Microsoft PowerBI: Using Secure Sites and Private Dashboards with ScreenCloud

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by Santino Scibelli
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Dashboards can help keep your teams in sync with the latest company metrics and insight into important data. Using ScreenCloud you can display secure or password-protected dashboards and websites, such as Microsoft Power BI. This brief guide will walk through how you can get started with setting up secure sites to display using digital signage, or using embeddable links to share your content on a website or in your company intranet.

Table of contents:

1. What is the "Secure Sites" feature?

2. Which dashboard services does ScreenCloud currently support? 

3. How can I create a dashboard or project management board?

4. How can I set up and connect my secure dashboard with ScreenCloud? 

5. Frequently asked questions

 

1. What is the "Secure Sites" feature?

“Secure Sites” is a premium feature that allows you to display sites or dashboards that require a login, or have other restrictive security measures, for digital signage. This is part of an enterprise premium add-on feature available for your ScreenCloud account. It gives you the ability to easily and securely display up to 100 dashboards, without needing to make your data public. We encrypt and store your credentials in the cloud (using AWS Secrets Manager with individual, per customer, encryption keys), then retrieve your information and display it. We never cache any of your dashboards or hold any of your data. You can also display sites that don’t require credentials but have embedding disabled, restrictive content security policies enabled, or other anti-iFrame preventions.

Here are our available versions:

  • PowerBi Only: premium add-on app, show up to 100 PowerBi dashboards.
  • Full Service: show up to 100 dashboards total, from all sites we currently support below.

You can also learn more about other enterprise related products or services through ScreenCloud at https://screen.cloud/enterprise.

 

2. Which dashboard services does ScreenCloud currently support? 

We currently support a range of dashboards:

Our development team is also currently working on a feature for displaying any secure site. This feature will record user actions, including login, securely store the credentials, then replay the actions to display the site on your digital signage. This feature will record login records and credential capturing to authentical pages to display from behind a login. To learn more, please reach out to support@screencloud.com. 

 

3. How can I create a dashboard or project management board? 

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Once you select your dashboard service, you can proceed to log into the account and create a dashboard. There are a number of features and integrations available depending on the type of service you're using (e.g. Customization and display options for Microsoft Power BI could be different compared to a service like Trello). We advise the best method for getting started would be to view resources from your provider directly. 

For example, if you need guidance on creating reports using Microsoft, you can click here for Microsoft's support article on how to create a PowerBI report. Please note, to use Microsoft Power BI, users must enable service principals in their PowerBI tenant. You aren’t required to create a service principal or adjust any other configuration other than enabling the service principal setting from your account. This allows third-party applications, such as ScreenCloud, to connect using secure OpenID Connect (OIDC) protocols.

You can also learn more about How to Create Secure Digital Signage Dashboards by clicking here. A great resource to get started would also be our blog at https://screen.cloud/blog to see tips and use cases for displaying dashboards or project management boards on your digital screens.

 

4. How can I set up and connect my secure site with ScreenCloud?

We'll walk you through how to set up a secure site with ScreenCloud. Please note, you'll need to have connected with a member of our team first to activate the Secure Sites feature before you're able to use password-protected dashboards or websites in your account. 

4.1. Connect with our team: using Secure Sites is an enterprise premium add-on feature, which is an additional cost to your ScreenCloud subscription. Please get in touch with our team by clicking here.

4.2. Activate your Secure Sites trial: our team will set you up with a two-week trial of Secure Sites, review pricing information with you, and help with questions regarding the feature.

4.3. Set up a Secure Site: once your account is activated to use Secure Sites, please log into your ScreenCloud account to start adding your password-protected sites. This example will go through how to use the Secure Site feature with ScreenCloud's Microsoft Power BI app:

i) Visit the "Apps" section of your account. Click on "App Store".

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ii) Search for "Microsoft PowerBI", then select and click "Install App". Alternatively, if you are using a different service you would enter that into your search bar (e.g. "Trello" if you're planning to use this service to connect Secure Sites). 

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iii) From here, you'll be prompted to sign in to your Microsoft Power BI account. Click "Sign In" and proceed to add secure credentials into ScreenCloud by selecting "Add Account".

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iv) You'll be prompted to add a name to your social account, then click "Add Credentials" to prompt a sign-in page for Microsoft. 

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v) Sign in to your Microsoft account and the system will confirm your Microsoft Power BI account has been added into ScreenCloud. Click "Add Account" once you're done to verify the connection.

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vi) Now you can toggle between reports and dashboards to display from your account. For this example, we're going to select and use the "Sales and Marketing Sample PBIX" as pictured below.

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vii) You also have options you can edit or adjust using Microsoft Power BI. For example, you can configure filters or set up automatic rotation settings for your reports and dashboards based on the data you'd like to pull from Power BI. 

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viii) Once you're finished, click "Preview" to see how your content will look on your digital screen. Click "Save" once you're done to save your Microsoft Power BI app instance. 

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ix) You can now start displaying your Microsoft Power BI app on your digital screens by scheduling it using Channels, setting it to a playlist, or independently. You can view ways you can set content on your digital screens using ScreenCloud by clicking here.

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5. Frequently asked questions

I'm unsure if my dashboard or website will work with Secure Sites, what can I do to check?

If your dashboard service is not currently supported by ScreenCloud, or you would like to check if your service can work with our service then please contact our team. We recommend sending us more information on the type of service you're looking to integrate with ScreenCloud and the approximate number of screens you're looking to use.

 

How often does the website or dashboard refresh to show the latest data on screen?

Microsoft PowerBI refreshes every 30 minutes, this is controlled by Microsoft’s API. We recommend if you’d like for it to refresh faster, to place it in a playlist. Please note, this will incur additional usage/cost inside of your PowerBI tenant if the application is constantly being refreshed to pull updates. 

For all other dashboard services, you’re able to set the refresh interval rate.

 

Is there any way to embed or share ScreenCloud in a website or intranet to show a channel or playlist displaying our secure dashboards? 

Yes, this can be done using ScreenCloud's Embeddable Channels or Embeddable Playlists feature. This is also an enterprise premium add-on feature that you can set up a trial with ScreenCloud for sharing web links or embedding your content on websites or services. You can learn more about ScreenCloud's Embeddable Channels feature by clicking here

 

I'm having an issue connecting my private dashboard site or am seeing an error message, how can I troubleshoot this?

If you're having an issue connecting a Secure Site or dashboard, we recommend both contacting support@screencloud.com and connecting with your service administrator to help look into this further. While contacting the ScreenCloud Support team, please provide the following information:

  • Verify your ScreenCloud account email address
  • Name and number of screens affected by the issue
  • Name of the service you're trying to connect with
  • Description and screenshot/video of the error message you're seeing

Please note if your issue is related to a login issue or authentication due to the service itself, ScreenCloud is not able to troubleshoot it if the issue is secluded to the service provider's website. For example, if Microsoft Power BI is experiencing system maintenance and users are having trouble logging into Microsoft then the issue would not be related to ScreenCloud. 

 

I'd like to make a request for a dashboard service, how can I submit one? 

If you have a request for a dashboard or secure site service, please submit your request to support@screencloud.com. We recommend submitting the name of the service you'd like to use, an approximate number of screens, and verify if you're an existing or prospective member of ScreenCloud.

 

If you have any additional questions on setting up Secure Sites, or any other questions or feedback about ScreenCloud, feel free to reach out to our support team at support@screencloud.com or give us a call at our toll-free support line at +18885575335.

 

 

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