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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 This announcement was originally made at Inspire this year, but has undergone a number of significant changes.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.

https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/new-licensing-options-for-powerapps-and-flow/

Comments

Sadly I will have to voice the exact same story as many of you in this growing community...
Our +200 staff department has found great success in working with PowerApps during the past 2 years - As we have found it to be an agile and reliable solution in order to serve a bunch of appreciated "micro wins" in everyone's day-to-day work. Currently, we are using +10 standalone apps, +5 apps embedded in PBI, 18 Active Flow's, and about 5 Connectors (that will become Premium). 

Unfortunately, due to the reveal of the new licensing agreement, we simply can't justify the cost of developing PA's and Flow's any further. And even with the (very confusing) grandfather/seeder program, just the complexity/hassle of keeping track of all the individual different licences needed, in return for creating/using Apps that will slightly improve efficiency, truly defeats the purpose of what we thought PowerApps and Flow's were all about. Thus- Unless MS reconsiders, or at least makes it once again free use for the End-users, our company will not move forward with working in this great platform any longer.

Still does not answer the question if I can bypass the 2-app limit with an Office365 license.

 

In other words, with an Office365 license it seems that I can create and share as many apps as I want with my business partners (let's say using SharePoint as the underlying database).

 

Now, to connect to an Azure database, I need to pay $10.00 / user to connect to it. Fine. Let's say I do that. So my 100 users can connect to this Azure database.

 

But I do not want to be limited to two Apps, I have many more than 2 apps being shared with my users, and I don't want to pay $40.00 / user for that. I am already paying my Office365 license which gives me the right (so I thought) to develop and share as many apps as I want/need. The $10.00 PowerApps license should be just to get to this premium connector.

 

But if I can pay $5.00 / user to get Office365 and get all the apps developed and shared, then it seems to make no sense in ever needing to pay $40.00 / user for PowerApps.

 

So is Microsoft saying that only two Apps can connect to a premium connector? In other words, the PowerApps 2-apps license will supersede the Office365 unlimited Apps in PowerApps if connected to a premium connector?

 

I am starting to wonder if the person who came up with this new license the same who came up with Windows 8.

The two app limit is of course so they can make more money. Either you purchase another $10 licenses for two more apps or fork over $40 dollar for unlimited - it's a steal! MS got greedy that's all - as the Power Platform gained traction they see an opportunity for payback. In a sense I understand them, but they could have moderated their greed somewhat.

@KeesToor 

Couldn't agree more. I would be happy to pay a significant increase for a 'developer' lecense that our app makers were required to have in order to creatte apps.

 

But $10 per app per end user is nothing short of rediculous.


@Pstork1 wrote:

Most of the D365 plans still include a seeded license that covers the premium features, that hasn't changed.  


I think most of the people here are on PowerApps and those D365 licenses are truly expensive - it makes the new PowerApps license scam seem like a steal!

Really not the best move from Microsoft. And it's not just about what and how it will change, but it seems to me that 2 weeks before the changes will be active they still don't know for sure what exactly will be the changes. In every call with a current or potential customer i can only tell them "There are are going to be chances, but I can't exactly tell you which" and looking on the potential impact on the license costs, this is in most cases a point where we just can't sell any more apps atm. And working as a consultant and not being able to tell your customers what the product will cost in TWO weeks, how do you think this makes you look?

Here's an article I find quite clear (albeit a bit depressing ^^). Hope this helps.
https://collab365.community/powerapps-licence-changes-in-terms-that-matt-weston-understands/

"Trust has to be earned every day" ...

 

https://www.computerweekly.com/microscope/news/252466957/Nadella-Trust-has-to-be-earned-every-day 

 

Makes you sick, doesn't it?

 

Create a blank App, Flow, and the connections you need - then hit "Save as..." as many times as it takes to cover off the next five years and retrain in a trustworthy company's product - whichever comes FIRST.

 

Thanks @Pstork1.  I didn't realize that the PowerApps licenses are still in Dynamics.  I haven't found much info.  But when you say seeded, what exactly am I getting?  Right now, I am using excess Dynamics licenses to get PowerApps Plan 2.  Will Dynamics licenses include the $40/user/month license or will it just give me CDS and Dynamics connectors? 

I think the answer is somewhere in-between the $40 license and a CDS and D365 connector only.  Its all about the application context.  If the app "extends a Dyanmics application" but uses a non-dynamics premium connector I believe its still covered just like it was in the past.  What won't be covered are standalone applications that have nothing to do with Dynamics.  Its all about the application context.  Here's the section from the FAQ.

