Comparing Power Apps Plans with Dynamics 365 Licensing
Power Apps Plans have emerged as a more cost-effective licensing option compared to regular Dynamics 365 SKUs for some usage requirements. These offer the choice of licensing for an individual app, or enabling users to run unlimited apps.
By building in Power Apps and licensing using Power Apps Plans, users are able to access the Microsoft Business Applications platform (Power Platform) and Dataverse (formerly Common Data Service) using the same responsive unified interface as Dynamics 365 and/or create mobile canvas apps. Power Apps Plans also include access to many of the standard Dynamics tables including accounts, contacts and activities.
In this post we'll explore potential use cases and provide a comparison of the capabilities and entitlements between Power Apps Plans and Dynamics 365 role-based apps.
This post has been updated to include details of the updated Power App Plan SKU pricing and pay-as-you-go pricing which came into effect in Autumn 2021.
Please get in touch if you want to know more and receive advice about the best licences to fit your usage needs.
A Better Fit?
For bespoke, or fairly narrow usage needs, the Dynamics 365 licensing menu doesn't always provide a clear choice.
Let's say a user role is focused on course administration or processes to handle applications. In these scenarios, a Dynamics 365 Customer Service Enterprise licence might be considered to be the nearest fit. But perhaps it is only because this SKU provides entitlement to create and update accounts, and work across 15 or more custom tables (entities). That's because these usage entitlement aren't covered by the D365 Team Member licence.
But if these users don't require capabilities for case management, knowledge posts, or any of the other service features loaded into the Customer Service app, it creates an imbalance between price and value.
When Dynamics role-based apps aren't an obvious fit for specific user needs, often what's needed is:
- Access to the platform
- Unified interface across desktop and mobile
- Guided process flows
- A set of standard tables e.g. contacts, accounts and activities
- Capacity to add custom tables
- Ability to easily connect the app with other data points
- Integration with Outlook
A better outcome would be a licence that provides access to the Power Platform and includes the core capabilities listed above, but without the additional complexity, and cost, of unnecessary features. That's where Power Apps Plans come in!
Power Apps Plans & Pricing
These include the ability to deploy the full unified interface, dashboards, list views, record forms and these can also write to many standard Dynamics tables (entities), as well as unlimited custom tables.
Power Apps plans are available for:
- Per App Plan - from October 2021 this has been redefined whereby passes simply provide entitlement to run either one app or access one portal.
- Per User Plan - enabling users to run unlimited apps using full Power Apps capabilities.
From October 2021, Microsoft announced a new price list which reduced the plan prices for new agreements and renewals, as follows:
- Per App Plan @ £3.80 (USD $5) per user / app / month (previously £7.50 / USD $10)
- Per User (Unlimited App) Plan @ £15.10 (USD $20) per user / month (previously £30.20 / USD $40)
Neither plan is subject to any minimum or maximum number of licences. The per app plan is stackable whereby multiple passes can be purchased for users who need access to multiple apps but not at the level that where the unlimited app plan would be justified.
As a comparison, Dynamics 365 Customer Service Enterprise is currently priced at £71.60 per user / month. This is great value if you need a pre-built case management solution with integrated knowledge capabilities, but it's less compelling if users just want to build on the platform without touching these tables and functions.
Returning to the above course management scenario, here at Preact we provide a purpose-built CRM training provider solution, Course Manager. As this is a Power App, either of the two Power Apps Plans could be sufficient. For users who only need to manage these defined processes and nothing else, the per app plan at £3.80 will be the most cost-effective option.
Each per app pass is applied to an environment and then apps and portals are switched on to consume usage per user from these passes and track remaining capacity.
For narrowly defined usage which doesn't clearly fit one of the standard Dynamics role-based apps, a Power Apps Plan offers the prospect of better alignment between capabilities and pricing.
Power Apps Per App Plans are also now available with pay-as-you-go billing for added flexibility to licence only the users who run an app during the monthly period.
This allows organisations to purchase the Power Apps Per App Plan with an Azure subscription @ £7.50 / USD $10 per active user/month with charges applied based on the number of unique apps or portals run each month. By making an Azure subscription the payment instrument with a usage-based licensing model, customers only pay for what their team actually use.
As a result, billing administrators can use this to assess usage patterns prior to committing to a pre-paid subscription, or take advantage of a more flexible model when app usage fluctuates each month.
Each pay-as-you-go plan includes access to Microsoft Dataverse capacity, connectors and other components needed to run an application on the Microsoft platform.
With an app deployed using a Power Apps Plan, data is stored in the Microsoft Dataverse to connect with other Microsoft Business Applications.
This includes native integration with Dynamics 365 environments which have been deployed to fit other usage requirements through a combination of D365 apps and Team Member licences. As a result, data is easily shared to provide connected processes and insights. Pre-built and custom Power Apps connectors can also be used.
A Dynamics 365 role-based app is a pre-packaged solution that is configured to fit unique business process rules and user requirements. In contrast, a Power App must be built from scratch, or customised from a pre-built template.
