Introducing the Image Timeline for Power BI

This past week, Microsoft approved my Image Timeline custom visual for AppSource, its growing collection of add-ins and services. The Image Timeline for Microsoft Power BI displays events along a horizontal timeline. These events appear as a collection of circles by default, but you can also provide URLs for images similar to custom visuals such as the Chiclet Slicer. It also includes a built-in date slider (D3’s “brush”) to help move along the timeline and zoom into specific ranges. Additional information on its setup and use are available at the visual’s support page.

Get the Image Timeline from AppSource, or obtain it directly in Power BI using the Import from Store option.

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Since the Image Timeline is my first visual approved in AppSource, there were some lessons learned. For example, my initial submission was rejected because the support link that I provided was for the Issues page of the project’s GitHub repository. It turns out that Microsoft requires a dedicated support page with contact information such as a Twitter handle, email, or phone number alongside some instructions or FAQ. A GitHub ReadMe and issue submission is not enough, so there will be a dedicated support page for this timeline and for each visual I will submit in the future.

While I previously had my Hexbin Scatterplot custom visual available in Power BI’s original Custom Visuals Gallerya complete rebirth of the development toolkit in 2016 meant learning a new set of tools and having to rewrite for a new API. I recently found time to take another look at that visual and rebuild it in the new tools, but it has not yet been submitted to AppSource.

If you are interested in developing custom visuals, start with the Microsoft docs on GitHub.

When it comes to adding a visual to AppSource, Adam Saxton laid out the submission process in great detail in the Power BI documentation. Note that you will need a developer account, which is around $20 (USD) for individuals and $99 (USD) for companies.

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11 thoughts on “Introducing the Image Timeline for Power BI

    • When downloading from AppSource, there is an option to “try a sample” that provides a PBIX. If you have used image URLs with visuals such as the built-in table or the Chiclet Slicer, the image URL for this visual is the same. It requires a link to an image file hosted online.

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      • Thanks for the feedback David,
        I found your sample file and tried it with other picture URLs from the web and I found out that some pictures do appear and some doesnt. I’m not sure why. And could you also share how I could host my own picture to used in my report sir. Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks for the visual. Was waiting for this kind of visual for a long time.

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    • Thanks. For now, use http:// and instead of https:// in the URL. I was able to load your sample images when using http:// alone (see https://i.imgur.com/ha4KMGr.png). I’ve looked at the logic where I’m verifying https:// in my code, and there’s a bug there. I’ll push the fix for https:// images in a subsequent version. The https:// in the sample file worked because it wasn’t a direct reference to an image file but rather relied on Bing’s search. Thanks for pointing this out.

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