Smart Filter Pro represents the first commercial custom visual released by OKViz. Smart Filter Pro is designed for distribution through the Organizational Custom Visuals.
Smart Filter Pro is now generally available. Useful links:
A short history of OKViz
Three years ago, we started developing the first OKViz custom visuals for Power BI. Throughout this journey, we made a significant investment to release eight custom visuals. Most of them are available in the AppSource marketplace. All these components are free. The economic model that sustained this investment was based on SQLBI sponsorship, which produced a return in terms of market visibility. This return is great when the first version of new components is released, but it quickly decreases in all the following stages of the component lifecycle – support, bug fixes, updates etc. Indeed, there is a limit to the sustainability of our investment in development and support, and this is not good for Power BI users.
Since day 1, we knew that we needed a sustainable economic model for the creation of useful custom visuals that could be used in production safely, because someone would provide support for them. The absence of a store where custom visuals could be purchased and not only downloaded is a serious obstacle to a business model where the cost of a custom visual should be a fraction of the cost of the Power BI license. Moreover, a custom visual should be easy to upgrade. All the free custom visuals in the marketplace are automatically updated in all the reports, but this update was not possible for other custom visuals – at least until the Organizational Custom Visuals feature was introduced in Power BI.
The Organizational Custom Visuals solved the technical issue of automatic updates. By creating a report importing a custom visual from My Organization you have the same automatic update service available for components distributed in the Marketplace. Actually, it is better than the Marketplace: as soon as the administrator publishes a new version of a custom visual, all the reports are immediately updated – when for security reasons an update to a custom visual in the Marketplace usually takes three weeks before Microsoft publishes it. This enables a vendor to fully support a component, without relying on Microsoft to distribute it.
Thanks to the Organizational Custom Visuals, we decided to start the development of our first commercial custom visual. The success of commercial custom visuals will also translate into benefits for the free custom visuals, because part of the revenues will certainly be reinvested there.
The launch of Smart Filter Pro
Smart Filter is one of the most successfully and widely adopted custom visuals by OKViz. Smart Filter Pro adds features that will improve performance, increase customization, and offer more flexibility in designing Power BI reports.
Our goal is to produce a custom visual that is both good quality and good value for money. Quality requires time and feedback, which is why Smart Filter Pro will be available in preview with all the features available at no cost until the end of 2018.
We strongly suggest registering with an email address to receive updates in real time. Smart Filter Pro is designed to be used in the Organizational Custom Visuals of Power BI Pro, in order to take advantage of the automatic updates. However, any Power BI user can download and install Smart Filter Pro – the reports using it without the Organizational Custom Visuals will need a manual update when new versions are released.