Microsoft Power BI Licensing


Microsoft Power BI, a unified self-service and enterprise business intelligence platform, offers greater depth of data insights by combining intelligent data visualizations with intuitive user experience. After knowing in-depth about Power BI, in this blog, we will elaborate on its licensing that can help you decide the best option for your organizational needs.

Primary Factors for Optimum Licensing

You can create insightful reports using Power BI Desktop, consume them using web or iOS and Android devices, and quickly share them within a range of Microsoft and external productivity tools, including Teams, PowerPoint, SharePoint, and many more.

Primarily, there are two types of Power BI per-user licenses – free and Pro. What you need to achieve more with Power BI drives your licensing needs for the tool. Your organization’s subscription type decides where the content is stored.

You can finalize your Power BI licensing options based on the proposed uses such as

  • Create Content – If you need to prepare a model, author reports, and create eye-catching and insightful data visualizations, you can use Power BI Desktop Tool.
  • Publish Content – If you need to collaborate with colleagues, author content, model data, publish reports, share dashboards, and perform ad-hoc analysis, you can achieve this with a Power BI Pro license.
  • Consume Content – If you are more into reading and interacting with pre-published reports and dashboards, you can go for either a per-user Power BI Pro license or a Power BI Premium license for large-scale databases.

Where your content is stored and how you plan to interact with the content determine the type of license you need.

What are Different Types of Power BI Licenses and Their Capabilities?

  1. Power BI Free
    Power BI Desktop tool enables you to easily create rich and interactive reports with visual analytics for free. All you have to do is download and install the Power BI Desktop tool from the Microsoft website. You can connect to hundreds of on-premises or cloud-based data sources, prepare your model and data, provide advanced analytics, strengthen your data insights with AI-driven augmented analytics, and create interactive and customized business reports from anywhere without any licensing fee. However, it doesn’t support sharing or publishing them. You need to purchase licenses if you intend to publish or share these reports and dashboards.
  2. Power BI Pro License
    A standard Power BI Pro subscription is a per-user license that comes with a per-user monthly fee. It enables publishing, collaboration, sharing, and ad-hoc analysis. With this subscription, your content is saved to a shared storage capacity that is entirely managed by Microsoft. Power BI Pro license comes with a free 60-day individual trial that you can opt for before making a final decision.
  3. Power BI Premium Licensing
    You can alternatively go for a Power BI Premium subscription that is suitable for big data analytics, enterprise BI, and cloud and on-premises reporting. This type of subscription allocates dedicated capacity to your organization and offers advanced administration and deployment controls. The subscription comes with a monthly cost. The dedicated compute and storage resources are managed by capacity admins in your organization. The content stored can be accessed and shared with the users who don’t have Power BI Pro licenses. However, in this type of subscription, the content creators and at least one user need to have a Power BI Pro license.

You can embed Power BI dashboards and reports within an app or web page using Power BI Embedded to share them with your employees and customers. This premium feature empowers you to simplify Power BI user experience and license administration, optimize license spend, and encourage self-service reporting.

Power BI Pro and Premium are Not Mutually Exclusive

You can have both Power BI Pro and Power BI Premium, and in such a scenario, content shared in Premium capacity can be shared with all users.

Who can Purchase and Assign Licenses?

For purchasing and assigning licenses for your organization, you must be assigned an admin role, which can be achieved using the Microsoft 365 admin center or Azure Active Directory admin center.

Power BI Pro and Power BI Premium comparison table

  Power BI Pro Power BI Pro
Licensing mode Per User Bulk for an organization
Report Publishing Yes No
Maximum size of individual datasets 1G 10G
Maximum storage 10 G per user 100 TB
Maximum number of automatic refreshes per day 8 48

Power BI Pro license is priced at $9.99 per user per month, while Power BI Premium starts with $4,995 per month per dedicated cloud compute and storage resource with an annual subscription.

Still wondering which license will be ideal for your business case? Get in touch with WaferWire Cloud Technologies, and our experts will help you understand it in-depth.

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