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Answering your questions around the new Power BI Premium per user license

Headshot of article author Christopher Finlan

Yesterday’s announcement around the introduction of a Premium per user license option has generated a lot of interest and excitement in the Power BI community. It has also generated a lot of questions, so we’ve put together this post to answer some of the most common ones we’ve seen.

What is it? – Premium per user is a new way to license premium features on a per user basis. It will include all of the Pro license capabilities, along with features like paginated reports, AI, and other capabilities only available in Premium today.

Do I need a Power BI Pro AND a Premium per user license? No, you get all the capabilities of Power BI Pro with Premium per user.

What features are available in Premium per user?   Here is a breakdown of the Premium features available with Premium per user vs. a Premium Capacity.  (Please note – the maximum model size per capacity is based on the size capacity you purchase).

Chart comparing the Premium features per user vs. capacity

My organization already has Power BI Premium. Do I now need a Premium per user license to publish content to my capacity?

While your organization may choose to supplement their Premium capacity with Premium per user licenses for certain groups/departments to address their business scenarios, there is no new dependency on Premium per user for authors who are publishing to Premium capacity today with a Pro license.

Does this work like a Premium capacity? Can you turn features on/off?

No, there is no management of memory/CPU like with a Premium capacity.  Microsoft handles all of that for you just like we do with Power BI Pro today.  Your tenant admin can manage select feature settings (such as Auto-Refresh and the setting of the XMLA endpoint), but they can’t disable workloads like paginated reports, just like you can’t turn off dashboards today.  A new menu option in the tenant settings for Premium per user will be available to manage those settings at public preview.

How do I enable Premium per user for my tenant?

Once a license is provisioned for PPU for the tenant, the PPU features will be available in any workspace you turn these on for.  For public preview, you will simply enable the Premium per user features in the capacity dropdown by selecting the “Premium per user” item.  This selection mechanism is likely changing for the GA timeframe.

If I’ve marked a workspace as Premium per user, how will other users know?

A new icon has been introduced to show which workspaces are Premium per user.   See the picture below as an example.

Pic of the new Premium per user icon

Who can access content in a Premium per user workspace/app?

Any user must have a Premium per user license to view/access content in a Premium per user workspace.  This includes scenarios where they are accessing the content through the XMLA endpoint, Analyze in Excel, Composite Models, etc.  Below is a breakdown of how sharing works with the different license types in Power BI

How sharing works in Power BI with Premium per userCan I host a Power BI dataset in a PPU workspace, build a report against it that I publish in a different Pro workspace, and allow users to access this report without needing a PPU license?

No – since the dataset resides in a Premium per user workspace, it will not be viewable for users without that license type even though they can access the report in the Pro workspace.

How much total storage do I get with Premium per user?

The entire tenant will still have the same 100 TB limit like a Premium capacity would in terms of storage that is pooled across the Premium per user license holders.

How will e-mail subscriptions work in Premium per user?

You will be allowed to subscribe anyone with a PPU license OR a Pro license to receive the subscription and any attachment it includes, provided the attachment is the same for all users.  There is already a limit of the number of recipients that can be added to each subscription that will continue to be enforced.  When new features are introduced that have different content attachments for different recipients, this will require a Premium per user license for each recipient.

When is the public preview starting? – It is planned to start in early November.  We will provide all the details around how you can enable it in your tenant as we get closer to the preview date.

I know this is just some of the questions you may have in mind, so I encourage you to leave additional questions in the comments below and we’ll answer them the best we can! For more information on purchasing Premium Per User and to be notified when preview goes live, sign up here.