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seanbrogan
Continued Contributor
Continued Contributor

Help understanding powerapps license changes October 2019

Can anybody shed any light on the new PowerApps licensing plans? I'm having trouble wrapping my head around what is going on.

I specifically went out last year and purchased a number of Office 365 premium licenses as well as the F1 plan for employees in the field, so that we could use powerapps.

 

I am using a combination of an Azure SQL database(pay as you go license) and SharePoint (under the 365 licensing) to function as the back end for my apps.

Am I now no longer going to be able to develop and distribute Apps to my employees under these licenses? Am I now being asked by microsoft to go out and buy more licenses specific to PowerApps?

 

Hope this is the right place to ask the 365 messages aren't very clear.

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gilmara
Advocate II
Advocate II

Has anyone else also noticed that Excel Online (Business) is a standard connector and Word Online (Business) is a premium connector? What is the logic behind that?

I'm also struggling to fathom how Microsoft are able to do this, especially for existing license subscribers - Does this not fall under the pervue of the Trade Descriptions Act, Consumer Rights Act, or subject to an industry regulator?

Surely users have signed up to a "Contracted Service" that Microsfot is either removing completely (by changing the access to Azure SQL Connectors), or suddenly charging an increased price for the same service (additional PowerApps Licenses).

I have Service Contracts with my Clients, and If I attempted to increase the price of a service in the middle of the contract, I would be taken to Court. And if I suddenly removed a service that was originally included in the contract, I would also be liable for any damages that the ceased service causes my clients.

I understand the general move to the subscription model, but I think we should ask ourselves if we would accept this behaviour from other companies that sell their products as services in this manor?

 

If Xerox (godfathers of the pay-per-use subscription model) told your company in the middle of a contract that you had to pay a 500% increase on your fees or they will come round and remove the machines - I think the company lawyers of any medium/large company would quickly get involved! (and copiers are pretty low value compared to I.T. budgets!)

 

Which Industry Regulator do you think we should get in touch with?

 

James.

Honestly, this whole thing screams class action lawsuit.  I'm right with you.

MrNigel
Advocate V
Advocate V

Microsoft are "The Dealer" and we are "The Users".  To get someone hooked you offer them a service for free, analyse the usage telemetry over a year or two, then decide what you are going to charge for based on which connectors/triggers/actions are most vital for organizations that have rolled out Flows to their production user base.  These changes were based on hard data and revenue forecasts with the full knowledge that the "The Users" will probably keep on paying because to not pay would have a detrimental effect on their organization.  Whooops, have I just described ransomware?

Based on my experience this is a 'Going-Out-of-Business' pricing strategy.  Let me explain.

 

I'm now retired but I worked for a large organization.  There was a large reorganization and we picked up responsibility for an organization that was involved in developing high performance products for high performance computers.  I was assigned to manage the design organization even though I was unfamiliar with the technology.  After a lot of analysis we determined the product pricing was based on the most optimistic manufacturing yields.  Based on realistic yields we would need to double or triple price.  We met with customers and started a 'Going-Out-of-Business'  plan.

 

This seems to directly mirror what Microsoft is doing.  They determined the cost of developing and supporting PowerApps and the connectors and adjusted prices accordingly.  The technology is not affordable for most companies.  I really think they should do some usage based pricing model like Azure Function Apps. 

ahamdan
Frequent Visitor

I have just gotten an email , AGAIN, to renew my trial.  I have already done so a month ago.  Does that mean I will have to do so every month until 2024? are the users of my PowerApp, that uses a premium connection, have to do the same? 

Could someone let me know if my experience is unique and I may need to call support or something.  According to Microsoft, grandfathered apps will still run until 2024, is that rule attached to as long as we renew licensing or is it two separate things?  Why I have the feeling that Microsoft is actually trying to keep us in the dark, those of us with grandfathered app, to push us to quit using PowerApps ASAP. 

I know it's late notice, but Bennett Adelson is hosting a webinar today with a Microsoft rep regarding the Power Platform.  I plan to post some of these questions as this may be the only way to get access to someone from Microsoft on this subject.

 

https://www.bennettadelson.com/events/detail/jumpstart-to-the-power-platform-webinar-demystifying-th...

Thanks for the hint on the webinar. Did not find a way to join it though, so please keep us posted on the answers you potentially get. I have had an open case with Microsoft for more than two months now, I have just asked what my running costs will be in the future with existing functionality. I have been bounced around between 8 different support agents and 3-4 different departments and no one has been able to answer that simpel question to this day. And it's an extremely simpel setup with O365, PowerApps and Flow, for 20 users - that's it. The problem is, I'm sure they can not believe their own calculations when they calculate the before- and after price - it's really scary stuff. I have also read about the grandfathering until 2024, but I actually think it might only be until 2020 (one year). Would be interesting if we could get an official statement on the 5 years - I'm not so sure. And keep in mind, if you need to add a connection to your app during those 5 years - you're done - licenses will be required. I really still can't believe I'm experiencing this from a reputable company as Microsoft. I'm still expecting either myself or them to wake up at some point.

I listened in to the webinar. The subject of licensing was raised, specifically the SQL connector. His response was basically that they found people using Azure SQL for things they (in Microsoft's opinion I guess) should be using CDS for, presumably motivated by cost.

 

So it feels like they want to encourage anyone with needs that can't be met with SharePoint lists to move to CDS, so instead of bringing the price of that down, or including it with the seeded plan, they chose to jack the price of the SQL connector up in line with CDS.

 

This is obviously flawed thinking for many reasons, the most obvious of which is that many organisations already have their data in SQL, so enabling citizen development on that data will now cost more than the LoB app that primarily accesses it.

 

I was hopeful that sustained feedback about these changes would cause a U turn, but sadly I think they're digging in on this one. Seems to be the way things go these days.

@WillPage - Excellent synopsis!  The other point is that they are making these subscription pricing update decisions based on analysis of Power Apps and Power Automate telemetry.  It is a totally calculated financial decision based on knowing EXACTLY what connectors and what volume of transactions are passing through them in terms of usage.  This is a specifically targeted set of changes designed to influence how organizations build apps.  Your CDS/SQL explanation makes perfect sense.

 

The other odd fact is the length of the grandfathering rights - excessive in my view to try and compensate for the wrong.  It is like they knew there would be an outcry over this change, so they can point to the grandfathering rights as a way of compensating for them.  But that hasn't worked has it?

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