 

Will PowerApps and Microsoft Flow use rights change for Dynamics 365 applications?

PowerApps use rights with Dynamics 365 licenses: Dynamics 365 Enterprise licenses will no longer include general purpose PowerApps capabilities. Dynamics 365 Enterprise users will continue to be able to run apps and portals that extend and customize the licensed Dynamics 365 application, as long as those apps and portals are located in the same environment as their licensed Dynamics 365 application. Custom apps or portals outside of the Dynamics 365 environment will require a standalone PowerApps license.

Microsoft Flow use rights with Dynamics 365 licenses: Dynamics 365 licenses will no longer include general purpose Microsoft Flow capabilities. Microsoft Flows will need to map to licensed Dynamics 365 application context - Microsoft Flows should trigger from OR connect to data sources within use rights of licensed Dynamics 365 application(s). Use of standalone flows will require a Microsoft Flow license.

That is exactly what I was looking for, although not the answer I was hoping for!  We do all of our custom canvas apps outside of the context of our D365 environments.  We work with all custom procsses and do no extending of D365.  So it looks like the places where we have used Dynamics licenses to get PowerApps P2 and use premium connectors are all going to be impacted.  That is a whole different issue for us that may not even fall under being grandfathered.  I've definitely got a lot of fun in the next few months, and I hope I still have a job in the few after that!  We built out a department with 4 developers using PowerApps and its usefulness is slowly slipping away.  Oh joy.

Existing Apps wherever thay are that use SQL will still be covered by the grandfathering for 5 years. But any new apps would require either App only or standalone user licenses.

If I create 15 blank apps tomorrow and connect them to my SQL database, will they be grandfathered for 5 years too? And I'll still be able to develop them further within that 5 years?

I've already addresssed this earlier in this thread.  The answer is that Yes, theoretically that would give you 15 grandfathered apps.  It would also be a clear attempt to violate the spirit of the new licensing rules. So I don't recommend it.

Thank you for your reply.

To be honest I dont really want to do it. But realistically, taking away a service I am already using violates the spirit of the licenses I am already paying for.

Hello everyone.

 

I mostly don't enjoy the questions that clients are now asking: "What are the alternatives?" Please please please we don't want to go back there!

 

The second question from clients that cause for some very uncomfortable conversations: How can we confidently continue with full deployment of Teams, Planner, etc, if we might be faced with the same problem in a little while? Erm erm erm erm, look a squirrel!

 

I appreciate what Microsoft is doing and the fact that they sometimes need to make changes to the pricing models especially when introducing new functionality like portals and external access. That being said, everyone's worst nightmare is that once everyone is using Office 365 (which they will), the licensing models would become exponentially more expensive as Microsoft has 'locked' everyone in. I don't want to believe that this is the case it doesn't seem coherent with every talk I see form Satya and the great work that Microsoft is doing in the community. This is however clearly affecting clients' willingness to just implement O365 services as it makes perfect sense.

 

To me this conversation can be split in two. The way the licensing model approaches new functionality and the way it affects existing functionality. The new functionality is fair game as no one had this in the past, so I am just talking about existing functionality for now.

 

Concern 1) The apparent frequent changes in licensing is making clients extremely uncomfortable for long term investment. I think this is having a bigger impact that anyone anticipated.

Concern 2) Users that might need access to one or two premium connectors (or SQL Azure now), but nothing else are now in for some significant costs, even if they don't need any portals or Model-Driven functionality. If someone for an example uses the Word online connector, they would have been able to get a P1 in the past, but now they have to opt in for the per user per app per month license which could potentially be just as expensive as the P2 or per user license if they are using a few apps. There seems to be a big gap on this one as the only way they would be able to get access to that one premium connector (or SQL in Azure now), would be through the per user per app per month model that also gives access to model driven apps, portals, external access and sushi! It feels like this shouldn't be the only option to get access to a premium connector. It might be more cost effective for this user to then use the pay per action model from Logic Apps, but they might want to access this directly from PowerApps depending on the connector.

Concern 3) Another concern, very similar to the previous one, is that sometimes we use HTTP actions to enrich the functionality between existing Office 365 workloads. An example of this is making use of some more advanced filter queries in Flow, and then dynamically return the data to PowerApps from Flow using an HTTP response as per one of ours video on http://youtube/davestechtips. This would effectively mean that this user would have to buy a per user per app per month license to make use of this functionality.

