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massoud
Advocate III
Advocate III

Can PowerApps Plan 1 Licenses be used to run Apps made with CDS for Apps (XRM-based CDS 2.0)

CDS for Apps is very exciting and will have a huge impact in the future of Business Apps for Microsoft's clients.

 

What is not clear at all, is Licensing!

 

From one side we read this from Frank Weigel:

 

  • "PowerApps P2 officially becomes the new platform SKU, moving away from being a admin and maker focused plan to becoming THE plan for users of stand-alone model driven apps."

 

But on the other side, Clay Wesener's answer to this specific question:

 

  • "Does this mean all users that would use a PowerApp developed with the CDS for Apps functionality would need a P2 license?" in the official Blog 

 

says something different:

 

  • "...the comment on Franks blog was related to making/building apps, not using them. A user can still use a P1"

 

Obviousely one of them is not right!

 

Given P1 is $7/user/month and P2 is $40/user/month, it is between making CDS for Apps a viable platform for our clients or not. 

I do not see my clients paying P2 prices for 6000 employees for their 20 custom Apps like Taxi Request or Vacation Request and so on. But with P1 they would.

16 REPLIES 16
vecerpa
Memorable Member
Memorable Member

Hi @massoud,

 

I beleive as I saw on slide on Ignite presentation comparison of Plans that to access CDS you will need just P1, but to develop (model data) you need P2 and just 1 license per developer in your customer tenant.

 

PowerApps_Licensing.PNG

 

I beleive that this didn't change yet, but you never know 🙂

P.

Thanks for the feedback -- we'll work on publishing some more clear guidance on this front more broadly. The key differentiator here is which type of app is using data in CDS:

 

Users need a P1 license to use a canvas-based app that leverages CDS.

 

Model-driven apps, which tend to be more immersive (and are built on CDS by default), currently require a P2 license per Frank's comment in the release blog.

Ohhh! Nooo!!

 

Thanks rc for the response.

 

We think any price higher than Team Member ($8 currently) would be excessive. After all custom Apps can be served with Team Member licenses in Dynamics 365 CE right now.

 

What is wrong with the CDS for Apps pricing model is this:

It costs the same to use 1 simple App or a 100 complex Apps.

 

So to convince a client to come onboard and pay P2 prices for their first App, is going to be impossible (at least for us).

 

Any Cloud pricing (just like Azure's) should ideally be based on consumption, so for CDS it would be based on real CDS platform usage.

 

All the indicators are already available in CDS (XRM) to be able to create a Consumption-based (fair) Pricing.

 

We hope the licensing is revamped, as we think CDS is the future.

 

Regards

vecerpa
Memorable Member
Memorable Member

Right now it is quite hard to convince especially SMB customers to buy anything more than Office 365 license.

 

Consumption model especially for CDS is good idea. So if customer wants some small solution he will pay less as he will grow and more adapt to use cloud solution he will pay more. So it is up to him how he will grow.

 

One more thing that is blocker in adoption to use PowerApps more is also unavailability to share with external users. This tool is so powerfull and it is not possible to share it. Nowaday there is plenty of contractors working for companies and you have to pay extra cost for them to be able to share internal tools with them...

P.

As someone who is developing a model-driven app, and having others use it as we speak... I currently have a P2 liscense,  they only have P1.  Everything seems to work just fine. 

Honestly, the reason I went with Model-Driven apps was for their field security capabilities paired with the Unified Interface so I don't have to make everything from scratch over and over again...I can't see how that is worth more than the entire bundle of products and services that your most expensive enterprise-level O365 liscense can give you...


lknudson
Advocate III
Advocate III

I have a new client just moving cloud-ward and they have 60+ users that will be using the application I develop.  It will be very useful for them, and @ $7 * $60 * 12 months for the year = $5,040, ROI can probably cover. But at $40/mo/user = $28,800.  Yikes!! 

