So, if I create and deploy 50 dummy apps (basically just a start screen and the connector) to production those apps will be free to use the next 5 years? I can then change/update the apps as needs within the organization arises; i.e. App39 can be the new ticketing system 2 years from now?
Theoretically, yes. But its a clear attempt to do an end run around the new licensing. So will it hold up if MS takes notice? Not sure.
The problem is that to establish the connector you need a database and I don't think you can really edit the connector and change the database later. So you would also need to spin up 50 databases on 50 different server aliases (so that you could move them later if needed).
How about using an SQL elastic pool? I think you can have any number of db's within a fixed cost base. The more active databases you get you can just scale up the resources of the pool. I'm not really sure if this would work.
I don't know if that would work either. I've never tried connecting to an elastic pool. Either way its still violates the spirit of the exception even if it doesn't violate the letter of the law.
The law changes without notice. MS recommended in june to split our main app into smaller focused apps for performance reasons. We were also recommended to move to either CDS or SQL for the same reasons. We did both and invested resources into this. One month later they dump this news on us. Our smallest customer - 100 users - will need to cough up a minimum of 12.000 USD per year IF we manage to squeeze everything into one app - 48.000 USD if not. Outrageous.
If creating 50 dummy apps and using an SQL elastic pool (with 50 idle databases) can get us around this I have no qualms about it.
I have another scenario that I would like to discuss.
Let say I have a canvas app that are primarly used on PC's (tablet mode, horizontal) and there is also a demand for a less feature packed mobile app (mobile mode, vertical). That means two PowerApps connecting to the same data source (Azure SQL).
Will that mean that I need two $10/app/user/month licenses?
My understanding is that the license is actually per 'business process' which may be served by up to two Apps, so I guess if you need a full fledged desktop and cut-down mobile app, that would be permissable under a single 'App'/User/Month subscription. Though how that will be policed and who defines what counts as a 'business process' will be interesting to see.
I have so many discussions around this with my customers rigth now and there are so many things that are unclear.
I hope you are correct
If you are at the planning stage it may pay to accelerate your development to get 'minimum viable product' apps in place (using the Azure SQL Connector) before October 1st so they are grandfathered in for 5 years. You then have breathing space to evaluate other products/technologies (we're investigating Progressive Web Apps for cross-platform, cross form-factor apps that are easy to deploy and can access on-device features like camera and gps) that may offer a value-proposition closer to the old licensing for PowerApps.
The per App license can cover an app that contains two applications, so for that scenario I think you should be fine with one $10 license per user using either app. But remember if you have 4 Apps like that you are already at the same cost as the standalone license at $40 per user/month and that covers unlimited numbers of Apps.
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