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Sakura
Advocate II
Advocate II

Dataverse and PowerApps Licensing

An organization has standard 365 plans for their 160 users. They have access to Power Apps with their standard plan. One developer has an E3 plan.

Is it at all possible to build a Power App with a Dataverse connector that these standard plan users can access? I know this has been asked many times before and the answer seems negative, but recently I found this article on Dataverse and Power Apps licensing by Microsoft dated two weeks ago.

The article interestingly uses the past tense here when discussing the Dataverse connector for Power Apps.

 

 

It's use was considered PREMIUM in the same manner as connecting to a SQL Server connector due to the power afforded by the access.

 

 


The Microsoft author also concedes that indeed many people are using Excel and SharePoint as a backend for Power Apps (guilty as charged) to avoid high costs, but that

 

 

tended to drive data to SharePoint Lists or Excel Files which did not support data management best practices in the manner of a true database platform

 

 


This leads to loss of business because

 

 

In those cases, the choice to not use the Power Platform over another custom solution because of cost was quite common.

 

 

 
The article then continues with how Microsoft has chosen to address this:

 

 

Microsoft has recognized this blocker and has chosen to leverage Microsoft Teams as their own "starter" environments to promote usage and to consequently further adoption and perhaps innovation as the entry point for implementation now aligns with the same entry point for other Power Apps and Power Automate solutions even bringing in Power Virtual Agents which itself starts at a fairly steep monthly charge. This core concept becomes important because not only can guidance now point to more appropriate solutions but because adoption will certainly drive the need to handle cases where more capacity and scale will be required but this time in the same context as other storage and capacity decisions covered here.

 

 

 

I have trouble wrapping my head around this last paragraph. Can anyone confirm if my below understanding is correct?

  1. we still cannot use Dataverse in Power Apps because it is still a Premium connector. Users without access to premium features will not be able to access tables from Dataverse.
  2. however, users can access Dataverse tables if the Power App is opened through Teams (?)

It seems Microsoft is acknowledging that we have to resort to funky backend solutions in Excel, Sharepoint, Power Automate (and in my case even TypeScript) because there is a high (and expensive) wall around Dataverse. But it is not clear to me what the announced outcome in this last paragraph is. In my PowerApps, Dataverse is still flagged as a premium connector and users will get a pop up that they need to switch to a premium plan.

Feel free to point out anything I am misinterpreting here.
Also, if anyone has any pointers on how I can make an app with Dataverse for non-premium Power Apps users, it would be much appreciated. If the developer / app owner needs a Premium plan, that's of course ok. But 10 or 40 USD * 160 users per month will be an impossible sell.

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
ChrisPiasecki
Super User
Super User

Hi @Sakura,

 

Unfortunately there is no way around the licensing. Dataverse for Teams allows you to get started with Dataverse without any additional cost and can fulfil many use cases. It can be upgraded later on to a full Dataverse if needed for those enterprise workloads or apps with greater complexity.

 

While the licensing might seem like a lot, you have to consider the costs of custom development and time to market. A single contracted developer will cost more than that in 2 weeks, and will likely take an order of magnitude longer to develop an app with similar characteristics.

 

With each app built for your per user licensed users you realize a greater return on investment so the economies of scale are further realized.

 

Hope this helps.

 

---
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6 REPLIES 6
ChrisPiasecki
Super User
Super User

Hi @Sakura,

 

Unfortunately there is no way around the licensing. Dataverse for Teams allows you to get started with Dataverse without any additional cost and can fulfil many use cases. It can be upgraded later on to a full Dataverse if needed for those enterprise workloads or apps with greater complexity.

 

While the licensing might seem like a lot, you have to consider the costs of custom development and time to market. A single contracted developer will cost more than that in 2 weeks, and will likely take an order of magnitude longer to develop an app with similar characteristics.

 

With each app built for your per user licensed users you realize a greater return on investment so the economies of scale are further realized.

 

Hope this helps.

 

---
Please click Accept as Solution if my post answered your question. This will help others find solutions to similar questions. If you like my post and/or find it helpful, please consider giving it a Thumbs Up.

Fubar
Solution Sage
Solution Sage

The cost justification comes from the fact that Microsoft are managing the infrastructure at an Enterprise level i.e. your IT staff aren't purchasing and managing enterprise level hardware (expensive) and software, the web and application servers, load balancers, continuous backups, data center security denial of service attacks etc etc etc.  

Total/True cost of ownership of doing it yourself vs software as service probably sit on the SAAS side being more economic.

Sakura
Advocate II
Advocate II

Don't get me wrong, I do understand the pricing narrative of ROI. I just don't agree this ROI is there for all use cases. A majority of requirements I see merely require a user-friendly interface to update a database. This organization already has Python apps that use MySQL to do this. Even many simple VBA scripts handle certain processes just fine. None of that is nowhere near as expensive to make as a yearly cost of 76,800 USD + developer/consultant cost that Power Apps would require. SaaS also comes with unexpected price hikes that can make business-critical connectors suddenly a premium feature ... These are some of the counter-arguments we are dealing with.

@ChrisPiasecki  Thank you so much for that clarification. I looked deeper into it and it indeed seems there is a Dataverse 'Lite' hidden in Teams. I am grateful you pointed me towards this.

Just leaving this to future readers of this post. If you open Teams and add the Power Apps app, then don't add an app you already created in Power Apps, but create a new one through Teams itself. It will give the associated team and app access to 2 GB of combined Dataverse and file storage. It's a workable compromise by Microsoft that may help with a lot of low-key projects out there.

Microsoft documentation here
Tutorial video here

Hi @Sakura,

 

Agreed that it can be overkill for simplistic workloads. Using SharePoint lists or Dataverse for Teams as a data store is meant for exactly the simple use cases like you mentioned.

 

Feel free to mark the original response as a solution if it answered your question. 

BenGWeeks
Advocate II
Advocate II

Unfortunately, this is currently a showstopper for most clients. I do not understand why Dataverse suddenly incurs per-user licensing costs when compared to SharePoint when underlying infrastructure is presumably very similar.

Manuel_P
Frequent Visitor

Hi,

I want to add to this discussion as I am currently trying to use Environment Variables within PowerApps.

Environment Variables are a great way to use environment specific configuration. In power automate using environment variables is quite easy and a standard approach when using solutions. In PowerApps this does not seem to be standard if it comes to variables other than connections. 

I found a "workaround" to read the variables reading the environment variables in dataverse global table. This works well but my Standard app is promoted to Premium app just because of this feature.

@microsoft : Why do I need a premium license just to be able to use Environment variables in solutions?

Am I missing something and is there a different approach?

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