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Power BI Premium Per User — what does it really mean for “a user”?

Finally! Yes, finally arrived. A Feature which may have a significant impact on the way licensing models have been considered until now. Although only a few days passed after the public preview announcement of Power BI Premium license which is served per user, the community does not hide its curiosity.

Before we even start pointing out on all the pros and cons (wait, are there any cons of having it..?) let me take you for a quick run throughout a licensing model portfolio of Power BI.

Source: Microsoft official presentation

So far all Power BI users were allowed to pick two “per user” licenses – Free and Pro (mostly used in all organisations nowadays), and another group, capacity-based which includes Premium and Embedded.

Story about Power BI Free is short and not so exciting — you can get it for your personal use but no content can be shared with that license. Generally — useless.

In Power BI Pro licensing plan users can do anything that is required to develop and interact with a full-scale reporting solution. Users with Pro license can share content and collaborate with other Pro users within App, and App Workspace environments. Users normally can try it as a free trial for 60 days before purchasing the subscription. It cost you a fixed rate of 9,99$/user/month.

Power BI Premium per capacity offers flexibility to publish reports broadly across an enterprise, without requiring recipients to be licensed individually per user. Pro licenses are required for content creators only. Greater scale and performance than shared capacity in the Power BI service. It is normally the best solution for large enterprise organisations that need to provide access to a large number of employees across the business. The Premium plan starts at 4.995$/month/capacity and the price depends on the cloud compute and storage resources.

Then it’s time to get into a new plan — Power BI Premium per User, offered by Microsoft Power BI team for public preview availability in November 2020. While a GA is expected in Spring 2021 at a price to be announced.

Power BI Premium per User (PPU, also Premium Gen 2) license seems to be then designed for the small and medium companieswhich can access all (or barely all?) premium features. The new licensing type allows companies to purchase Premium licenses for individual users only, not necessarily for the entire organization. The difference with the previous solution (Premium per Capacity,or PPC) is that the overall costs will be reduced by…a lot? In order to get know the individual seat licensing prices we need to wait until the general availability (GA).

Do I need a Power BI Pro to use a PPU license? — You just thought about it, right? The answer is…No, you don’t. All the features already available in Pro, will be now available in Premium. Ahh, ok, wait a second — almost all of them. Let me explain that in a second after you look into a great comparison between Premium licenses itself.

source: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/admin/service-premium-per-user-faq

Premium Per User (PPU) includes all Power BI Pro license capabilities, and also adds features such as paginated reports, AI, and other capabilities that are only available to Premium subscribers. Features not included are only a few such as multi-geo support, or unlimited distribution. Those are still reserved only for capacity-based plans.

PPU vs PPC? Does it really work the same? Not at all!

You have to think about these two not as the same licensing plans. Simply, in capacity-based plans you are an owner of capacity workloads when you publish your Power BI report. While PPU is fully managed by Microsoft. This is also a reason why “Bring Your Own Key” isn’t available in that license type since Microsoft needs to access your entire capacity in order to give you that service.

What is a key feature for me? The Deployment pipelines.

The Application Lifecycle Management has been reserved just for a Premium users can finally be reached using PPU license type. The deployment process lets you clone content throughout the environments. It means that moving your content from development to test, and from test to production will be possible by copying the current stage into the target one. By just a few clicks! The connections between the copied items are kept during the copy process.

source: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/introducing-power-bi-deployment-pipelines-preview/

In general, the functional difference between Power BI Pro and Premium are pretty “small” — if we forget for a moment about all the fancy AI capabilities, they can be called similar. It really comes down to what is more economical for the scale of your business. Typically, Premium per Capacity will only be cost effective for organisations with large deployments in terms of storage usage or hundreds of users. Power BI Premium per User sounds like a perfect plan for all the business with advanced analytics requirements and reasonable budgets. It will offer you an amazing 48/day refresh rate, 100 TB of storage, AI capabilities, Paginated reports, advanced Dataflows features and already mentioned Application Lifecycle Management. Even though, at this point of time, we can only guess what the price will be…

Where to get started:

Written by: Jakub Barzyk

Relaterat / Kontaktpersoner

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