Power BI: Licensing Overview

Many times we get the queries if Power BI is a separate license or comes along with Office 365 E1 or Dynamics 365 CE licenses. Hence thought of explaining the same in this blog.

As we discussed in my earlier blog , Power BI can be deployed in models such has on premise, on cloud or hybrid model. With these types of  deployments, we can go with different types of licenses as mentioned below:

  • Power BI Free
  • Power BI Pro
  • Power BI Premium
  • Power BI Report Server
  • Power BI Embedded

Power BI Free: Surprisingly Power BI comes with free licenses with Power BI desktop. This is absolutely free. We can download Power BI desktop for free. Connect with unlimited data sources, no limits on the number of data sources. We can even publish the reports to Power BI service. We can use your organisation account emailID to sign in Power BI service for free and use the same for publishing the reports.

****Only thing which you can not do with Power BI free is sharing the reports securely.****

Sharing of the reports  is only possible by Publishing to the web and which is not secure method. Entire content would be available publicly, others would be able to see the reports, use all functionalities like slicing, drill down etc. Others do not need any Power BI license , but would not be able to edit the reports. This can be done by using embedded code.

Power BI Pro: Power BI Pro comes as 9.00 USD per user license at the time of writing this blog. It has all features what a user can do with in Power BI such as Power BI authoring and sharing. All types of sharing like sharing dashboards, sharing workspaces, sharing reports, Power BI Apps, embed reports in SharePoint etc is available in Pro licensing.

****We just need to keep in mind that to access the shared content using Power BI Pro license, one needs to have the Pro license.****

Pro licensing also provides the integration features as well.

****Embedding  Power BI content in the Custom application, it can not be done in Power BI Pro. ****

Power BI Premium: Power BI premium licensing is considered for large user base for ex equal to or more than 10000. This license type is not based on user, but based on the nodes. These nodes have dedicated capacity and resources and the pricing is based on the nodes which in turn depend on the number of cores. Power BI provides a Power BI calculator to calculate the number of nodes on how much bigger node we require for our needs. This  license provides the facility to publish reports on premise with Power BI report server. It also provides additional features like, huge data storage – 100 TB instead of 10 GB per user, select the deployment model as on premise or cloud, data refresh 48 times per day instead of 8 times per day in Pro etc.

****To access the content shared using Power BI premium license, we do not need the Power BI Pro license****

Power BI Embedded: If we need to embed the Power BI content to custom web application, and need to manage as per user of the custom application, we can go for Power BI embedded license. This license is not based on the users and are actually based on the number of times the content gets rendered. This means that when user interacts with the content such as slices or drills down, the render counter is hit.

Embedded type of licensing is beneficial when users do not need the data continuously and we can predict the usage. The licensing is purely based on number of hits per hour.

****Power BI embedded always have a dependency on web developer for any changes to be done, hence this cost also should be accounted while estimating for Embedded licensing****

Power BI Report Server: SQL Server Enterprise edition and software assurance would give us Power BI report server. If we already have the SQL server Enterprise edition and want to share the reports through on premise report server, we can go with this type of license

Thank you for reading my blog, if you have any questions please mention in the comments and hit the like button if you like my write up.

Keep Learning !! Happy analyzing and be Powerful 🙂

For more information Kindly refer below links



For rest of posts please refer below links

Power BI: Licensing Overview

Power BI: IPL Analytics- Dashboard

Power BI: Measures Vs Calculated Column

Power BI Jargons: DAX/M/Power Query

Power BI: IPL Analytics- Visualizations and Design Reports -Part 7

Power BI: IPL Analytics- Visualizations and Design Reports -Part 6

Power BI: IPL Analytics- Visualizations and Design Reports -Part 5

Power BI: IPL Analytics- Visualizations and Design Reports -Part 4

Power BI: IPL Analytics- Visualizations and Design Reports -Part 3

Power BI: IPL Analytics- Visualizations and Design Reports -Part 2 

Power BI: IPL Analytics- Visualizations and Design Reports -Part 1

Power BI: IPL Analytics- Data Modeling and Transformation-Part 2

Power BI: IPL Analytics- Data Modeling and Transformation-Part 1

Start with Power BI: Connect to Data Sources

Power BI : Deployment Models


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