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What! You need a Power BI Pro Licence

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John Gaskell
Occasional Contributor

Guys, is it right that all users who wish to view a power bi dashboard on SharePoint page require a Power BI liecnce ? 

 

If yes, Then I find this mad! 

28 Replies
Hi John.

It's currently correct but won't be when the new "Power BI Premium" comes into force. This will allow for "unlicensed" users to consume content.
PowerBI Premium is purchased as in blocks of resource nodes (Compute/storage etc)

Here is my (potentially flawed) understanding of the current and future models.

Current Model:
PowerBI Pro user creates and publishes content.
PowerBI Free users read and review content and can create their own reports/dashboards from this.

Future Model:
PowerBI Pro users creates and publishes content
PowerBI Premium resource allows for unlicenced users to consume content in a read only fashion
I hope this is the case, but it is not how I read the intro to Premium. I read that any person consuming or using Dashboards would need a license which is a real shame. Most analytics tools work the way you described where the consumption does not need a paid license.
Hi Rob,

I'm pretty sure that the consumption model is changing in the way we're discussing. The pricing of the Power BI Premium (Starting at $5,000/month for the smallest node) doesn't make sense otherwise.

There is still a break even point where you'd basically licence everyone with PowerBI Pro up to ~500 Consumers

So if you're a small business who really likes PowerBI then you're being screwed by Microsoft once again. But this isn't surprising. We all knew it was coming eventually.

Excerpt from the Announcement.
"Power BI Premium enables Power BI Pro users to publish reports broadly across the enterprise and beyond, without requiring recipients to be licensed per user."
https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/microsoft-accelerates-modern-bi-adoption-with-power-bi-prem...

I need to throw in a caveat here.... 

 

The Power BI web part itself requires a Pro license. While I understand that that will change, and will be a function of the premium storage model, I haven't seen anything official to the contrary. For the moment, the web part itself requires a pro license. 

Thank guys for your comments so far. Yes I think we all agree that most other vendors do not charge for the view of a dashboard. Lets hope someone out there in Microsoft reads this thread and understand where we are coming from on this one. I am sure Microsoft will may enough dosh on licencing to create reports. 

 

Yep I read that too. But I can't imagine that you'd have PowerBI Premium without someone with PowerBI Pro to create content.

Or do you mean you'll need a seperate paid for licence just for the web part?

You're right, you'll need at least one Pro license to create premium content.

 

Technically, the Web part is itself a "Power BI Pro" Feature, so regardless of the report being viewed, it requires that the viewer have a Power BI Pro license. 

 

I don't expect this to continue however. 

Hi John,

Yes you're right.

That's the current model but I can't imagine with the changes in content distribution Microsoft are proposing that would continue to be the case.

In the future a "Pro" licence isn't required to make premium content because there is only one type of content being made now they're fixing the disparity between Free and Pro. The ability to share it with peers however is locked down to PowerBI Pro and the ability to share it more broadly will be in the realm of PowerBI Premium.

Whoa, I did not realize Premium would be $5K starting. That is a show stopper. Agree with comment above that this is not small business friendly.

 

My needs are for 5-7 people to create and 200 people to consume on Sharepoint. I would expect to pay $25-40 per author (so about $2 K annually) and expect consumption to be free.

 

What I am not clear about in the future model is if you DON'T purchase Premium, how does the Publish to Sharepoint work (or not).

 

 

Rob - In your case, you would continue to license Pro for your consumption users. The entry point for Premium is simply way too steep for small-medium sized organizations. This new model is aimed firmly at the enterprise.

I am concerned as to how this affects the PBI Embedded users. $5K/month is also too steep for most ISVs with a smaller customer base. However, assurances have been made that more granular pricing for Premium will be made available to ISVs. Let's hope that more granular comes to the general service too.

Agree with Rob on this.

 

We see aout 3-5 people creating the content and around 100 consuming/viewing the data but only through the Web interface. Paying for thoses 100 seems wrong as they won't be creating anything.

 

Have no issue paying for the Pro license for the creators.

 

Just my 2 cents

Hi Rob,

 

I'm just going to backtrack here slightly as I wanted to bring the resources I've reviewed to you for your own review and it looks like Nodes are slightly cheaper than I expected. Still thousands but maybe not quite 5K. More like 3-4K

 

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/calculator/

 

here is the big FAQ and a massive thread chain of people asking questions and the PowerBI team replying. Might have something about SharePoint in there.

https://community.powerbi.com/t5/Changes-to-the-free-Power-BI/May-3-announcement-FAQ/m-p/167399

 

THat community conversation is worth chiming in on. It gets watched. I intend to throw out a blog post on this topic in the near future as well. 

 

I generally like what they are trying to do with the new model, but the barrier to entry puts it out of reach of a large portion of the market. 

Thanks for the links @Antony Taylor!  I did see that thread but had not dug into it yet.

