Microsoft Power BI Licensing demystified

Power BI licensing can be confusing not only for new users but also for people who are using it for some time. I regularly hear related questions from clients. Here are the answers for FAQs to demystify the Power BI Pro license.
• Do I need Power BI Pro license to use Power BI desktop?
• Do I need Power BI Pro license to upload the report in Power BI.com?
• When do I need Power BI Pro license?
• Do I need license to share Power BI dashboard within organization or outside the organization?
• How many people need Power BI Pro license in my organization?
• What is the cost of licensing?
• What is the Power BI Premium capacity?
• Do I need license for Power BI embedding?
• How can I buy Power BI Pro license?

Ok. Lets go through these questions one by one.

Do I need Power BI Pro license to use Power BI desktop?
You don’t need Power BI Pro license (or pay anything to Microsoft) for downloading and using the Power BI desktop. This free app is full version with all the functionalities and features of Power BI.
It means you can create Power BI reports without spending a penny.
Isn’t that awesome!

Do I need Power BI Pro license to upload the report in Power BI.com?
You also don’t need Power BI Pro license to publish the report to Power BI.com You just have to create a free account on Power BI.com

When do I need Power BI Pro license?
You have created beautiful Power BI report using Power BI desktop app and want to share it with your colleagues. Now the fun begins.
You need Power BI Pro license to share the report with anyone. Moreover, all the people with whom you want to share the report also need Power BI Pro license to access the reports.

Do I need license to share Power BI dashboard within organization or outside the organization?
You need Power BI Pro license to share report whether it is within organization or outside the organization.
All the above users also need Pro license

How many people need Power BI Pro license in my organization?
Every person in the organization who wants to share the report or see the report needs to have Pro license.
Similarly all people outside the organization also need Pro license

What is the cost of licensing?
Power Bi incensing cost is USD 9.99 per user per month. Pls refer Microsoft webpage for any changes
https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/

What is the Power BI Premium capacity
Hmm.. you are asking a big question now. Power BI Premium or Premium Capacity is suitable for organization with large number of users. It costs $4,995 per month. Equivalent to 500 Pro licenses, though this is not exact comparison as Premium come with some other features which may be interesting for you.
No user needs Pro license if the report is created using Premium capacity.

Do I need license for Power BI embedding?
Power BI embedding is another way to get rid of licensing but it is costlier. Basic plan for 24×7 reports availability will cost you around $720 per month. This may go up significantly depending upon number of users and reports.

How can I buy Power BI Pro license?
If you are admin for your Office 365 account, it is quite simple to purchase and assign Pro license. You need to go to the Office 365 admin console to do that.

If not, you need to approach Office 365 admin of your organization and ask them to read this document 😊
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/service-admin-purchasing-power-bi-pro

Have more questions? Feel free to reach out to me at [email protected]