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Multi Super User
Multi Super User

New PowerApps and Flow Licensing coming October 1, 2019

If you haven't seen the announcement yet about the Licensing changes that are coming to PowerApps and Flow starting on October 1, 2019 you really need to read the following Blog. This announcement was originally made at Inspire this year, but has undergone a number of significant changes.  Make sure you read this and understand what it means to you and your organization.

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Community Champion
Community Champion

More info at this link:

A key concern for our team is Azure SQL DB (among many other connectors) being reclassified as premium. We standardised on using Azure SQL DB as the datasource for our (PowerApps and Flow based) Apps as we consider it more capable (Views, Stored Procedures, better support for delegation) and easier to scale than SharePoint Lists or CDS (and most of our customers don't have CDS anyway).

For our clients who are already paying for PowerApps (via O365 license) and Azure SQL DB, it is going to be hard to explain why they now have to pay extra to continue using those services together in their existing apps.

Resolver II
Resolver II

What will happen to PowerApps and Flows that don't use a P1 or P2 license? Does the ability to use the free plans of PowerApp and Flow still exist if you are not using any premium connectors or does every user or end user need one of the new licenses?

Resolver I
Resolver I

In previous posts I read about a minimum of 30 licenses (per app plan). I can't find it in de FAQ. Is this still the minimum purchase?

I'm asking this because a lot of our relations are small-business and doesnt have 30 users and a single app...
Kudo Kingpin
Kudo Kingpin

Aah, feels good to see that this topic is finally debated ! It felt is was almost hush-hush for a while.

Don't get me wrong : the Office 365 Power App licence + Azure SQL DB was a deal that was just too good to be true, it needed reajusting. But now the pendulum swung quite violently to the other extreme...

We're extremly affected by these new changes. Like many others, we only use Azure SQL DB as a backend and HTTP Responses to return PROC data (for a variety of reasons we won't debate here). A client has already pulled out of a project days before production (didn't know about the 5 year grace...) and I expect others to soon follow. The client even suggested to switch the project to an Access database. Argh ! Smiley Frustrated

A lot of our current projects revolved around "profesionnalising" artisanal business processes (aka : Excel sheets grown too big for their own good). These scenarios often have a low usage (maybe once a month) but adress a large user-base (50+ users). The P1 licences just cannot work in such a scenario since business sponsors are not willing to pay 6K€/year in licensing fees to replace a single Excel-based process (or 25K€/years for mulitple ones...), no matter how clunky and error prone it is.

Personally, I'm hoping something akin to the daily-login licensing concept for the portal could be extended to the regular canvas apps. Azure has had tremandous success with the Pay-as-you-go formula since it allowed a real "land and expand" strategy. Give the people a taste of what PowerApps can do with cheap, easy to commit to scenarios and they'll remember you when the big lucrative use-cases come around.


My two cents anyway :winking_face:


ps: anyone know if the grace period also includes the HTTP responses ? Patch() is a handy little tool, but it's not going to cut it for complex business logic over large datasets ^^

Kudo Collector
Kudo Collector

Thanks for your reply, Paul

I hope i can get some official statement around the grace period - not that i dont trust you :slightly_smiling_face: - but i would like to see something from Microsoft staff on this. Hopefully they wake up!

I have one big app just about to go into prod. It uses the Azure SQL connector. I need to convince my customer that they are safe during the five year exempt period otherwise they will pull out and buy a third party case management system instead.

In my particular case we are talking about approx 2000 users and we are already paying for the SQL Server in Azure and for Office 365 licenses. Also paying for the ability to communicate with SQL doesnt make a single sense to me.

Please, Microsoft staff, spread some ligth over this!



@Pstork1 Thanks for starting this thread.


I have several thoughts at the moment about the new licensing model. Two of them I would like to share. It are 2 questions about the "PowerApps per app" plan.


Question I

Canvas apps have been positioned for customized tasks and role-based apps and model-driven apps for back-office scenarios. A business solution (called application in the licensing F.A.Q.) I have in mind is build on this concept and contains a few model-driven apps and several canvas apps. The apps are role specific, meaning an employee would normally only need just a few of these apps. This setup is also based on a best practice not to make big apps.


The new "PowerApps per app" plan allows for 2 apps and a single portal per application. So how are these 2 apps determined? If this is max. 2 apps per user per business solution, then I think it is ok. If this is max. 2 apps per business solution, then I think, well, :neutral_face:


Question II

Some business solutions only need to be executed once a year. Enabling a business solution for only one month could be an option.  How will the billing be processed? Example: All apps present on the first of the month will be counted.




