 2023!

Publishing apps in Power BI

Microsoft say "You can publish apps to people outside your organization, too. They can view and interact with the app content, but can't share it with others. Now you can create template apps and deploy them to any Power BI customer." (See: Ways to collaborate and share in Power BI — Microsoft). That is quite hard to unpick.

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Create and deploy template apps to any PowerBI customer

Template apps are designed to be distributed publicly. Power BI template apps enable Power BI partners to build Power BI apps with little or no coding, and deploy them to any Power BI customer.


The general process to develop and submit a template app involves several stages. Some stages can include more than one activity at the same time.


  • To create the template app, you need permissions to create one.
  • To publish a template app to the Power BI service and AppSource, you need to have a commercial marketplace account in Partner Center and ensure your account is enrolled in the commercial marketplace program.
Stage Power BI Desktop Power BI service Partner Center
One Build a data model and report in a .pbix file Create a workspace. Import .pbix file. Create a complementary dashboard Register as a partner
Two   Create a test package and run internal validation  
Three   Promote the test package to preproduction for validation outside your Power BI tenant, and submit it to AppSource With your preproduction package, create a Power BI template app offer and start the validation process
Four   Promote the preproduction package to production Go live

Enrolling in the commercial marketplace using a developer program account

  • Sign in to Partner Center with your existing account.

  • Select Settings > Account settings. Then in the left menu, select Identifiers, then select the Publisher tab.

  • You can select a publisher account not already enrolled in Commercial Marketplace by selecting the radio button to the left of the row.

  • Select Add program and select Commercial Marketplace.

  • Read and accept the terms and conditions in the Microsoft Publisher Agreement, and then select Accept and continue to complete your enrollment.

    After you're enrolled, you're taken to the commercial marketplace overview page.

  • To verify that the commercial marketplace account is listed as registered, select Settings > Account settings > Programs.