Where teams need sales or case management functionality, D365 Sales or Customer Service licences provide access to a ready-made solution. But in other instances, organisations can look to the potential of lower monthly subscription by building and licensing through a Power Apps Plan.
A model-driven app created using Power Apps has the same unified interface used in Dynamics 365 apps. This includes the same record form structure, business process flows, dashboards, search capabilities and list views.
For mobile apps, an app can be built for a tablet or a phone. This is designed by dragging and dropping elements onto a canvas, just as you would design a slide in PowerPoint. Excel-like expressions can be applied to specify logic and work with data. Each canvas app can be connected with a wide variety of Microsoft and third-party sources. This can be shared so users can run the app in a browser or on a mobile device.
Canvas apps can also be embedded. Users are able to run them in SharePoint, Power BI, or Teams (subject to sufficient licence rights). In addition, they can be embedded in the unified interface. Previously, Microsoft has said these embedded components within a model-driven app do not count towards the current apps limit in the Power Apps per app plan.
When Dynamics 365 is deployed and its standard tables (entities) are stored in Dataverse, many of these are available to create apps and flows. These include: activities, contacts and accounts which are also accessible using a Power Apps Plan.
A Power Apps licence is able to read data from any table in Dataverse, but there are some restricted tables that require a full Dynamics 365 app for create/read/update/delete rights. Restricted tables include: entitlements, project tasks, SLAs, knowledge articles, routing rules, goal, schedule board setting and work order business process.
Power Apps can be built to include restricted tables but app users must be correctly licensed with the appropriate Dynamics licence.
Users who are only licensed with a Power Apps Plan are able to access a Dynamics 365 instance, but they cannot use any of these restricted tables or any of the application IP. These remain exclusively available to Dynamics 365 licensed users.
Self-Service Web Portals
Power Apps web portals enable a responsive site to be shared with external users with all portal data securely stored in Dataverse.
As referenced above, each Power Apps Plan includes portal usage rights. Portal licensing is costed based on external usage to cover scenarios for authenticated users logging in and/or anonymous users. These are billed per unique login and page view respectively. Read more about Power Apps Portals and how these are licensed.
Consistent with Dynamics 365, Power Apps users are authenticated by Azure Active Directory and the sharing of model-driven apps is managed using security roles that cover record-based, role-based and field-based security to protect data integrity and privacy. Each app is managed in the Power Apps Admin Center.
Dynamics 365 App for Outlook
The Dynamics 365 App for Outlook extends Dataverse experiences to Outlook and is also available to Power Apps Plan users. This includes Outlook email tracking to associated records in Dataverse, quickly creating new records from Outlook emails, browsing information side by side within Outlook and synchronising contacts and related information between Exchange and Dataverse.
Microsoft's Power Apps licensing enables Plan users to run any flow that is triggered directly within the context of their Power App.
The full standalone capabilities of Power Automate (formerly Microsoft Flow) are reserved for the standalone Automate plans. Since October 2019, Dynamics 365 app licensing narrows entitlement to deploy Power Automate only for flows which are mapped to a Dynamics app.
By default, each Power Apps tenant includes the same platform capacity entitlement compared to Dynamics 365 Enterprise apps licenses:
- Dataverse for Apps Database Capacity: 10 GB
- Dataverse for Apps File Capacity: 20 GB
- Dataverse for Apps Log Capacity: 2 GB
Additional capacity entitlements also accrue and are pooled across the tenant. For the Power Apps per app plan this accrues at:
- Dataverse for Apps Database Capacity: 50 MB per user
- Dataverse for Apps File Capacity: 400 MB per user
For the Power Apps per user unlimited app plan, and Dynamics 365 Enterprise licences, these entitlements accrue at:
- Dataverse for Apps Database Capacity: 250 MB per user
- Dataverse for Apps File Capacity: 2 GB per user
Dynamics 365 Professional licenses and Team Member licences do not accrue additional storage capacity.
API Request Limits
All the users of Microsoft Power Platform are able to make a certain number of requests based on the license they are assigned. This is designed to accommodate the majority of usage requirements without any additional cost.
Power Platform Request limits were updated and substantially increased in November 2021.
Within a 24-hour period, the Power Apps per user plan provides default capacity for 40,000 API calls per user (previously 5,000 API calls).
Users running the Power Apps per app plan have capacity for up to 6,000 API requests per user per 24-hours (previously 1,000 calls).
This compares to 40,000 request capacities available with Dynamics 365 Enterprise and Professional apps (increased from 20,000 and 10,000 respectively in November 2021) and a 6,000 default API call capacity for Dynamics 365 Team Member licences.
With these updated limits, Microsoft says it expects that very few users would exceed the documented capacities. If required, additional capacity can be purchased as an add-on and assigned to any user that will increase the number of API requests they can make per 24-hour period.
It is important to note that Microsoft will only enforce these limits in scenarios where an organisation is consistently exceeding this capacity for multiple consecutive days.
Dynamics 365 or Power Apps Licensing Questions?
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