Power BI Lite License
Power BI should have a Lite License for people that only consume dashboards or reports every now and then. This is for people that don't create reports but need to see the dashboards and may need to use the "report level" to be able to export output to PowerPoint (since you can't export the dashboard to PowerPoint but can only do it at Report level).
With the introduction of Power BI Premium earlier this year, there are now two licensing options for Power BI: Power BI Pro and Power BI Premium. This provides the flexibility to select the model that best meets the needs of individual users and entire organizations – whether that’s equipping users with access to self-service BI, broadening the reach of BI content for users occasionally viewing dashboards and reports, or elevating storage sizes, increasing refresh rates and introducing other performance capabilities based on workload requirements.
The right choice, Pro or Premium, depends on your particular situation. We’ve been listening to your questions on UserVoice, the community, and other forums about what option to choose, and have developed a FAQ on our blog that answers the most common questions. Check it out at https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/power-bi-pro-power-bi-premium-flexibility-to-choose-the-licensing-best-for-you-and-your-organization/.
I'm a free user (formerly Pro user at my old job) and I took advantage of the enhanced abilities of the free account, built reports and dashboard in my personal workspace and share these at meetings. People LOVE IT. But the licensing model kills them. I can't even justify a pro license for myself and a few select people, because it's still so limited.
To be sure, they like Power BI more than Tableau--and a other business groups within my company are using Tableau. I like Power BI better than Tableau. I've been using it since 2015.
To echo everyone else here, most people aren't authoring. I find that a lot of people are either intimidated by DAX, don't have an interest in learning the tool, or have no real analytics background to put it all together--even if they know what type of KPI is important to them or their business group. They are interested in having access to the reports, monitoring them, or just being able to take a report I created and bring it into their meetings with their stakeholders and bosses.
Maybe this feature doesn't need to be free, but I feel a dramatically reduced product to "view only", should at least be an option--maybe rolled up into the E3 license, or maybe a local file report reader that I can download from my published report and give them--complete with filters and click interactive graphics--or maybe even not that, but something. The ability to do this with report server or Premium is still far too great for a lot of companies to commit to.
The dashboarding, the collaboration, the sharing of the datasets, consuming apps--those are clear cost-worthy features of Pro licensing--reading is just fundamental. Keep premium and report server for those who want to added features of those products, and do something for just read-only. They aren't bad ideas--just not suitable solutions for a lot of companies that have already invested and bought into the benefits of Power BI.
Come on WAKE UP Microsoft - There are plenty of methods to recover investment costs in this product - I've been selling this to my public sector gov org for 2 years and its really disappointing money gets in the way - we are rolling out O365 and now the reporting strategy is turning away due to the license overheads - A consumer read only license is a must which is affordable - those organisations serving the public sector should also get this at a discount - Sorry for the rant but I am one of your many sales reps around the world! Invest in us and you'll still make money!
This feels like another Microsoft Gotcha. I've been using and have loved Power BI since it started. It's been hard to keep up with the updates but I've done my best to watch every update video and implement changes to my model. I was very disappointed that the ability to share was yanked and replaced by a fairly expensive option that doesn't have a good ROI.
Agree. Specially for medium scaled organizations. Or you should come up with a pricing model for regions.
Yazan Inaim commented
I really confused with all the un-needed complexity in the new pricing model, this alone needs a certificate!
I do have a sensitive data that cant get out of my organization, was searching in PowerBI products for a full on-premises solution, couldn't find but PowerBI premium which wont allow me to utilize my in-house server infrastructure, it is good to offer cloud service, but dont take out the option to host your own solution run by my own infrastructure!
Power BI immediately came off the table for our organization once we learned that in order to even have simple view rights on a report you required a license. This is ridiculous and not only prevents us from using internally but makes it nearly impossible to share these externally. Rethink this.
a "view only" license for like 1 or 2 bucks a month is required.
Bill N commented
They already have a licensing model for Flow and PowerApps that includes a limited usage license with most Office 365 plans. Why not do the same for Power BI? Even if it was a 'read only' license that would allow users to only view shared Power BI content, it would be a lot better than requiring a full Pro license for the occasional, view only user.
Agree - the only way that smaller organizations can use this product. Everyone sharing data is not within large corporations that can afford the premium pricing.
Frank BI specialist commented
microsoft, microsoft, why do you ignore this Item??
Solution is very simple: Ok, pro user pay teo build on lin and share, but
Just give the people with a 365 pro license the possibility to view , what the Pro users have build !!. They allready payed for a miscrosoft product.
Agree with the idea. This could be such a powerful tool for PowerBI to capture the "analytics" mindshare in the SMEs and have them hooked on DAX rather than other data modelling languages. Once this is done, since SMEs naturally grow, their analytics consumption and maturity will also grow, moving them to higher pricing tiers.
As an ISV that embeds PowerBI solutions into their enterprise solution from SMEs, this is absolutely killing the whole business case. No SME in the emerging markets can ever afford such amounts for just having reports online. It's sad, after we have invested so much in promoting PowerBI to our customers, MS's decision completely kills PowerBI for SMEs. We will be looking for a more reasonable solution, including baking our own.
I have to add my voice to this in the hope that Microsoft will finally pay attention to the problem. I started in a permanent job for an SME this month who want to really push Power BI forward. However we now have to explain to the relevant director that for users just to consume the reports I create will cost £7.50 per user per month. Given that we have the full MS BI Stack installed I can forsee a change of direction to SSRS which I am far more proficient in anyway. It'll take longer to develop the BI solutions but it won't cost anymore money. I'm astounded that the Power BI team have this far completely ignored this.
Michael Buckingham commented
A view only license would be good. Something like the Kiosk license for Office 365.
Bring back a session based price model and solve multi-tenancy. It would be a perfect fit for any small ISV or startup that already resides in Azure.
Important to scale out to my organization
Need your help to clarify the below two doubts.
We are implementing Power BI in one of organization where we have 300+ end users who will be using Power BI reporting for daily business process .
What should be best cost effective way to get Licenses .
As some user might not be modifying any report and willl be using just as it is report.
We have a plan to Publish the Power BI report using SharePoint also . In case if user want to access using Power BI report using sharePoint still do we need license of Microsoft Power BI?
Thanks in advance!
Adrian Darby commented
Would be beneficial to users who pin SSRS reports to PowerBI.
From a licensing perspective what is the best way to license those types of users now? We have a group of Power BI Pro subscribers and then another segment of internal users that only need to view the Pro subscribers reports. Can the report read-only people just use the free Power BI Desktop, or would they need a Power BI Pro subscription and/or Power BI Premium capacity licensing?
Duncan Pryde commented
This is becoming more and more important. We now have several clients that are desperate to push Power BI out to their organisations but can't justify the cost of a Premium node, or of buying a few hundred Pro licences for people who will only view the reports or dashboards.
Obviously it's frustrating for the companies themselves, but Microsoft is losing money here. Our clients currently have a few Pro licences for evaluating Power BI and love it. However they are holding off buying more licences as they believe that to roll it out fully is too expensive. They are also looking at other non-Microsoft options as a result.
This really does need to be addressed as soon as possible.