Power BI Editions Explained

We’ve recently worked with a client to get clear on licensing requirements for Power BI.

Learned some interesting facts about Power BI versions that are a bit unclear on the Microsoft site, and wanted to share them as this *will* have an impact on creating Power BI Projects.

First, lets discuss Power BI Free vs Pro

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This chart might give the impression that with Free edition, is it possible to consume PBI dashboards created by Pro users. This is not the case!

A non Pro user will get prompted to upgrade to PBI pro, they cannot access content unless they are a Pro user.

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There are a couple of other options – read on…

How do we position our clients that want to use PBI with all employees? Or, perhaps externally with their clients?

Power BI offers Premium capacity model, which allows this sharing of PBI dashboards with other users. Effectively, each user in the company can have Power BI Pro functionality. Three service tiers are available. PBI Premium also optionally, includes a PBI report server.

Additionally, Power BI offers a Power BI Embedded model, this is another type of capacity model with six service tiers available with varying vCores. Targeted at companies that have developer resources, the PBI dashboard, published to the App workspace, can be pushed to an iFrame using .NET or JavaScript SDKs. This in turn can be used by non Pro users, and is only limited by the number of page renders per hour. Refer to the “How to plan capacity for Power BI Embedded” white paper for a description of v-cores. Pricing calculator.

Another option includes Power BI dashboards used in SharePoint Online. I’m including this one only for completeness. While you can embed PBI visuals in SharePoint Online, and user accessing this content must be either be  PBI Pro user, or the company is licensed for PBI Premium.

While planning a Power BI project, be sure the client understands the costs involved.

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