 

We need a more cost effective and manageable way to get access to premium connectors and on premises data sources directly from Canvas apps (and SQL Azure). Originally the HTTP and custom connectors were accessible to the Office 365 entitlement (limited to one per user) but this changed in March 2019. Maybe bring this back where a normal user can access one or two premium functions as part of the O365 entitlement. Maybe also consider a similar model to Logic Apps, allowing per action billing and another one which just allows access to premium connectors, without all the other goodies from portals, models and sushi. 😉

 

The PowerPlatform has an opportunity to be the most connected system in the world and if we can get a workable and cost viable solution for various connectors, I don't see a reason why this opportunity has to be shot down. I have been telling people that PowerApps will be to business applications, like what PowerPoint is to presentations. I hope I wasn't wrong.

 

Dawid van Heerden
Follow on Twitter: @davestechtips
Subscribe to YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/davestechtips?sub_confirmation=1

I will be honest here. I have created only Apps that use SharePoint as a backend, however that obviously has its limits. The goal was to start using AzureSQL at a later stage with complex business Apps. There are/were plans for an additional 50+ Apps that would replace business processes (complex ones) that would need a proper relational database and would need to not be limited in terms of number of rows (SharePoint I'm looking at you).

 

I tried working out what it would cost since these Apps will be shared with 600+ staff. On either side of the licensing model (User or App) there is not a chance that I can justify the additional licensing expenses on that to my bosses.

 

I have now started teaching myself C# again, and will instead ask them for money for courses, as this will be the most cost-effective route for in-house development. At least I can hook into our existing data sources using API's etc without having to pay to make that connection. Plus I can then just use the Graph API to poke anything on the M365 platform, again without additional costs (or at least very minimal costs).

 

This change makes me really sad, as I had planned to continue my career path down the PowerApps route.

..but I can hear the discussions going on about alternatives already as the licensing costs would end up being an additional 30% of the entire IT budget for the last year - could anyone justify the value being gained as equating to that?

 

By comparison, we could hire a team of 4 full-time devs and have money to spare for infrastructure costs and training. Management may decide that my role no longer gains them benefits if the licensing cost prevents the plans for future developments along this route (my main concern).

 

I'll still keep using the platform for seeded-level development (as long as that's not separated out for licensing eventually?) -standalones with sharepoint backend if they aren't expected to generate lots of data - but if I want my career to progress I'm going to have to go back to learning traditional App Dev.


@Pstork1 wrote:

I've already addresssed this earlier in this thread.  The answer is that Yes, theoretically that would give you 15 grandfathered apps.  It would also be a clear attempt to violate the spirit of the new licensing rules. So I don't recommend it.


Spirit? You think MS has a spirit? Or a soul? They are a greedy multi-billion corporation. I would recommend this practice all day. I'm currently exploring creating an SQL elastic pool with a 100 (or more) idle databases. Then create 100 (or more) empty apps that connects to all those databases. Then I'll be grandfathered for 5 years until I can think of a better alternative.

@iAm_ManCat  This is one of the best posts I have seen on this whole thread and I think it really captures where I am at as well, our business is a little afraid of getting involved in dev ops, and PowerApps was helping massively with that, but now it looks like to get anything real done we will have to rely on suppliers and pay and wait, or push the issue and see if we can get an in-house dev ops team using c# and what not. 

 

This was a major gap that powerapps totally plugged, and they have just priced themselves out of the gap - with the amount of disatisfied people from this change, it makes it clear that this is the case. 

 

What would be really cool to see is if all the people who have been let down got together and made their own low code platform (Not proposing, just saying it would be cool and almost unsuprising to see) 

I feel you here.

I have more than 10 years of experience in custom developing on SharePoint and Office 365. I know how to do apps with back-end or front-end technologies. After so many years, I finally got excited about something totally new, and I mean PowerApps and Flow with this. I mean, I'm far beyond citizen developer scope, but I do see the value.

With PowerApps, I'm able to discuss with that type of people, teams, and practices in different organizations that I haven't been able to reach before. They have seen the possibilities of small or medium size apps and service that would digitize their business done with PowerApps or Flow.

Unfortunately, these license changes are now pushing my clients to another direction. I'm also doubting that is it worth of the effort, money, and time to invest my own doing to this platform anymore?

That's exactly it, we have a supplier with a heavily customised SP type portal, and I can imagine it wouldn't be too difficult for them to extend their platform, develop something on par (ish), double or even triple their licence fee and still be 150 - 200K a year cheaper than this scheme. I mean, for real? Also I understand that for dynamics users this is not a big deal cost wise, and fair enough but you could have gone in way cheaper and still would have cleaned up no problems. I am very interested to see where this goes.

