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Power BI pricing & licensing: Power BI Free vs. Pro vs. Premium

Power BI pricing & licensing: Power BI Free vs. Pro vs. Premium

Power BI pricing & licensing: Power BI Free vs. Pro vs. Premium

Which Power BI licensing model do you choose for in what situation? Because it might be uncertainty about all the different models Microsoft if currently offering, we clear it up. 

There are two licensingmodels on user level: Free and Pro. Besides the user level models, there are some other products: Power BI Embedded, Premium and Report Server. Which one you need, depends on what you are going to use Power BI for. When you just need it for your own reporting needs, Power BI Free will be sufficient. But when you want the entire company to start empowering data, you’ll need Power BI Pro. The free version won’t allow you to share reports. That is just exactly what you want Power BI for.

When to choose for Power BI Free?

The free version of Power BI is pretty complete. Since June 1st 2017 this version has been made more complete. You can get data from more sources that already have a standard connection with Power BI. More and more sources are added each month.

Additionally, you can model this data and create a report that you can embed on a public website. The nice thing about this is that you have access to your data anywhere and can view it in a visually strong way. So you have important insights that are only one click away from you.

When to choose for Power BI Pro?

Power BI Pro is typically suitable for the BI department that provides reporting for the entire company. They can create reports with data from on-premise databases and then share them within the organization. A free user can not.

In addition, the Pro user is authorized to create and distribute Packages to an App. Users with the right permissions can then view those reports. The Pro user determines which part certain roles can see.

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Power BI Premium levert ook PBI Embedded en PBI Report Server

When do you choose for Power BI Premium?

This license does not have much to do with the user. Power BI Premium is rolled out on organization level. Although you need a Pro account to do something with Premium. So, you can not use Power BI Premium as a Free User.

What you buy with Power BI Premium is a bigger capacity. So instead of a shared server, you get dedicated server space for your organization. That of course means a performance advantage.

Additionally, you do not have additional license fees to purchase per user rights to embed data.

In short, Power BI Premium offers a few additional features. However, these are functions at organization level. The user doesn’t gain much by the Premium model. Regardless of the difference in performance you’ll notice when your organization is on Premium.

Power BI Free Pricing
Power BI Pro Pricing

Why would I use Premium?

If you want to take a next step in reporting, Power BI Premium is indispensable. This is mainly due to the central placement of the solution. With a number of loose Power BI Pro licenses and a few Free users, you have islands within your company that are not connected. Within Power BI Premium this is solved.

In addition, you do not need to purchase any additional licenses for Power BI Embedded. That’s actually not much more than Power BI reports that can be placed in all kinds of Apps. The advantage of this is that you can give employees insights in their work without having to leave the program they work in.

Power BI Premium Pricing

But it takes a lot more! A few Pro licenses are cheaper.

It is true that Power BI Premium costs more than the promised €8.40 per month per user. That is logical. If you look at the competition, you’ll see that Power BI Premium is still cheap. Compare, for example, the prices of Power BI with those of Qlik or Tableau. Both fairly similar in options and functionality.

If you choose for Power BI Premium, you have the most promising BI tool according to Gartner. Monthly updates within Power BI provide a positive surprise every month.

Share reports with colleagues and make improvement happen!

What is Power BI Premium Dedicated Capacity?

Microsoft has major machine clusters around the globe that handle sign-ins, query processes and, for example, Machine Learning. All Power BI users use Shared Capacity. Microsoft also ensures that an active amount of users do not use a large number of the capacity, but still you do not influence the speed. For the large consumers, there is dedicated capacity.

The change from shared to dedicated capacity is only noticeable at the backend. The users within the company are not aware of the change. They find the reports and dashboards in the same place and in the same way as before.

For companies in a regulated industry, Microsoft has an option within the Premium Program to not work completely within the cloud. Power BI Report Server is a way to leave sensitive data behind a firewall and still use Business Intelligence with Power BI.

But what else do I need Report Server and Embedded for?

Report Server and Embedded are components of Power BI Premium. The idea behind this is that you can easily scale up to the cloud. Embedding reports within business applications is a standard option within Premium. Report Server is intended to work from a secure on-premises environment and allow sensitive data to be stored there too. The cloud environment is then the place where you have reports and dashboards stored. For optimal use of the hybrid model.