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Licensing : beyond shock and stupor

I think we need to move the discussion past the initial shock and stupor and into more constructive territory.

On one hand, if nothing is done MANY of us will simply jump ship (myself included). And that's a shame considering I've invested two years into this (like many others) and was about to significantly accelerate the commitment in my business. Pruning the SQL guys out may or may not be the intended consequences of these change depending on how the Dynamics team feel about making PowerApps a Dynamics-centric poduct. They must be aware that this is the direction the new licensing plan is taking them. But I think that message as been passed on by now.

On the other hand, I also recognize MS's need to profit from the platform. Beside the fact they are just not a non-profit organization, a healthy profitable product gets good R&D funding, which we all want !

So...

We need to discuss real alternatives which could complement (not replace) the new plans. Obviously, MS is not going to just come on forums to debate licensing. But forums are a good, fertile grounds for ideas and no one is against reading about a good idea. We need to give them food for thought for their internal discussions. I read some interesting ideas here and there already. Now we need to take that discussion further.

A few options currently on the table : 

  1. A pay-as-you-go, daily login scheme like the portal apps
  2. Buying connectors so seeded licenses can have access to more functionality
  3. A price-point psychologically aligned with Power BI (10$ for unlimited access)
  4. A plan between Seeded an P1 with access to the rest of the MS platform (Azure, SQL)
  5. A plan per app (not per app/user) that gives full access to seeded users

@Pstork1 , @SandyU , @AngryBatVoice , @iAm_ManCat , @PaulD1 , @wjhepworth , @yashag2255 , @NEPatton , @mackenzie_lyng , @MagnusGöransson , @WillPage , @PaddyFreefall , @sscarcella , @Khd , @ThatAPIGuy , @HSheild , @OneThing , @TopShelf-MSFT 

24 REPLIES 24

Re: Licensing : beyond shock and stupor

As a secondary thought, if we want to "fix licensing", we must be clear about what use-cases we want to fix it for. Personally, I like to think visually about how/why the new PowerApp licensing model is contracting the opportunity space.

Annotation 2019-09-06 100524.png

OneThing
Level 8

Re: Licensing : beyond shock and stupor

@FredericForest  I agree wholeheartedly.

 

I understand the need to make a profit, but for most cases, this is taking a Microsoft service we are paying for (365) attached to another Microsoft Product (AzureSQL) and being forced to pay more for the ability to communicate between them which already exists.

 

I would happily authorise a nonimal fee to use the SQL connector as it brings so many benefits to power apps, (and is the only one we require) but this is like needing Broadband, but your only option is to take their Phone, Mobile, TV and Internet services at 10x the price.

 

We have went wholeheartedly into Powerapps with over 20 in use and many more in the pipeline, but we seriously now need to consider moving back to windows app's if we can't get some middle ground.

Re: Licensing : beyond shock and stupor

Hey @OneThing ,

I get where you're coming from with the "we already pay for it" argument. But at the end of the day, it doesn't bring any money to the PowerApps team. It's a shame when a good product lacks revenues because it chokes future investments. Inevitebly, the product wither and die over time. InfoPath had that fate back in the days. But we also don't want to go the other way where a crazy costing kills 95% of the market and prevents a great product from becoming mainstream. That's more Visio's story (sorta).

It's a tricky balance to hit. Really!

Right now, I'm kind of leaning toward where the Office365 F licences are : a compromise for specific users and use-cases. 

Imagine an hypothetic "PowerApps F1 licence" for 5$/user (no limit on apps) which would be like the current Office 365 licences, but with full access to the Azure and SQL connectors (which, after all, drive revenu elsewhere), granted we could pass back datasets (procs) to PowerApps through an HTTP response, the PowerApps Response, or a better SQL connector.

That, I think I could sell to my clients. The first app would be a bit expensive, but they would see the access to the platform as a good investiment. I even think that, by spreading the idea of PowerApps to a large-enough population, this would entice certain power users to try to do their own thing where a low-code backend like CDS and full platform access makes sense (which is really what the current product owners are after).

What do you think ?

AngryBatVoice
Level: Powered On

Re: Licensing : beyond shock and stupor

For me, it comes down to two statements:   I only need 2 of the premium connectors under the new plan.  And I only need 2% of my users to have Maker ability.   The first statement would be satisfied by making Premium connectors ala carte.  Let me pay a low monthly fee to add the connectors I need to my tenant, rather than making me pay an extortionally high fee to give all my users and all my apps access to a plethora of connectors we'll never use.

