Deneb Power BI Declarative Visualization

by | Power BI

In this tutorial, we’ll try to understand the basics of Deneb Power BI declarative visualization by discussing the 3 major sections of the Deneb interface. These are the Visual Editor Pane, Preview Area, and Properties Pane.

Deneb is a tool that you can use to create visualizations with the use of declarative JSON codes in Power BI.  

Deneb has similar ways of creating visuals in Power BI using R and Python. With this tutorial, you’ll be able to familiarize yourself with using Deneb for creating visualizations in Power BI.

The 3 Major Sections Of Deneb Interface In Power BI

For this example, we’re going to use the Country versus Total Sales bar chart to demonstrate the major sections of the Deneb interface.

Deneb Power BI

In order for us to see the 3 major sections of the Deneb interface, we must click on the ellipses icon from the upper right corner of the bar chart.

After that, click the Edit option.

Deneb Power BI

Once we click the Edit option, we should see the Visual Editor pane and the Preview Area.

Deneb Power BI

For us to see the Properties Pane, we need to expand the “Visualizations” on the right side of the Preview Area by clicking on it. 

Deneb Power BI

Under Visualizations, click on the Format your visual option.

Deneb Power BI

Then right-click on the Editor.

Deneb Power BI

Lastly, select the Expand all categories option.

Deneb Power BI

After performing these steps, we should see the Properties Pane.

Overall, this is how your interface should look like after bringing up the Properties Pane.

Deneb Power BI

Useful Features In The Deneb Visual Editor Pane

In the Visual Editor pane, we’ll see a set of icons—play, auto-apply, format, mapping, new, template, and help.

Deneb Power BI

The play icon is used to apply the changes we’ve made in our JSON code. There are times that this icon is grayed out unless you make changes in your code. For example, I’ll delete the comma in our JSON code.

Deneb Power BI

Notice in the screenshot below that the “play” icon is now active after deleting the comma in the code.

Deneb Power BI

The Auto-apply icon is used to automatically apply the changes as you enter JSON codes. You can toggle this on and off based on your preference.

Deneb Power BI

This is what the Auto-apply icon looks like when toggled on. In the Preview Area, you’ll see that by changing the tooltip value from true to false, an error appears because the change is not yet finalized.

Deneb Power BI

The Repair and Format JSON icon, on the other hand, works on repairing your JSON code with the proper format. It will fix the code whenever you have missing commas, angled brackets, colons, and others.

To demonstrate how it works, I’ll add some extra space on the code and click on the Repair and Format JSON icon.

Deneb Power BI

Upon clicking the Repair And Format JSON icon, it should rectify and remove the extra spaces that I’ve added in the code.

The Edit Specification Field Mapping icon is used to make changes in the mapping of Power BI fields.

Deneb Power BI

Utilizing the New Specification icon will replace the current specification and configuration that you’re working on. This is merely for creating a new specification.

Deneb Power BI

The Generate JSON Template icon is usually used to create a JSON template for exporting or saving your work or for reuse. 

Lastly, you can use the Help icon to open the documentation regarding Deneb Power BI.

Deneb Power BI

If you click on this icon, a dialog box will appear that tells you to open the documentation to a new browser. Just click OK when you see this.

Deneb Power BI

Then you’ll be taken to the Deneb page for the documentation that you need.

Deneb Power BI

Modifying The Settings For Field Mapping

Let’s now modify the settings for field mapping in Power BI. First, let’s duplicate the Home page. To do this, right-click on the Home tab in the lower left corner. Then select Duplicate Page.

Deneb Power BI

As a result, you will have a copy of the Home page.

Deneb Power BI

After that, let’s change the available fields for our visualization. Click on the bar chart and you should see the Values in the Properties Pane.

Deneb Power BI

In the Properties Pane, deselect the Country field under Values by clicking on the X icon.

Deneb Power BI

Let’s expand the Fields pane, click on the dropdown for Channels, then click and drag the Channel field to the Values.

Deneb Power BI

Next, click on the ellipses icon in the upper left corner of the bar chart and select the Edit option.

Deneb Power BI

Since we’ve made changes to the fields, a mapping is required for us to update the fields that we need to map on the visualization. In this case, we need to assign the Channel field to replace the Country field. Click on Apply Mapping once you’re done assigning the new field.

Deneb Power BI

After applying the mapping, click on the Back to report button for the full preview of the changes we made to the visualization.

Deneb Power BI

Doing the process of updating the fields for your visualization will save you time rather than changing it manually in the JSON code.

The Deneb Preview Area And Its Zoom Features

The Preview Area is where we can see the visualization as we edit the JSON code. You can adjust the zoom level of the Preview Area by utilizing the zoom features on the lower right section of this pane.

To see the zoom features, you need to enter the Edit mode of the bar chart in the Preview Area.

You should see the zoom features after you choose the Edit option.

The minus (-) and plus (+) symbols will decrease or increase the zoom level by 10%.

Utilize the zoom slider if you want to gradually increase or decrease the zoom level of the Preview Area. 

The circular arrow is used to set the zoom level to 100%.

The icon next to the circular arrow is used to fit the preview of the visualization to the available space in the Preview Area.

Lastly, the number with a percentage (%) symbol tells you the current zoom level that you’re using.

Using The Properties Pane In Deneb Power BI

We’re now down to the last section of the Deneb Power BI interface which is the Properties Pane. In the Properties Pane, you can set the font size of the code editor, enable or disable features like word wrap, line gutter, and line numbers, and show boundary markers. Finally, you can change the number of Power BI theme colors to use.

To increase or decrease the font size of the text in the code editor, just click the arrows present in the font size input box.

For the word wrap, line gutter, line numbers, and show boundary markers, you can just leave them all On. These features serve as guides in your code editor and the Preview Area. You may try them out yourself and decide which feature works best for you.

There’s also a Report Theme Integration feature that allows you to change the number of Power BI theme colors to use.

You may check the Deneb website for complete documentation about this feature.

Lastly, you can override the default row limit in the Deneb Power BI visualization.

For more details regarding this feature, check the documentation on the Deneb website.

Take note that the Properties Pane is particular to a visualization. It can also vary between different PBIX files or between different Deneb visualizations in the same PBIX file. A PBIX file is a document that we create in Power BI, which includes data models, visualizations, reports, and others.

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To sum up, you’ve learned about the 3 main sections in the Deneb Power BI interface and how each of them works. These are the Visual Editor Pane, Preview Area, and Properties Pane. You’ve also learned about the useful features in the Visual Editor pane which include the play, auto-apply, repair and format JSON, field formatting, new specification, generate JSON template, and help.

On top of that, you were able to modify the settings for field mapping using the Properties Pane and utilize the different features inside it. This includes changing the font size of the JSON code editor, word wrap, line gutters, and line numbers, and showing boundary markers. Keep exploring the other tabs that were not covered in this tutorial to get the most out of Deneb Power BI visualization.

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