Kudo Kingpin
Kudo Kingpin

I work at a manufacturing facility, and I've been using PowerApps to really change how we do work in my department.  All of my apps go through SQL as I'm connecting to various data sets used by other applications (e.g. Blue Mountain).  I've been active in the forums, and I've really held out hope for PowerApps as a long term solution at my site - but this is killer.  I might be able (MIGHT be able) to swing the money for a single P2 license and a few P1 licenses for my team to continue using the apps I've developed - but I'll never be able to expand my game-changing apps out to other groups (100's of employees).  Why would I continue using a product that isn't expandable (expansion is cost prohibitive = not expandable)?  


Someone up above said it best - this makes Powerapps a wasted opportunity.  And others were correct as well - I'm going to have to stop using Powerapps and start making something else on my own.  I'll go back to and eat the hours it takes to rebuild everything I've made in Powerapps on my own web page if I have to.  At least it's something I can rely on!


*feeling very betrayed - drinking wine in T-MINUS 2 hours*


While investigation the impact of the license model changes on existing PowerApps apps, does anyone know if the request limits are grandfathered too on Azure SQL Databases for 5 years, or are they enforced from october 1, 2019? Does anyone know this? I have not found any info on this.


I wonder if the "full capabilities of PowerApps" includes the AI Builder.

Kudo Collector
Kudo Collector

Since my somewhat detailed post, which was an on-topic reaction to this announcement that contained no profanity or other community-guidelines violations that I could tell, appears to have been deleted without any explanation.  Could someone from Microsoft or a moderator of this community please explain to me the opinion of these changes I'm allowed to have?


EDIT (Original Post, however I did remove the part where I called the move a bait-and-switch, stated that Microsoft should be ashamed, and compared their 5-year grace period to adding sugar to poison, just in case those statements crossed a line):  

Microsoft should recognize the damage this move has done to their brand. They have been selling us on this idea of "low-code-no-code" and then pulled the carpet out from under their customers by jacking up the price to an unreasonable degree. They have taken what was a platform full of promise and potential and turned it into a cash grab. It doesn't matter which team this decision comes from, at the end of the day, it is coming from Microsoft. If they don't have the ability to oversee and to make sure their teams are working together and not hurting each other's customers, then they have bigger problems than PowerApps users having access to AzureSQL. The Powerapps-AzureSQL scenario being "too good to be true" and in need of adjustment is just giving them too much benefit of the doubt.  I'm paying for PowerApps, I'm paying for AzureSQL, both products are within the Microsoft ecosystem, why in the world do I then need to pay a third time to connect them? And why does connecting the products cost 3x as much as the individual products themselves?


But this decision doesn't just damage Microsoft's brand and the trust they'd built with us.  With this decision, Microsoft has injured my own brand and credibility with my company.  I've spent the past year learning, developing, and selling my company on the idea of the Power Platform and to embrace the tools that we are paying for with our Office 365 and Azure licenses. My company has invested in my time and paid for training on the Power Platform, gaining me skills that I now won't be able to utilize. I have to go back to them and explain that our new processes involving the Power Platform are only a stopgap, because in 5 years the cost of continuing to use them will explode exponentially. 


We can't just go back to using Sharepoint as our data source, it is too insecure.  And the cost of the new licensing model is quite frankly out of our reach.  We aren't a large company.  The potential savings from continuing to use the Power Platform to streamline our processes doesn't come close to covering this new cost of the product.  There is no scenario where we can afford this.



What could they have done instead?

  1. Implement the new plans, but leave the AzureSQL and AzureBlobStorage connectors as Standard instead of Premium.  We're already paying for those products, the ability to use PowerApps to connect to them shouldn't need covered by a third fee.
  2. Make Premium connectors ala carte/Pay as you go. Let me pay a reasonable fee to add a premium connector to my tenant.  I don't need ALL the premium connectors.  I don't need MOST of the premium connectors.  I really only need one or two. In our current setup, there are apps that we could benefit from, but I haven't built because the connector needed for it is premium, and the cost to get access to that single connector is too high, because I have to buy access to ALL the connectors to get it.
  3. Have a much cheaper license for App/Flow USERs, similar to the cheaper F1 license for O365. I don't need everyone in my tenant to have the ability to make apps. I could see paying a higher fee for Maker/Admin licenses and having a minimal, F1-style fee for User licenses.
  4. Make the Per-App license just that, a license Per-App, not Per-App-Per-User.  

I am pressing on with my PowerApps development for the time being, with the hopes that Microsoft course-corrects on this.  I know there is more to the new licenses than just the AzureSQL and Blob Storage connectors, but from my perspective, making those connectors Premium is what places the new licenses out of my reach.


I've contemplated just building a bunch of blank template PowerApps/Flows and adding these connectors to them, for future development after the Oct 1 mark, but I feel like this would be cheating the system, and I'd rather not treat Microsoft the way they are treating us. 

hey @AngryBatVoice ,

I get your point (I'm more or less in the same situation, with similar consequences), but I really do think that, despite all, it IS really a matter of perspective and markets. The dynamics team that 40$/month is quite cheap compare to where they are coming from. We, from the Azure or Office world feel... differently! ^^

Personally, I couldn't really care less about CDS (no offense) and that really shows the divide between the two realities. If, through licensing, the Power Plateform team is not willing to accomotade the SQL-based reality (which to me adresses a whole different, non-canibalizing market), then its a real shame... but we'll have to accept it (aka : leave, for most of us).

