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emfuentes27
Continued Contributor
Continued Contributor

Power Automate/PowerApps - Licensing question

I have a question that may be silly, but I think the licensing "structure" of Power Automate/PowerApps is kind of confusing. I'm building a PowerApps app that triggers a Flow that generates a Word Document from a template, and everything works just fine on my end. But, once I deployed the app, users can't use it, and they get some kind of licensing message.

PowerApps.jpg

 

This is my issue/question: If I create an app that triggers a Flow with premium connectors (e.g. Word), does that mean that anyone that needs to use the app/flow, needs to have the license to use that premium connector as well? If I remove the Flow from the PowerApps app, users can access the app without any issues.

 

Thanks in advance.

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions

The only way around it would be to use an automated trigger on something like SharePoint as a buffer.

1) Power app saves content to a specific list in SharePoint

2) Flow with an automated trigger fires and creates the file (this runs in the Maker's context since its an automated trigger.

3) Save the created file to a document library or email it to someone.

 

That's the only workaround that I know of.  Many of us complained when MS made the Create Document from Template a Premium action in Word Online, since Word Online itself is part of the Office 365 license.  But that is the reality and I don't think its going to change.



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Pstork1
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Flows that are triggered manually from a Power App run in the context of the person who triggers them. So if the flow has a Premium connector (like word online templates) then the user must have a premium license.



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emfuentes27
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Thanks @Pstork1 . Is there any way around this, because it doesn't make any sense MS sets the licensing structure this way? About 200 users will potentially be using this app; there is no way my organization will pay for so many licenses, just to create Word documents.

 

Actually, I'm pretty sure it's the word application that is the premium function, here.

 

Microsoft is wholly right to try to enforce their licencing structure for those premium functions. But there are options.

 

I'll focus on one of those:

Are you absolutely sure that this information must be in a word document?

 

If you think about what you're dealing with here, it's just data. So why not store the data in a SharePoint list, and create some nice, elegant SharePoint list views, and wrap those views in some nice SharePoint pages?

 

This way, when ever anyone wishes to see the data, they can view it on their phone/pc/whatever, in the SharePoint site.

 

Equally, there's a great many free Word actions from third party connectors, but they have their limits. Plus you have to accept 3rd parties potentially seeing your data.

 

Similarly, is your Power App is simply a form? If so, you could slim down reliance on something complicated like that, and use Forms instead to gather the data. That doesn't inherently solve the premium word action, issue, but it offers a different way to handle the input.

The only way around it would be to use an automated trigger on something like SharePoint as a buffer.

1) Power app saves content to a specific list in SharePoint

2) Flow with an automated trigger fires and creates the file (this runs in the Maker's context since its an automated trigger.

3) Save the created file to a document library or email it to someone.

 

That's the only workaround that I know of.  Many of us complained when MS made the Create Document from Template a Premium action in Word Online, since Word Online itself is part of the Office 365 license.  But that is the reality and I don't think its going to change.



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Thank you @eliotcole. Actually the data to be used is coming from SharePoint, and l ready created..."some nice, elegant SharePoint list views, and wrap those views in some nice SharePoint pages" as you said, for internal use. Unfortunately that doesn't work on my scenario. This Word documents will be shared with folks outside my organization, and they don't and won't have access to out SharePoint site.

Microsoft might have all the wholly right to charge whatever they want for their product, but if the user already paid for Office, and a million other licenses, it doesn't make sense to charge even more for those same users to be able to populate a Word template using flow. It is way too greedy, and the only thing they will achieve is that fewer people will use the feature.

3rd party is not an option.

Form is not an option either, starting with the fact that the form I created with PowerApps has more than 30 fields. Form is not very customizable, which means that being unable to create columns, and having several fields side by side, the form with that many fields will be a mile long. And as you mentioned, this won't solve the Word issue.

So, I recall from somewhere there's the option to save pages as SharePoint Pages as PDFs, but I could be very wrong, there.

 

There's also this particular Graph endpoing which I've not managed to figure out, yet.

 

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/graph/api/driveitem-get-content-format?view=graph-rest-1.0&tabs=htt...

 

I swear that something manageable should be an option from there. 😩

 

I'm invested with you in this, because I too think that the new (2-3 years old now) licencing is a *joke* which only hurts small businesses the most.

 

I mean, my main reason for saying what I did was basically to say that surely we're at a point where physical documents for reports (or whatever) are not a requirement. Looking at the data on a SharePoint page (or list view) should be enough.

 

But, yeah, I used to (before 'online') have my own 'printPage' button for all the report pages or list views that I made which would send a copy to the printer and/or export the data to word/excel. However that level of customisation has been mired into the realms of true coding now, and SPFX. 😑 I mean, I'm learning SPFX (slowly!) but I shouldn't have to in order to make an elegant report that looks as good as an SP page.

Incidentally, if you can format an excel sheet to look good enough from input to a table, then you could use the Drive Convert file (preview) action to make it into a PDF, or maybe even something stranger. 🙂

 

I've just managed to grab some data from actual SharePoint pages, and print them into PDF.

 

Now I'm not getting live data, only static, and it's rubbish ... but it's something.

Thanks @eliotcole , that's a good suggestion. I'm surprised MS didn't make this feature a premium connector also. I'll give it a try.

Don't give them any ideas!!!!!

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