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 This announcement was originally made at Inspire this year, but has undergone a number of significant changes.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

From someone that have checked and tested almost everything else that is out there...

 

In the Business Application Development paradigm:

Outsystems, AwareIM, Mendix, Caspio, Kintone, AppSheet, QuickBase, Kony, Wavemaker, KissFlow, Zoho Creator, (I can go on and on)...

 

And in the mobile app development sector:

Appery.io, Roadie, AppBuilder, GoodBarber, AppyPie, BiznessApps....

 

I can tell you that Microsoft is not stupid. They did not come up with that price out of a whim and just to anger us. they are still VERY competitive (actually cheaper than most - NOTE: if you stay at $10.00/user/month) when it comes to the competition and they had a strong start.

 

I, myself felt that they had it just right and joined the bandwagon.

 

But, before giving you my humble advice, let me explain where I am coming from:

 

I am an ISV looking to mobilize my 20+ year "heavy" MS-SQL database program developed in C#.NET.

 

I was hoping - since all my clients are Windows based and use Office - to have PowerApps take small, but important blocks of usability and make it prettier and more usable.

 

But after developing for a while, and with the new 2-app limitation, I see that Microsoft cornered me into a un-winnable situation.

 

Currently, PowerApps development requires simple screen and logic design. If you have too much going on (with screen popups, validations, information, etc...) it becomes unyielding, cumbersome, slow, buggy.

 

So, it is not a heavy application design.

 

But it is not a strictly mobile app either. 

 

So, I think where they went wrong is to think that people can do what they have been doing within the 2-app limit. If they removed that limitation, they would be better/cheaper than competition.

 

But to think my users will have to pay $40.00/month to solve basic problems... no. That makes PowerApps a much worse choice than all competitors named above.

 

So, as a business application developer in need of  on-premise, mobile, reporting, RAD tool (to save on paying thousands on a developer that does not quite get what you want), ability to do anything 9including offline and synchronization), PaaS and SaaS, I chose to go with FileMaker Pro.

 

I know, I know, I never thought I would say this. They are Apple for Christ sake!

 

But, for me, they fit the "current" bill perfectly. And although expensive, will be less and much better than PowerApps.

I have gone back to using BCS.  It is a bit slower but at least I can access my Azure SQL and SQL Server data in my PowerApps now.  Does anyone know how long BCS will be supported?

I have gone back to using BCS just like I did with InfoPath.  It is a bit slower but at least I can access my Azure SQL and SQL Server data in my PowerApps now.  Does anyone know how long BCS will be supported?  We certainly cannot afford any of the 3rd party products that charge $30 -$40 per user per month or the new PowerApps $40 plan.  We have used SQL Server for over 12 years and it seems outrageous that you pay $$$ for Server and then have to pay $$$$ to access the data using PowerApps.  All our business processes and forms use data from SQL so the $10 plan is not a solution.  Once they cut off BCS access, we will have to invest in the Layer2 Cloud Connector and sync our SQL tables with SharePoint online.  But they need to improve SharePoint list integration with PowerApps before that is a solution for us.

 

We chose FileMaker as well. @WLAS_Almighty , thanks for your addition to the post, seeing it spelled out by you, and why you also chose FileMaker, makes me feel really good about our choice. Good luck everyone! 

I have a question about the API limits in the new licensing construct. The documentation states that they consider an API call to be (amongst other things) a Flow action. For connections like SharePoint or Exchange Online I can understand that, but what about data operations and variables?

 

What if I have an array of 1000 items and I want to loop through each item and perform a condition within the loop that appends to a string variable or an array variable depending on the value of some attribute within each object in the array. I'm not hitting any APIs doing that, I'm just building a string or an array based on data I already hold.

 

Would each condition and subsequent action within the Yes or No branches of the condition count as an API call each? I would hit the 2000 limit pretty quickly like that.

We are still waiting to get some usage reports that can be used to track those kinds of things.  They are coming.  In the meantime, two things.

 

1) MS says that the new API limits would affect less than 5% of current customers.  So most users will never have an issue if they maintain current levels

2) Batch actions are treated as a single API. Can't tell you exactly what they mean by Batch but that was the point made.

 

Hopefully there will be more tools and clarity of definition coming soon.


@Pstork1 wrote:

We are still waiting to get some usage reports that can be used to track those kinds of things.  They are coming.  In the meantime, two things.

 

1) MS says that the new API limits would affect less than 5% of current customers.  So most users will never have an issue if they maintain current levels

2) Batch actions are treated as a single API. Can't tell you exactly what they mean by Batch but that was the point made.

 

Hopefully there will be more tools and clarity of definition coming soon.


Thanks of the info @Pstork1

I think I will wait for the tools and clarity before dismissing my fears over the new API limits. I suspect the majority of current customers are still evaluating and experimenting with Flow or even not/barely using Flow at all, so while only 5% of current customers are affected that could mean quite a high % of current customers who are actively/seriously using Flow will be impacted.

The new licensing model has also really put a stop to current projects developed in our +100 person department, in a +40.000 person company where we where a pilot project. Very unfortunate.

What?  Your company is not willing to pay nearly $20,000,000/year so that people can use "citizen developer" apps to do things like, you know, sign up for courses and track whose turn it is to bring in the Friday donuts? What's wrong with your leadership!   

The new pricing model does not scale well. Organizations may have thousands of *potential* or *occasional* users for any given app. Forcing licenses on all of them is not fair. The total silence from MS is not very surprising, but still disturbing.

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