 

I hope for some change here.  I think this will drop the adoption of model CDS quite a bit.  Imagine someone purchasing a nice PowerApp on the web for $5,000, It's marketed as such because PowerApps is a sweet, quick app builder, and you can put it out for multiple purchases on the app sales site.  Then they learn that they have to pay 6 times that every year just to run it - not good.

massoud
Advocate III
Advocate III

Well, the answer to my original question in this thrread is published: Frank's blog, PowerApps docs and PowerApps Pricing

 

It is clear from the above links that ALL USERS will require a $40/month P2 license, for any serious App (read Plugins, real-time Workflows, etc.).

 

I do understand Microsoft's argument, as Frank put it in a comment in his blog: "PowerApps Plan 2 let's you build extremely powerful applications with great ease and for $40 you can use it as the cornerstone of your company's digital transformation, custom app strategy.

 

But Cloud Licensing based on Users and functionality is counter-productive for all, because entry cost is too high for the first App. Customers cannot afford to pay for the platform, as if they already have tens of Apps running on top of it AND those Apps are being actively used.

 

The Cloud pricing principal is and should always be "Pay for what you actually use".

 

Imagine if Azure VMs that did not have per-minute billing, and your requirement was to have a VM 9 to 5 on weekdays. Nobody wants to pay for what they do not use. 

 

I understand the dilemma Microsoft faces trying to License this powerful platform. How should they license it without the platform getting abused?

 

The problem with the current User-based licensing for this PaaS offering is the following:

 

  • Price too high for entry and during ramp-up
     

Charging the same for one simple App as for tens of complex business-critical Apps is not the right approach.
It should be based on usage. Imagine a client that has only 5 users and an App that triggers hundreds of synchronous Workflows and Plugings and generates huge load on the backend servers. This client is getting away with paying only 5 P2 licenses. And that is not fair to Microsoft.
 

Now imagine the opposite, that of a client with 5000 employees and they want to do a simple App for all employees to acknowledge receiving their monthly paycheck. The App has one simple validation Plugin. Should this client really be required to pay 5000 x $40 = $200K per month for this App? Of course not. The actual infra cost to Microsoft for this client is extremely low. There is hardly any usage of the cloud resources.
 

  • Too complex to understand and control
     

Understand
Even with the new information in the links above, many things are not clear.
For example,  it says that a P1 license cannot do these things:

  • Run model driven apps in context of Dynamics 365 and Common Data Service for Apps (what does in context of mean here? Use Unified Interface?)
  • Create and run model-driven apps using Common Data Service for Apps (not even run?)

But then it says P1 can do this:

  • Run apps in a browser or PowerApps mobile for iOS and Android

 Are not all Apps run in a browser? So can a P1 run a model-driven App or not? If so, in what context?

 

Or for instance, neither P1 nor P2 have rights to Access to Dynamics 365 app APIs!!! Does this mean all REST WebAPI and SOAP endpoints? Not even from javascript in the App?

Yet another question, can one create a custom Ticketing App without incurring a Dynamics 365 Plan?

 

This other PowerApps page published only last week on 24-Apr-2018 says this, which is what the community is asking for:
 

  • Microsoft PowerApps Plan 2 subscriptions are for users and administrators who need full create and run capabilities. These users have access to important management capabilities like viewing usage and setting policy. PowerApps Plan 2 users can model data in the Common Data Service.
  • Microsoft PowerApps Plan 1 subscriptions are for users who primarily run apps. These users can still create apps and flows, but they can't model data in the Common Data Service or perform management tasks.

 

Control

Passing the responsibility of Licensing to developers, or even worse, to Citizen Developers, with all due respect, is just insane.

Imagine a well-intentioned Power-user that unchecks one checkbox in just one Workflow used in an App, making it synchronous, and suddenly all 1000 P1 Users that use that App require the expensive P2 license! And we are talking a five-fold price increase here!

 

  • Too many Limitations

P1 does not even have Read access to Restricted Entities

So this means, if say, you have Licensed your HelpDesk to use Dynamics 365 Customer Service, and you create an App for all other users in the company who are going to do something with the incidents, then all these other users will need a full Dynamics 365 Customer Service Plan. As P2 cannot write into the restricted incident entity and P1 cannot even read it.

