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:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/licensing/news/updates-to-microsoft-365-dynamics-365-powerapps-and-microsoft-flow-licensing

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)

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