Whitelisting your tenant for Power BI GCC

Microsoft Government Community Cloud addresses the unique and evolving requirements of US State and Local governments. As part of the GCC service, PowerBI GCC also meets these same requirements.

Due to some of the additional controls in GCC, PowerBI for GCC is a bit different from the PowerBI service that is widely available commercially. One major difference is that organizations must be “whitelisted” for PowerBI for GCC. Until you have been whitelisted, Power BI will not completely work as expected.

Some things will not work until you have been whitelisted:

  1. You will not be able to publish a report directly from Power BI Desktop to your tenant. NOTE: you can still upload the report (.pbix file) from the service as a workaround.
  2. Power BI Gateways will not be able to register with your tenant; which means you will not be able to schedule automatic data refreshes for on-premises data sources.
  3. Power BI Mobile apps will not be able to connect to your tenant.

I recommend that you whitelist your organization as soon as possible. It can take 3 to 5 weeks to complete the process and you don’t want to be in a position where you are waiting for the whitelisting to complete to deliver reports/analytics to your organization. It will not take much of your time to submit and it doesn’t cost anything.

Check to see if you have already been whitelisted

If you are not sure whether or not your tenant has been whitelisted, you can contact a member of your Microsoft Account Team to find out.

Or I recently found a “hack” that you can use to quickly find out for yourself.

Use the tool of your choice (e.g. Fiddler, Advanced REST Client, etc.), POST the following command:

https://api.powerbi.com/powerbi/globalservice/v201606/environments/discover?user=sdasari@<yourtenant.onmicrosoft.com>

If your tenant name was “bigstate.onmicrosoft.com”, then you would POST: https://api.powerbi.com/powerbi/globalservice/v201606/environments/discover?user=sdasari@bigstate.onmicrosoft.com

In the results look for the “couldName” attribute. If the value is “USGovCloud”, then your tenant has been whitelisted and is ready to go.

The Whitelisting process

The process for whitelisting is outlined here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/service-govus-signup.

In short, an individual who is an Office 365 Global Administrator in your tenant should contact a member of your Microsoft Account team and provide a written request and authorization to whitelist your tenant. For example:

As a Global Administer for “<mytenant.onmicrosoft.com>”, I request and authorize you to whitelist my tenant, “<mytenant.onmicrosoft.com>” for Power BI GCC.

Again, the process generally takes 3-5 weeks to complete. You will be notified once the whitelisting has been approved and implemented.

 After you have been whitelisted

Once the whitelisting has completed, your Power BI service will be fully functional. However, if you have permitted the use of the “Power BI (Free)” licenses in your organization (which I highly discourage for many reasons), then any users that are using those licenses will notice that:

  1. They are not be able to publish a report directly from Power BI Desktop to their “free” workspace. NOTE: they can still upload the report (.pbix file) from the service as a workaround.
  2. Power BI Gateways (personal) will no longer work
  3. Power BI Mobile apps will not be able to connect to their “free” workspace

Let the fun begin!

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