Comparing Power Apps Plans with Dynamics 365 Licensing

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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.

Power Apps Plans enable users 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 creating mobile canvas apps. A Power Apps plan also includes access to many of the standard Dynamics entities 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 that will come into effect from 1st October 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 create 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 table.

Power Apps plans are available for:

  • Per App Plan - despite its title, this provides entitlement to run up to two custom apps for web and/or mobile for a specific business scenario using the full capabilities of Power Apps. Currently, this also grants users access rights for a single web portal but these terms are changing (see below).
  • Per User Plan - enabling users to run unlimited apps using full Power Apps capabilities.

Currently, these are priced at:

  • Per App Plan @ £7.50 (USD $10) per user / app / month
  • Per User (Unlimited App) Plan @ £30.20 (USD $40) per user / month

However, Microsoft has announced a new price list will come into effect for new contracts and renewals from 1st October 2021. This will reduce prices as follows:

  • Per App Plan @ USD $5 per user / app / month (GBP pricing to be confirmed)
  • Per User (Unlimited App) Plan @ USD $20 per user / month (GBP pricing to be confirmed)

From 1st October, the new Single App Plan SKU will simplify the current licensing terms, whereby passes will simply provide entitlement to run either one app or access one portal.

In meantime, eligible customers can take advantage of Microsoft's current promotional offers : The Power Apps per user and per app plans are currently available for $12 per user/month (minimum purchase of 5,000 licenses) and $3 per user/app/month (minimum purchase of 200 licenses), respectively. These offers are available from 1 July until 30 September.

Before, or after 1 October, 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 for Customer Service Enterprise is currently priced at £71.60 per user / month. That's 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, either of the Power Apps Plans could be sufficient. For users who only need to manage these defined processes and nothing else, the per app plan may 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.

Addontable

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.

However, it is important to understand what this covers, and what isn't included.

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.

App Build

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.

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Interface

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.

Tables (Entities)

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.

Security

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.

Flows

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.

Cloud Storage

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.

RELATED: A Quick Guide to Dynamics 365 Cloud Storage

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.

Within a 24-hour period, the Power Apps per user plan provides default capacity for 5,000 API calls per user. This API request limit affects all types of user accounts and is not aggregated to the instance level.

Users running the Power Apps per app plan have capacity for up to 1,000 API requests per user per 24-hours.

This compares to a 20,000 request capacity available with Dynamics 365 Enterprise apps or 10,000 for Professional apps and a 5,000 default API call capacity for Dynamics 365 Team Member licences.

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.

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