 

 

Proposed Licensing solution

There are thousands of existing Dynamics 365 Online customers, from which Microsoft can extract usage analysis like these:

  • How many API calls made
  • How many CRUD operations in SQL Server and of which type
  • How many Plugins executed
  • How many Workflows executed (sync and async)
  • How mnay custom entities and fields are used
  • CPU/RAM/HD/Bandwidth usage per tenant
  • Etc.

 

From all the above data and knowing how much each client is paying, and how much the service cost to Microsoft, it is possible to define Usage Pricing, to achieve equivalente  or even higher revenue.

 

I hope Microsoft considers Usage-based Licensing (maybe as another option to User-based Licensing), to truly take this fantastic platform to reach very company out there.

 

Who knew the capacity to create easy reusable ways to prefill out forms based on a provided lookup field costs $40 per user per month.

Heck I could just hire an intern...litterally have them do nothing but create backend sql queries and pair it with the sql connector, stick with powerapps for O365 and still have it costs less than the new pricing plan

Now all I need is the ability to select multiple rows on the canvas app and ill be golden.

According to the msdn:

 

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powerapps/administrator/pricing-billing-skus

 

There is an example at the bottom which states the following:

 

Time and absence app

Based on how quickly and easily the order-tracking app was launched, ABC’s Human Resources group enlists the help of IT to create a time and absence reporting app that will be rolled out across the entire company. All employees will be required to use this app to report their hours, vacations, and sick days.

For this app, IT selects the Common Data Service as the system in which to store time and absence data. The Common Data Service provides the security and data-policy capabilities that IT requires for information related to employees. They assign two IT employees to the project to create the database and model the time and absence app data in the Common Data Service. These employees are also responsible for tracking app usage and establishing the policy applied to this data.

Licenses required:

  • PowerApps Plan 2 – 10 licenses: The 10 IT administrators who will set up the environments for the company to test and deploy their application, model data in the Common Data Service, and establish data-security policies will each require PowerApps Plan 2 to perform these functions.
  • PowerApps Plan 1 – 990 licenses: The 700 Office 365 users will need to be licensed with PowerApps Plan 1 because this app relies on data stored outside Office 365 (that is, in the Common Data Service). The other 290 users who don’t have Office 365 or the PowerApps Plan 2 license will need this license to have rights to run the app.

 

My understanding from this is that the running users only need Plan 1. Also on another page from the msdn:

 

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powerapps/administrator/signup-for-powerapps-admin

 

 

It seems clear that running users only need Plan 1.

 

However this other source says:

 

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powerapps/maker/common-data-service/data-platform-entity-licenses

 

Entities with complex business logic

Entities that include the following complex server-side logic require users of an app or flow that uses these entities to have a PowerApps Plan 2 or Microsoft Flow Plan 2 license:

  • Code plug-ins (for more information, see Plug-in development)
  • Real-time workflows (for more information, see Workflow processes)

    Note

    Only workflows that are converted to a real-time workflow are considered real-time and synchronous. Workflows that are run in the background can still be used with the appropriate PowerApps plan and do not require additional licenses.

To know whether or not you added complex business logic to your entities, review the list of plug-in assemblies and workflows configured in your environment.

 

 

So, to me, it seems that users can use Plan 1 to run this apps as long as you don't use plugins or RT workflows in your app... 


Am I wrong? But I wonder... Isn't it cheaper to make users use a Team Member license instead to run the app? It seems quite cheaper to buy 1 Dynamics CRM license (Customer Engagement Plan) for the IT Dev/Admin to create the app and license everyone else on Team Member to access it so, at the end, Dynamics CRM apps are built upon the CDS now and therefore you have greater access under the Dynamics licensing tier and get more features. I don't see how the PowerApps plan will benefit anyone when you can do the same and more with the Dynamics 365 plans instead... 


Confusing stuff 😞

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