PowerApps and Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement have now merged together to be on the same platform.  You may be wondering “how does this affect the licensing?”.

This blog explains the licensing options for existing Dynamics 365 customers who also use, or want to use PowerApps, to enhance their Dynamics 365 implementation.  I will do this through a series of scenarios based on the diagram below, which depicts an existing Dynamics 365 (v9.0.2) environment and the different types of users that will interact with the Dynamics 365 data via the Common Data Service (CDS).

The access to Dynamics 365 data via PowerApps license is restricted by a certain list of entities which is described here.

PowerApps licensing

Before diving into the scenarios, I would like to do a refresher on the difference between Model-driven and Canvas PowerApps.  Model-driven apps are essentially PowerApps built using the Dynamics 365 framework. They look and behave like Dynamics 365.  Canvas apps are PowerApps configured via a PowerPoint type user interface and use Excel type formulas.  For more information see my previous blog post.

Scenario 1

In this scenario, we have a user of a Model-driven app which is connecting to the non-restricted CDS entities and some custom entities created through Dynamics 365 configuration.  This user is not editing any of the Dynamics 365 app specific entities, e.g. Case under the Customer Service app, therefore technically does not need a Dynamics 365 license.

However, Model-driven apps require a PowerApps Plan 2 license.

PowerApps Plan 2 licenses are US$40. Compare this to a US$8 Dynamics 365 Team Member license, that gives you the same access to the Dynamics 365 data.  Based only on the data access required and the fact that the user does not need to configure PowerApps, you would go for the Dynamics 365 Team Member license.

Scenario 2

In this scenario, we have a user of a Canvas app connected to the CDS.  Their license depends on which entities they will be interacting with. Access to edit the restricted Dynamics 365 app specific entities requires the applicable Dynamics 365 App or Plan licenses based on the Dynamics 365 licensing guide.

If the user is just accessing the non-restricted CDS and custom entities then the PowerApps Plan 1 license or the Dynamics 365 Team Member license can be used.  There is very little difference in the price of PowerApps Plan 1 and Dynamics 365 Team Member licenses so the pick for me for this scenario would be the PowerApps Plan 1 license since it has more PowerApps features.

Scenario 3

In this scenario, we have a Dynamics 365 user.  They require an applicable Dynamics 365 App or Plan licenses based on Dynamics 365 licensing guide.

Scenario 4

In this scenario, we have a configurator\administrator of Canvas apps that interact with the Dynamics 365 data in the CDS.  Similar to scenario 2, this user is required to have Dynamics licenses if they are configuring Canvas apps to interact with Dynamics 365 app specific entities.  If the apps are being configured for just interacting with the non-restricted CDS and custom entities then a PowerApps Plan 1 license is sufficient.

Scenario 5

In this scenario, we have a configurator\administrator of Model-driven apps.  These require either the applicable Dynamics 365 licenses for configuring Model-driven apps to interact with Dynamics 365 app specific entities or the PowerApps Plan 2 license to interact with just the non-restricted CDS and custom entities.

Conclusion

This blog has been a basic overview of the PowerApps licensing from a Dynamics 365 data perspective.  There are several other factors to consider on the PowerApps pricing page when deciding on the types of PowerApps to purchase.  For example, if you want a Canvas app to connect to a Dynamics 365 CDS environment and other different data sources then you may need a PowerApps Plan license to access the premium data connectors.

Those other factors are discussed here.


Notes:

This is information is based on Dynamics 365 version 9.0.2 which is the version that has been merged with PowerApps and the Common Data Service.

Licensing is not technically enforced in all areas so it is important that you (or your Microsoft Partner) adhere to the licensing through business process and Dynamics 365 security roles.

Prices quoted in this blog are in USD per user per month and are based on the advertised pricing on the following Microsoft websites at the time of writing this blog.  Always talk to your Microsoft Partner before purchasing licenses to ensure you are getting the right ones and the best price. Or feel free to reach out to me. Licensing is a dark art in itself.

Links for more information:

 

2 replies on “PowerApps Licensing Scenarios for Dynamics 365 Data

  1. Choosing a 8$ Team Member license for model-driven apps compared to the 40$ PowerApps Plan 2 seems a no-brainer. I mean: you can have as many as 1 only full D365 license to create the app and license all app users with the Team Member one instead of the Plan 2, saving tons of money.

    It’s hard for me to see what could possibly be the benefit of the PowerApps Plan 2 vs. Team Member license. Can you think of any? I’m trying to understand what am I missing or is it that MS just got it wrong?

    Like

    1. Hi David,

      Yes it is confusing and this is one area that is still not quite clear with me either. Most of the licensing information talks about licensing for Dynamics 365 Apps and Plans but not the Team Member license. Take a look at the Dynamics 365 licensing guide and it explains a little more. https://www.google.co.nz/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjVlYT37fbaAhUMErwKHT3tC6cQFggvMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdownload.microsoft.com%2Fdocuments%2Fen-us%2Fdynamics%2Fpricing%2FDynamics_365_Enterprise_edition_Licensing_Guide.pdf&usg=AOvVaw2TWtlBU6eOTPakE6vghlWH

      Essentially, PowerApps Plan 2 has more access to entities and is only restricted by the “restricted” Dynamics 365 entities. Whereas, the Team Member license is heavily restricted. Also, with a PowerApps Plan 2 license you can run more Flows and are able to model data in the CDM, which you can’t with Team Member.

      Like

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