Dataflows linked entities Pro Licence
The new Dataflows concept looks really interesting and holds massive potential to change the BI landscape.
Currently linking dataflows is only applicable to Premium licences. Based on how Dataflows are pitched as an Excel type approach to ETL I find it unusual that linked entities are only appropriate for Premium licences, especially since the analogy of an entities is a 'cell' in Excel. This is like shipping Excel with only one cell in it as a product for non-premium users. Premium capacities are only appropriate for huge organisations with hundreds of licences to make it financially viable. I would consider either a) making linked entities available to Pro licences by default. or b) separating the licencing for dataflows out of premium into a piece that smaller organisations can utalise in a separate licence type.
The lack of ability to link or refresh even extremely basic models like a simple merged table makes dataflows useless for any company that can't afford to spend $60,000 a year on Power BI licensing.
I don't understand why this feature was even made available to non-Premium users at all if it's so severely handicapped, and I hope this is addressed when it moves out of preview status. This is such an important piece of building efficient data structures, and in its current state it is completely out of reach for most businesses.
Fred Kaffenberger commented
There needs to be a way of writing a query once and using it many times. I feel stupid copying and pasting the same queries into multiple workspaces.
Yes, it seems like it should be closed to premium only subscribers if this feature is not in cluded...I played around with it today, but it appears to not add any value with pro only license. And that's not likely to change for us with the current model
Whitout "Calculated Entities" Dataflows are useless with a Pro license! You cannot have a data model, you cannot join tables. I missed my time when I realized about that!
Olivier Travers commented
This is a good example of a disturbing trend in PBI licensing, with really valuable features gated behind Power BI Premium. For instance, Tableau is actually cheaper for smaller organizations that want an on premises product.
Given how it's priced, PBI Premium should be about capacity, features should by and large be the same across Pro/Premium. Orgs that are not close to 500 users are not going to consider paying $5K/mo for extra features!
I totally agree with what is posted in the comments here !
Authors can be more efficient and effective for sure but from another point of view, if we can develop calculated entities, it would accelerate adoption of Power BI. Just today, I published an entity for some other folk's data that are accustomed to doing 'PivotTable analytics', showed them how to connect and wrote a couple of quick measures. I told them it automatically updates and left. Two hours later, four more people wanted to learn how to use "this Power BI." :)
Dataflows are a game changer for many of us. Let's allow calculated entities for Pro, please.
With the Pro-licence I currently still need some kind of data warehouse in addition to Power BI in combination with the data flow functionality. Without a data warehouse it would be unmaintainable to have all the different reports fueled with (mostly) the same data.
Dataflows could have the possibility to change that by linking and combining different entities thus giving me the chance to make a layered ETL process.
At the moment this is the root cause for TWO OF OUR CUSTOMERS to NOT CHANGE TO POWER BI.
I have spent the day combining loads of existing queries into a single entities today due to this restriction. However, am aware this creates large potential for repeated logic throughout lots of my queries, just because linked entities is not possible. Not tidy, however showing potential still. Also, I tend to have quite a few custom functions that I build, and I am finding I am wrapping and repeating these within my queries now just to get around this licence restriction. The difference in costs between Pro and Premium is just insane. I would think that the load on Microsoft's services is more intensive by putting these restrictions in place - Incremental refresh is just another example where their servers could just refresh a few days of data instead of the years of historical data I am finding I am refreshing 8 times a day. Hopefully one day this is addressed, as Power BI has opened a can of worms of small company analysts driving some massive value for their organisations, instead of just large multi-national companies requiring large scale BI solutions.
Ian Halliday commented
This is also an immediate pain point. Dataflows is a powerful tool and will be extremely useful for smaller business, for whom even the entry level of Premium capacity is out of reach. Please find a way to address this.