On another note, I thought you made some interesting comments on your ideas of what could be done.

  • Solution 1 : to me this is cool, but somewhat useless if it doesn't come with either the HTTP response or a way to get data from PROCs with the regular SQL connector. I just need procs for any serious SQL work...
  • Solution 2 : interesting... if compatible with the seeded (O365) PowerApp licences. Most of my apps would buy SQL, HTTP and Az Blob.
  • Solution 3 : would love that, but I doubt it'll go in this direction considering how Power BI handles things. And the Power BI Premium-like option with its 4K$/month entry point would just not solving the problem.
  • Solution 4 : also interesting !

And my personal fav : a price per daily login (ideally around 1$), more akin to the pay-as-you-go on Azure.

The beauty with these is that the could work WITH the existing new plans (not against them). Much easier to communicate.

For the guys that were around back then, Power BI also had a bit of an identity crisis with its licensing scheme during its initial release. First part of Excel, when the service (v1) was initially launched, it had a efty 40$/month price points for the full platform access. The results were disapointing to say the least. When v2 was relauched later, the new price point of 10$/month allowed the product to completly explode and become the success it is today, generating much more total revenu than v1 (yay for pricing elasticity). Hopefully, this lesson is being discussed internally as well... Smiley Very Happy

For the record...

  • I'm don't work for Microsoft
  • I'm not a Moderator on the forum
  • I didn't report the original post or delete it

Not sure what happened to the original post. I never saw it so I don't know why it was deleted.


I don't disagree with some of your points and I've registered my concern that this is a very bad PR move with Microsoft directly.

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Kudo Collector
Kudo Collector

As a 20+ year champion of most Microsoft causes I can clearly state that this is the type of maneuver that winds up looking like Windows Phone.  While the Power Platform has a ton of promise it is still not fully mature and asking this much for a service that is still growing is truly unfortunate.  The value of having a relatively low cost platform that promotes sales of other profit centers such as O365, SharePoint, Dynamics and Azure services was brilliant.  This new concept that the Power platform IS the profit center rather than increasing sales in the other profit centers is a bad miscalculation and if it sticks will absolutely kill this platform.


My company has already spoken on the matter and will likely have to divest ourselves of the platform which we were in the process of ramping up on.  This decisions single handidly eliminated the growth of the platform which will kill off our Azure and O365 usage as well.  The words from our leadership's mouth is what you will hear across the world "Not gonna happen".


I am not against Microsoft trying to make money on the Power platform and hope they do.  However, going from O365 licenses covering end-user usage of the system to everybody pays $40/app/user/month is ridiculous.  Microsoft really needs to reconsider this.  In the meantime, development in the platform will cease in a few weeks while we search for alternatives.



Kudo Collector
Kudo Collector

I am still trying to get all the facts so I can give my customers proper advice.

I have one app in pilot-stage for the moment. It connects to Azure SQL. How many API-calls would be measured in the following cases:

- I use Filter() on the Items property in a gallery. The database-table holds 2000 rows, but through the filter i request 100 rows

- I use Patch() to update five columns for one item (row) i the database-table.

- I use Filter() on the Items property in a gallery. The database-table holds 2000 rows, but through the filter i request 500 rows. The filter statement is fully delegated. The end user scrolls down 10 times in the gallery to see all the rows.


It would be quite handy to be able to see the API-calls for each PowerApp in the Analytics view. Do anyone know if that is possible?



I cannot agree more.  Its not enough to have us all using O365, Windows Desktop & Azure SQL Server.  Now they want more money to be able to collaborate and automate using the tools we are already paying for.


I agree, I feel like the past 2 years developing apps in PowerApps has been a total waste of time.  All our apps rely on SQL Server and this will just kill it.  There is no way we can afford an additional $40 per user per month on top of the $20 per user for O365 and $10 per user for PowerBI.



I agree its tough at this point to calculate API calls based on actions.  But in general what you describe is probably one API call each.  Batching things will cut down on the number of API calls.

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Kudo Kingpin
Kudo Kingpin

This new license change is confusing to me. We have one canvas app on a customer tenant that utilizes CDS. The app consumers/users have an E5 license, so there is no extra cost associated with using the app besides the E5 license. How will this change on October 1?

According to the documentation, if using CDS, every user must have a minimum of PowerApps per app plan:


PowerApps per app plan which allows individual users to run applications (2 apps and a single portal) for a specific business scenario based on the full capabilities of PowerApps for $10/user/app/month. This plan provides an easy way for customers to get started with the platform before broader scale adoption.


The E5 license won't suffice

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