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Power BI Premium Per User now in preview (December 2020 updates)

One of the main benefits of Power BI Premium is the ability to share with hundreds of users who don’t all have to have their own Power BI Pro license at £7.50 a month.

At a certain level, Premium becomes less costly than giving everyone who needs them Pro licenses. its said, you need 500 or more users for Premium to make sense.

However, its not just about having the ability to have hundreds of people viewing your reports. There are many more reasons to have Premium. There are lots of enterprise style features not part of Pro. Enterprise of course comes with the ability to have larger and speedier models.

This is a real issue for smaller businesses who cant take advantage of Premium per capacity, P1 P2 or P3 nodes.

However, there now may be an option to have premium capabilities without having a Premium License.

Premium per user is targeted at small and medium businesses because, if you are not a large enterprise, the Premium price point of just under £4K every month can be eye watering.

Premium extends Power BIs licensing model

Lets have a look at some features between Pro, Premium Per User and Premium

Model Size

  • Power BI Pro 1 gig per data set. Workspace Max 10 BG
  • Premium Per user 10gig (Per model)
  • Premium Per Capacity 10 gig (Per model. can be refreshed up to 12)

Refresh Rate

  • Power BI Pro 8 refreshes a day
  • Premium Per user 48 refreshes a day
  • Premium Per Capacity 48 refreshes a day (Gen 2 has significantly improved refreshes)

Paginated reporting

Paginated Reporting comes with Report Builder. the free tool for creating Paginated Reports. You can build paginated reports over a model created with power BI, or other data sources and publish to a Power BI workspace in the same way as a Power BI Report

Use a paginated report if you want to do printing or PDF generation. they are great for Sales invoices for example. Power BI reports are used for exploring the data.

  • Power BI Pro Can use Report Builder Free but cant publish to a Pro workspace
  • Premium Per user Yes
  • Premium Per Capacity Yes

AI Capabilities

Apply ML Model in dataflows

Impact Analysis in Service

AI Insights in Power Query Editor and Dataflows

  • Power BI Pro No
  • Premium Per user Yes
  • Premium Per Capacity Yes

Advanced Dataflows

For example, direct query and the ability to create compute and liked entities (actions that perform in storage computations)

  • Power BI Pro No
  • Premium Per user Yes
  • Premium Per Capacity Yes

Usage based Aggregate Optimisation

Aggregations allow you to manage large tables. You can have tables at a higher level of granularity, aggregated within Power BI, for example at year level, which are imported into Power BI. When you want to drill down to lower level detail, you can then move to the detailed data in Direct Query mode. aggregations should generally only be used for really large models.

  • Power BI Pro Yes?
  • Premium Per user Yes
  • Premium Per Capacity Yes

Deployment Pipelines for Application Lifecycle Management

  • Power BI Pro No
  • Premium Per user Yes
  • Premium Per Capacity Yes

XMLA Endpoint Connectivity

XML For analysis protocol. XMLA is used to connect to the Analysis Services engine which allows Power BI to have all the features of Analysis Services.

A major draw for this feature is the ability to create your shared one view of the truth data model within Power BI. And allow that model to be used by other analytics services, not just Power BI

  • Power BI Pro No
  • Premium Per user Yes
  • Premium Per Capacity Yes

Enhanced Automatic Page Refresh

Available as settings within the Power BI Admin Portal.

  • Power BI Pro No
  • Premium Per user Yes
  • Premium Per Capacity Yes

Multi Geo Support

Helps multinational customers deploy to data centres around the world, rather than just the home data centre.

  • Power BI Pro No
  • Premium Per user No
  • Premium Per Capacity Yes

Unlimited Distribution

This is the big one for Power BI Premium. the ability so share content with many users without individual Pro licenses. We will look more into this later

  • Power BI Pro No
  • Premium Per user No
  • Premium Per Capacity Yes

Power BI Reports On Premises

Using the Power BI reports Server. This option gears up an enterprise for moving fully to the Power BI Premium service later.

Updates to the specific Power BI Desktop (for on premesis usage) are much slower that Power BI Desktop for Service. You get reduced functionality. For example, no dashboards.

  • Power BI Pro No
  • Premium Per user No
  • Premium Per Capacity Yes

Bring your Own Key

Power BI encrypts data at rest and in process and uses Microsoft managed keys to do so. Premium allows you to use your own keys which sometimes makes it easier to meet compliance requirements. It gives you extra control.

  • Power BI Pro No
  • Premium Per user No
  • Premium Per Capacity Yes

Getting Premium Per user?

Upgrade to Power BI Pro and then upgrade to a Premium per user license

This will extend until general availability

Do we know what the Price point is yet? No. At the moment its free but without the knowledge of the actual pricing this is a hard one to take up before general release

Premium per user overwrites the Power BI Pro user license so there is no need for both

The Power BI Premium per user Workspace

You need to create your workspace. then go to settings and assign Premium per user capacity afterwards.

Only other developers with a premium per user license will be able to access the workspace.

This is a major point. If you are a team of 4 working in one workspace. Each user needs the Premium per user licence. So none of your developers with Pro licenses can work within this workspace.

None of your report users can access the report via the app without having Power BI Premium Per Users either.

Without that price its incredibly difficult right now to look into how this will affect the business as a whole. essentially it would mean switching everyone up to Power BI Premium Per user Licenses

Do we know if Premium Per user will be bundled into the Office 365 E5 Offering?

Currently if you have E5 licenses Power BI comes with the package. With Premium per user, will this become part of the E5 package?

It looks like E5 customers can purchase Premium per user as an add on to Pro but again, there is no specific information on this as yet so its difficult to tell how this will effect things.

So, as usual there are lots and pros and cons to this new license and we need a lot more information on pricing to be able to make any decisions.

But the ability to use features that are tempting you across to Premium, that’s really interesting. I thought that maybe there would be a case for going through your reporting portfolio to see if you have a mixture of cases for Pro and Premium per license but what with Dataflows, Pipelines etc, it would be difficult to establish a split between the workloads.

This is one to watch


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