@CurtisJohnson81 My hopeful heart is that this will get rectified (more reasonable cost is all I am asking, I'm not even asking for free) and I can keep on with the plan I made and built our whole business model around. However, my cynical, betrayed, heart is not so sure. We are shopping other options very aggressively. 

Regarding Blog:   "New licensing "options" for PowerApps and Microsoft Flow standalone paid plans
...we’re also listening to input about how to license and implement platform capabilities in standalone plans."

Not an option and not listening.

I could kudo probably 99% of the negative posts to Microsoft's new licensing plan.  Does Microsoft even have a metric on what they will lose and hope to gain on this move?

I have (like many others) invested the last two years building a consulting business model centered around PowerApps for clients and I believe it will all be lost once I "have the talk" with my customers.  

PowerApps had (and I mean had!) huge potential for capturing the cloud market on low code platform apps.  It looked to me like Microsoft was investing a lot of time and money into developing and consolidating the Power Platform with Azure,  and the Office 365 and Dynamics markets.  Would I be wrong to say that PowerApps is still not mature enough to warrant any cost to use it instead of other options?  I thought it was going in the right direction and despite some big gaps (printing, document handling, performance, and delegation limitations being a few) I think a lot of people were planning to hang in there hoping for some of those gaps to get filled. 

Existing cost models were fairly "reasonable" as they stood.  For my larger and mid-sized clients (and even smaller ones) I could make an argument that cost to value was acceptable.  Now, the only companies I can imagine going with PowerPlatform are those huge companies that don't even look at their IT budgets.

Citizen Developer looking for other options.

 

 

This makes the platform extremely limiting which seems like a terrible business case for MS

Nice work Microsoft, you have truly shot yourself in the foot with this decision. Who do you think are making/using your apps? People with no/small budgets thats who.


Is there written posted verification of SQL grandfathering / grace of sometime. Support is denying that exists to me.

For people looking for official notification of the 5 year grandfathering.  Its in the Official Licensing FAQ which you can find here:

 

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-platform/admin/powerapps-flow-licensing-faq

 

Here's an excerpt

How does the change to PowerApps and Microsoft Flow use rights for Office 365 applications affect me? Will my existing PowerApps applications and Microsoft Flow workflows continue to work?

Yes, existing apps and flows will continue to work. Customers who have been using PowerApps or Microsoft Flow with Office 365 using one or more of the connectors listed above will receive a transition period before the connector reclassification goes into effect. This transition period would be until October 1, 2020 or the expiration of their current Office 365 subscription term, whichever is longer. During the transition period customers can continue to create additional apps and flows using these connectors.

In addition, apps and flows created prior to October 1, 2019 which are using these connectors will receive an extended transition period until October 1, 2024. During this time, these qualifying apps and flows will be exempt from the Premium connector licensing requirements for the reclassified connectors.

Great!

However, there are still questions out there. For example, what happens if my app need another connection to the same Azure SQL database, but to another table? That is in some ways a new connector. At least it is listed as a connector in the app.

Of if i need to connect the app to another Azure SQL database inside the same app that is already connected to a Azure SQL database?

Do we have any information on how the "per app/per user/per month/per etc"-licenses are bound to a specific app? Is that handled by the app maker or by the GA?

I understand that you dont have all the answers, but have you seen/heard anything regarding the above, Paul?

/Magnus

It is based on connection type not on the connector itself. So if your app needs another connection to a different table, it is fine. Same with another SQL database itself.  As long as your App Id doesn't change, you can use it. 

 

As for licenses,

a) per user licenses are bound to a user like how all normal licenses work. They are not bound to any app.

b) Per app licenses are not bound to any user or app, they are bound to the environment where your app is present. They are like passes and get automatically consumed when a user who doesn't have any user license, uses an app enabled for per app passes.

The App is what is grandfathered in.  So adding another SQL connector to another table should be fine.  There are always going to be scenarios that are not specifically called out in the FAQs.  Its hard to cover every contingency.  But the exception is provided at the level of the App or Flow according to the FAQ, not a specific connector.

 

Assignment of the perApp license would be done like any other license, by the global admin, or someone the GA delegates that capability to.

Thanks for clarification dileeps and Paul!

For the per app-licenses, is it possible that a citizen developer create an app that uses premium connectors and share it to a large amount of users that eventually start to use the apps and consumes all the available per app licenses available?