 

Don't know why PowerBI has a community different than this one, another place to check!

Here is the closest thing to the official word on the web part (from the forum above):

 

 

Sharepoint embedding to SharePoint doesn't change that much from its original licensing needs. You will basically have 2 scenarios now (one included with Power BI Premium):
 
1. As we communicated in the preview announcement: "The Power BI report web part requires all the viewers to have a Power BI Pro license. If your users don’t have a Pro license, they’ll be directed to PowerBI.com where they can enroll or start a Pro trial".
 
2. If the if the user that is trying to consume the embedded report does not have a Power BI Pro license but is part of a Power BI Premium instance, same viewer rights apply meaning that the user can view the report but collaboration features such as export to Excel are not available, in line with regular Power BI Premium related features.
 
Both cases assume users embedding and consuming have SPO licenses.

 

Here is the closest thing to the official word on the web part (from the forum above):
 
 
Sharepoint embedding to SharePoint doesn't change that much from its original licensing needs. You will basically have 2 scenarios now (one included with Power BI Premium):
 
1. As we communicated in the preview announcement: "The Power BI report web part requires all the viewers to have a Power BI Pro license. If your users don’t have a Pro license, they’ll be directed to PowerBI.com where they can enroll or start a Pro trial".
 
2. If the if the user that is trying to consume the embedded report does not have a Power BI Pro license but is part of a Power BI Premium instance, same viewer rights apply meaning that the user can view the report but collaboration features such as export to Excel are not available, in line with regular Power BI Premium related features.
 
Both cases assume users embedding and consuming have SPO licenses.
 

Still confused.

 

We do not use the embedded part of Power BI. We don't intend to move that way.

 

Currently we have 2 people creating content and they both have an Office 365 E5 license therefore Power BI Pro.

 

The people consuming the data do it through the web service. They only have READ and are not allowed to share what they have.

 

Based on this will I need Pro licensing in June????? Or is what I have still good???

Microsoft loves to overload names. Embedded is a perfect example. In the post above, it's not referring to Power BI Embedded. Rather, it means Power BI reports embedded in a SharePoint page via the web part.

 

WHen you say that they are consuming data "through the web service" - I'm not sure what you mean. What I can say is that in your scenario if your creators are currently sharing dashboards with a wider audience that do not have Pro licenses, then yes, in June, all consumers will require Pro. 

 

 


 

My users consume the reporrts by going to SharePoint online - click on the "waffle" - select Power BI App and get their data.

 

So in June this requires a Pro license.

 

We do not nor are we going to use Power BI embedded via the web part.

Got it. Your assessment is correct - in June, all of your users will need to be Pro. You have two alternatives (neither very palatable)

 

1. Share anonymously (Publish to web). Anyone with the link will be able to see the report - no authentication required. Also, data is cached for 1 hour.

 

2. Share the PBIX files. Have your editors distribute the PBIX files to the end users, and have them publish to their own workspaces. 

 

Wish I had a better story for you.... 

Thanx John, In my opinion this will be a game changer and could spell the death of Power BI for a lot of organizations.

 

I don't want the Pro Desktop on many of my users desktops as it just leads to broken PBIX files and thousands of the "my content is broken" and "now what" questions. Many of these people don't have the patience to want to create content.

 

Have no problem trying to train them but with other duties they won't have time. Power BI will die.

I agree. 

 

I think that that message is starting to become louder, and the team is certainly listening. I'd encourage you to lend your voice to the forum above. THe more noise that is made about this, the better. 

I finally formalized my thoughts on this topic into a blog post. If you're interested, it's at

 

https://whitepages.unlimitedviz.com/2017/05/power-bi-premium-pricing-model-good-bad-ugly/

 

Feedback welcome!

Hi John, It's a good post. Covers off nicely the incoming changes and what they mean for a few of the edge case scenarios.

It's a sad day for the SMB Market reporting indeed.

I've got clients who've successfully embraced PowerBI and gained real business insight from the reports from it. Who realistically will never make the next step to business sharing and because of the hellish starting cost.

ssuming that it doesn't get adjusted. Remember, it hasn't actually happened yet....

Is there a matrix somewhere that explains the Power BI licensing? I'd dealing with a small business and need to understand if they will require all Pro licenses. the Intent is to share Power BI reports through SharePoint pages using the Power BI Webparts to embed the content. Any help to the latest information would be much appreciated. Thanks

I think the answer is yes for your scenario. It really killed our ability to use Power BI. I think Microsoft did a disservice to small businesses where the pricing is cost prohibitive.

Agree. Microsoft came up with a great product that challenged the market. Why are they so pig headed as to screw up a great opportunity? Microsoft has for years generated products to suit all sizes of business. Power BI was a product that small business could now get on board with real dashboards to run their business. 

 

Come on Microsoft. Smell the coffee! Give us a solution that is fair for all companies.