New licensing is just around the corner now – more details keep coming out

By | August 29, 2019

Microsoft has just published more details on the upcoming licensing changes – don’t miss this update:

I know there are different ways to look at it – some of us are working more on the model-driven applications side, yet others are using CanvasApps and/or Flows. What’s coming might affect us differently. However, looking at it from my point of view (which is, mostly, model-driven apps), I think it’s worth keeping in mind a few things:

  • We are getting a cheaper “introductory” plan: $10 per app plan. It can be used for both model-driven and canvas apps
  • Users licensed for Dynamics won’t be able to work in the Core CDS environments. I am not exactly sure why it matters since they can still work in the Dynamics CDS environments where PowerApps-licensed users can work as well. In other words, we just need to make sure those Power Apps (model-driven or canvas) are deployed in the Dynamics CDS environments to allow our Dynamics-licensed users work with them. I have a feeling this is a bit of a license hack, so it might not work this way forever
  • It’s probably more important from the Dynamics-licensed users perspective that they will be loosing general-purpose Flow use rights
  • Embedded Canvas Apps will not be counted towards the limit
  • Irrespective of the “app licensing”, there will be API limits per user. This it what actually bothers me because I am not sure if there is an easy way to estimate usage at the moment, and, also, since this may or may not affect everyday usage but will certainly have to be accounted for on the data-migration projects
  • That API limit above will affect all types of accounts (including application user accounts and non-interactive accounts)
  • Building a portal for Power Apps is becoming an exercise in cost estimates.  On the one hand, we can get a portal starting at $2 per external login. They way I understand it, API calls from the portal are not counted in this case. On the other hand, we can build a custom portal, but we will have to count those API calls now

All that said, I think this licensing change should have been expected – in the cloud, we always pay per use, so now that PowerApps licensing will be clearly accounting for the utilization, the whole licensing model will probably start becoming more straightforward. Although, we might also have to rethink some common scenarios we got used to (for example: data integration, data migration, sharepoint permissions replication, etc)

10 thoughts on “New licensing is just around the corner now – more details keep coming out

  1. Niels

    Great summary, Alex.

    In terms of planning, I think the part about changes to restricted entities is quite important – particular the last sentence.

    “We are making refinements to restricted and unrestricted entities with the goal of enabling more users to access data directly through a PowerApps application or Flow workflow without requiring a Dynamics 365 license. The case entity will now be available to PowerApps and Flow users to create, read, update, and delete. Select Dynamics 365 for Sales entities will be added to the restricted entities list.”

    It’s great that they making the case entity unrestricted – but what’s going the other way? Is it entities like leads and opportunities or features like the new playbook entities?

    1. Alex Shlega Post author

      Thanks for the comment – agree that’s an important change, too. It seems the list of restricted entities has not been updated yet, so still waiting for more details.

  2. Brad

    The API limit changes would appear to hinge on how expensive the capacity add-on is. If it costs somewhere around the cost of a Team Member license maybe it won’t be too hard to deal with, otherwise how is it going to effect chatty integration, data import, or ISV solutions that move a lot of data like ClickDimensions? The fact they have announced this just over a month from when it is meant to come into effect (October 2019) with no details on what the add-on costs (can’t see anything on the admin portal) is pretty poor IMO.

      1. Animesh R

        Hi Alex,
        I noticed this too. So basically, getting 20,000 daily API requests for a non-interactive user is now MORE expensive than a regular “Base” license. Which begs the question – What is the point of having a non-interactive user?

        I believe MS needs to rethink this.

        1. Alex Shlega Post author

          Good question. Off the top of my head, since 20000 is allocated to the Dynamics users and there are core CDS environment where Dynamics license won’t work, that might one scenario. Also, Dynamics licensing might eventually be changing, too (looking at how the use rights are changing in October).

        2. Alex Shlega Post author

          It seems we will be able to split those add-on requests between different users, which will make it more useful (can’t split a license)

  3. Mikkel Pedersen Kaas

    Looking at the specification for request limits, I’ve this specification for Application Users, Non-interactive users and administrative users:

    “Request limits are applicable to these users, like licensed users. By default, since these users do not have any licenses assigned to them, they are allocated zero requests. However, PowerApps and Microsoft Flow capacity add-on can be assigned to these users; required to enable app usage for these users.”

    I read the above as I know need to assign capacity addons for these type of users as they’ll otherwse have no requests available to them, due to not having an license from elsewhere. I hope it’s a misunderstanding on my part, as we’ll otherwise now need to license all our applicaion users asap or face a sudden crash in our applications.

      1. Alex Shlega Post author

        I think you are reading it correctly, and I am hoping there will be some kind of transition period, but I am not quite sure


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