Or am I missing something? As far as i know we cannot prevent users from creating apps in the default environment.

/Magnus

You will be able to prevent that because per app passes needs to be added to an environment. And as a Global admin, you will be able to control how much is added to each. This documentation would be live in few days.

@dileeps

One correction.  The per app licenses is $10 per app, per user, per month and is bound to both a specific app and a specific user.  But only user's who use the app need to be licensed.  So you could have one app with 10 users and another app with 20 users.  That would be 30 licenses and they would be assigned to specific users, although they can be re-assigned at any time.

For the App license - it needs to be assigned by someone with admin authority.  So a user would not be able to create an app that uses a premium connector under the app license, or share it, without approval.  An admin would have to assign the per app license to the app and to each user of the app.

@pstork - so it is a bit different, per app passes are per user but they are not like user licenses which are pre-assigned to a specific user. They are assigned to an env like capacity.

Now, when a user use any app in that env which uses premium connector (which has opted in to use passes) and doesn't have a user license, they will automatically be tied to a per app pass. 

This entire thing is a disaster and a good way to kill a promising platform

@dileeps @Pstork1 

 

 

Wow.... thanks for the clarification. Good to know  </sarcasm>

 

Any reason the documentation wasn't released... oh I don't know... BEFORE rolling out this convoluted system?

Where is the interface to assign these licenses to an environment? Also my tenant doesn't have Per User as option to purchase.

 

How can the documentation for a new billing practice be release after the billing goes into effect?

PowerApps New License.png

Documentation for licensing constructs has already been released and is listed here aka.ms/licensefaq as well as Billing and Licensing Guide. 

Documentation for how you perform actions in product is being updated now, this is not prepublished since this follows product changes, hence it is done in stagerred manner similar to how product changes rollout 

Are the limitations being enforced as of yesterday but we can't actual control it or are the restrictions being rolled out in a staggerred fasion as well? Do the functions exist even if documentation doesn't?

@AngryBatVoice I agree it would have been nice to have the documentation a while ago.  But it was rolled out a couple weeks ago.

Documentation of the licensing changes but not documentation of how to actually manage the new process.

@BrianHFASPS  - documentation for licensing changes is out since August 30, 2019. 

As for changes, they are getting rolled out right now and will be done over the span of next two weeks

@BrianHFASPS - As the documentation says existing users with licenses are grandfathered in for either one year or until their current license expires.  So I suspect if you look in your tenant you will still see P1 and P2 licenses for sale.  Those can be purchased by existing users.  Brand new tenants spun up after October 1 will see the new licensing.  You are only see the new licensing associated with portals and app licenses that didn't exist in the past.

RIP PowerApps... it was nice knowing you. Once again f*cked over by MS!

Actually I could see P1 / P2 as of 9/30 then yesterday had Per App but not Per User. The licenses don't seem to be grandfathered in that way. All of my license are included in my M365 / O365 bundles anyway.

If you owned either a P1 or a P2 license on 9/30 and you search for them you will find that they are still there and will be for the next year.  That's why the per user don't show up for you.  I have the same experience.

Hi @Pstork1, Many tahnks for all this usefull information. I have a specific question and concern I guess:

 

Everybody in my company has an E3 licence, only me so far has E3+Premium, so at this point I am developing most of the apps conencted with Share point lists. I Have some apps shared with specific people and 3 or 3 shared with the entire organization. I am currently using a premium connector "MS Word Connector". I have no plans to use Azure, Blob, etc. Just keep the things simple.

 

My question is: All this new plans will affect my developments and the people in my organization? or I can continue developing more apps?

 

Thank you in advance.

 

Regards.

@sajarac 

I'm afraid the new licensing will affect you, but you would have needed additional licensing anyway.  The E3 license will cover any development in SharePoint that uses Standard connectors.  But as you mentioned the Word Online connector is premium, so to use that you need a premium license.  Your users would have needed the same premium license to use any app you built with that connector too. The big change is that the premium connector now retails for $40/user instead of $7/user. So it has gotten much more expensive.

 

If you only have one or two apps that use that connector then you might be better off buying the App license for just those apps at $10/user/app.  Of course if you have 4 or more apps that use the connector then its cheaper to get the regular license.

 

Last point to make is that those are retail prices and what your organization pays may be at a significant discount from that.

so since this licensing is deterimental to the platform and will clearly kill it outright shortly, what is everyone else moving to?  

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