If you are a small to medium size business using Power BI, Microsoft has announced a change to licensing that will be of interest, especially for businesses that want to leverage advanced analytic capability.
Power BI has several licences each giving different capability and rights. Power BI Pro is by far the most popular choice across Small to Medium organisations not only because of its capability but also because its per user licence allows organisations to manage number of licences and therefore cost. Power BI Premium is a more capable offering but until now has been licenced on a Per Capacity basis where that capacity is shared across the organisation. The typical price point entry into Premium has been a minimum of approx. $5,000 USD per month.
Microsoft have announced a new User based Licence for the Premium Product. This will enable individual users to access the Power BI Premium offers with all of the capability of Power Bi Pro and in addition access paginated reports, integration with AI, some of the more advanced extract>transform>load capabilities and some other advanced analytics.
This is great news for organisations who want to access the capability of Premium, but don’t want the price tag.
Microsoft have clarified some of the finer points of the license features online. See below a comparison of the feature comparison between the Per User and Per Capacity offers:
Power BI Premium Feature Comparison
|Feature||Per User||Per Capacity|
|Model Size Limit||100GB||Up to 400GB|
|AI Capabilities (AutoML, Impact Analysis, Cognitive Services)|
|Advanced dataflow features (direct query etc)|
|Usage-based aggregation optimisation|
|Application lifecycle management (deployment pipelines)|
|XMLA endpoint connectivity|
|Enhanced automatic page refresh|
|Power BI reports on-premise|
|Bring your own key|
However, there are a few limitations to the proposed license model. One of these is who can see what. Again Microsoft have clarified this online as well:
Sharing content – who can see what?
|Pro||Premium per User||Premium per capacity user (no named licence)|
|Premium per user|
|Premium per capacity|
Microsoft intend to release this for public preview in November and will release pricing for Premium per user at around the same time.
If you have questions about what this means for or organisation, please feel free to contact us.