 

If that is unworkable for some reason, then satisfy the second statement by giving me an F1-style license tier, where the bulk of my users cost a nominal fee to simply have the ability to run the PowerApps, and I'll pay the $40/month cost for fully privileged Maker-class user licenses for the users in my org who are actually making these apps.

 

I can't argue with their need to make money on their products, especially since they have teams actively developing them.  I think the reason the "we already pay for it" argument has legs is that there is a huge imbalance in how this new plan is priced out.  For those of us that are perfectly fine with the feature set of the seeded plan, with the Azure SQL and Blob Storage connectors being the only thing outside of seeded that we need, we would essentially be paying double or triple the cost of our Office 365 and Azure licenses just to connect those two services. 

Super User
Super User

Re: Licensing : beyond shock and stupor

As an MVP I've been having these conversations with Microsoft for a while now.  Details couldn't be discussed since it was covered by NDA.  I'm saying that mostly to explain why I won't be spending a lot of time speaking to these threads.  I'll be happy to answer questions and correct misunderstandings, but I've already had that discussion and a lot of the grandtfathering that is happening are a result of those discussions between MS and the MVPs.  But here's a ;quick response to the ideas below.

  1. A pay-as-you-go, daily login scheme like the portal apps - This one will be hard to sell to customers because the cost is very unpredictable. The pay as you go in portal apps is more because its the only way to account for anonymous access (page hits)
  2. Buying connectors so seeded licenses can have access to more functionality - I don't think this is going to go either.  It would be too much administrative overhead to manage licenses for each connector people want to use.   
  3. A price-point psychologically aligned with Power BI (10$ for unlimited access) - The people making the decisions (Dynamics) don't see it this way.  PowerBI has always been an add-on even for Dynamics.  PowerApps and Flow have always been included in most of the Dynamics licenses which are already at the price point being proposed.  
  4. A plan between Seeded an P1 with access to the rest of the MS platform (Azure, SQL) - Remember there is no longer a P1 license.  But I agree it would be nice to see a specific less expensive license for Azure & SQL use that is between the seeded and standalone licenses.
  5. A plan per app (not per app/user) that gives full access to seeded users - I don't think this would be as useful as you think.  The cost would have to be excesive for most Small and Medium Businesses. But something like the capacity licensing in PowerBI might work.  The problem is most SMBs don't use the capacity PowerBI licensing because its too expensive. It would be the same for PowerApps and Flow.


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Re: Licensing : beyond shock and stupor

Hi @Pstork1 ,

 

Yeah I figured that you already knew/talked with MS about this, but your message is a more than a bit disheartening. Your more or less saying "Tried everything. Didn't work. Don't even bother".

So if you're at liberty to answer some questions, here's one I'd like to hear about : is there any chance that recent announcement could be tweaked (slightly modified, added to, etc) in order to realistically support a "PowerApps over SQL" use-case ?

If not, there isn't even a point to bother discussing this. I'll mark this thread as an accepted solution and even moderates like me won't have much choice other than to -RageQuit to whole PowerApp bandwagon.

AngryBatVoice
Level: Powered On

Re: Licensing : beyond shock and stupor

I'm grateful to any MVPs and partners who had conversations with Micro$oft about this change.  Your feedback likely got them to drop the license minimums from the plan, and that was huge.  So thank you.

Re: Licensing : beyond shock and stupor

... but it's not going to be enough to keep me. Licensing minimum ??? We can have an O365 tenant with a single licence. We can have an Azure subscription with a single 10$ Az SQ DB. In what age are these guys living in ???

(getting less and less moderate by the minutes)

Super User
Super User

Re: Licensing : beyond shock and stupor

I certainly don't mean to suggest taht you shouldn't be concerned or bother brainstorming.  I was just trying to explain why I may appear to be "ducking the conversation". Having said that, I don't have much hope that MS will backtrack anymore on this decision.

 

In terms of could MS change something to provide a more SQL friendly licensing?  Maybe, but I don't think it will happen.  The decisions are being made by the people who support and recommend CDS.  My impression is that they aren't interested in SQL. I think that's short sighted, but they don't agree.

 

So definatly makey your opinions heard. Just be realistic about your chances.  There is still a lot of good stuff in PowerApps even within the confines of the "seeded" license.



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