Embedding Power BI? Choosing Between Power BI Premium or Embedded

  • Post category:Power BI
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  • Post published:October 22, 2021

It’s not always easy to figure out the best way to provide Power BI content to your users. The majority of users who have Power BI Pro licences will see your reports and dashboards through the Power BI Service, but this isn’t always the case. Power BI Premium and the majority of Power BI Embedded packages include dedicated capacity in the Power BI service to aid with further embedding scenarios.

Power BI is extremely adaptable in every situation. You might not even realise you’re using Power BI because reports are incorporated in other Microsoft applications or your own bespoke application!

When using Power BI to explore multiple embedding scenarios, you’re presented with a variety of capabilities, terms, and licence options. It’s a perplexing landscape, and bringing order to it all is challenging. Even concepts that appear to be self-evident, such as internal and external, are not as simple as they appear.

Terminology You’ll Come Across

There are a number of factors to consider when deciding whether you require Power BI Premium or Power BI Embedded, including the following terms:


Internal or external users may need access to your Power BI content. You can have both at times. Guests who act as internal users can sometimes be external users. It’s a long storey, so keep reading.

Scenario of Access

Your audience can access content in the Power BI Service web application, in a Microsoft application like Microsoft Teams or SharePoint, or in a bespoke application you develop (or a combination of any of these).

Lines of Products

Power BI Embedded (A SKUs) is generally used to embed in custom apps with only external users and does not require Azure Active Directory authentication. You may embed Power BI Premium (P SKUs and EM SKUs) in custom applications as well as Microsoft Teams and SharePoint. The Power BI Premium P SKUs are the only ones that allow you to use the Power BI Service application for users in your AAD tenant while also embedding anywhere (without a Pro licence for users).


You’ll be given the option of using Power BI Pro or Power BI Free. In addition to watching privileges, Pro grants you publishing rights. You can access your content for free, but only if it’s hosted in a workspace with dedicated capacity using Power BI Premium or Embedded.

What Is the Difference Between “User-Owned Data” and “App-Owned Data”? “Embed for your Organization” and “Embed for your Customers” come to mind.

While distinct scenarios are frequently labelled “User owns data” and “App owns data” in documentation, these phrases might be confusing. The terms are generally associated with authentication, but what exactly do “user” and “app” mean?

  • Users authenticate with Azure Active Directory and own their data. This scenario may also be referred as Embed for your Organization.
  • The term “app owns data” refers to the fact that your custom application is in charge of authentication. This scenario is sometimes referred to as Embed for your Customers.

Even if an “App owns data” scenario exists, publishing and embedding content from a workspace in the Power BI Service requires at least one Power BI Pro licence. It’s possible to embed a user or a service principal.

These terminologies are also sometimes misnomers because they aren’t universal, one-size-fits-all statements for all contexts. You may, for example, have a custom application for internal users or a combination of internal and external users that is documented as “App owns data”/”Embed for your Customers” depending on your technology choice. In a “User owns data”/”Embed for your Organization” scenario, you might potentially invite other users into your organisation as guests, giving them access to a Power BI service app or workspace. Exceptions like these highlight the importance of your solution’s architecture and licencing requirements.

Microsoft Power BI Embedded

Scalability and Ductility

Using Azure, you can design applications that run smoothly, unaffectedly, and scale from tens of thousands to tens of millions of users. Azure Storage is a cloud storage solution that is ductile, safe, secure, and performance efficient. Changing settings and using extra processors for the application becomes easier.

SKUs for Power BI Embedded

Power BI Embedded is the only embedding SKU family that may be purchased through Azure rather than Microsoft 365. While you get many of the same features as Power BI Premium in terms of technology, you’re limited to “App owns data” authentication in bespoke applications and can’t use the Power BI Service web application or embed in Microsoft Teams or SharePoint. The diagram below maintains Microsoft’s standard message on A SKUs, which is for ISVs and external customers. However, there are rare instances where A SKUs may be appropriate for internal use.

EM SKUs in Power BI Premium

You usually integrate EM SKUs in corporate contexts like Microsoft Teams or SharePoint. The Power BI Service web application is not accessible to organisational users. Because of this constraint, EM SKUs aren’t often mentioned in discussions regarding Premium vs. Embedded. To evaluate EM SKUs for embedding in “User owns data” scenarios without going to full access to the Power BI Service using P SKUs, the situation must be just right.

P SKUs in Power BI Premium

You can cover all use scenarios using P SKUs. In a “User owns data” scenario, your internal users could utilise the Power BI service online application at www.powerbi.com; in a “App owns data” situation, you could embed in Microsoft Teams or SharePoint; and in a “User owns data” scenario, you could embed in a custom application. External users can be invited into your Azure B2B tenant for “User owns data” development, or they can stay outside for “App owns data” development.

Summary of Quick Decisions

Here’s a quick description that may help in most instances if you consider basic scenarios before diving too far into your personal nuances. However, your specific requirements may influence the final decision-making process. While the specifics of your usage should be examined, the following technique can be used as a starting point.

Are you still perplexed?

There are numerous factors in this subject, and we’ve just scratched the surface of licencing issues. Addend analytics can assist you in charting a path that is consistent with your company’s specific demands. To arrange up a meeting, please contact us right away.

Addend Analytics is a Microsoft Gold Partner based in Mumbai, India, and a branch office in the U.S. Addend has successfully implemented 100+ Microsoft Power BI and Business Central projects for 100+ clients across sectors like Financial Services, Banking, Insurance, Retail, Sales, Manufacturing, Real estate, Logistics, and Healthcare in countries like the US, Europe, Switzerland, and Australia. Get a free consultation now by emailing us at kamal.sharma@addendanalytics.com or Contact us.