In this blog, we break down the complexities surrounding Power Platform usage rights and Dynamics 365 licensing. This is a simple guide that can help businesses and individuals in understanding and navigating these interconnected Microsoft tools. From key concepts such as usage rights, to the various licensing options available with Dynamics 365, the blog explains the different licensing options and the access and integration capabilities each offers.
The popularity of Microsoft Power Platform is undeniable, and with good reason, of course. It is very easy to use and integrate with both Microsoft and non-Microsoft products, enabling users to create custom solutions and automate your workflows with ease. Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power Virtual Agents — the potential of these different tools is limitless.
You can use the tools separately, of course. But considering the fact that these are complementary services, it is easier to use in conjunction. Thus arises a need to understand the licensing and usage rights policy.
When it comes to the Microsoft Power Platform, however, the usage rights of these different services and the correlation between them can be a complicated labyrinth. It is hard to decipher the interdependencies. This blog provides an easy guide to Power Platform usage rights with Dynamics 365 licensing.
Understanding usage rights and licensing for Power Platform with Dynamics 365
Dynamics 365 is Microsoft’s flagship business application platform that provides a suite of cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) applications. It enables you to streamline business processes and gain insights into your operations.
This suite includes applications for financial management, supply chain management, human resources, sales, marketing, and customer service, among others. These can be deployed individually or as part of an integrated solution. The Dynamics 365 platform also offers artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, making it a truly intelligent, intuitive, end-to-end digital solution for companies across all sizes.
Power Platform and Dynamics 365 Licensing Usage Rights
When considering licensing usage rights, it’s important to distinguish between two types of Power Apps and Power Automate usage: standalone and embedded (or seeded).
Standalone usage refers to users who have a dedicated Power Apps or Power Automate license, granting them access to create and run apps and flows outside the Dynamics 365 environment.
Embedded or Seeded usage refers to users with a Dynamics 365 license, who can use Power Apps and Power Automate within their Dynamics 365 environment.
Here are a few rules to remember:
- Seeded users are restricted to the context of their Dynamics 365 application. They can’t create standalone apps or flows or use premium connectors. Also, they cannot create or run apps or flows that access data or functionality from other Dynamics 365 apps outside their licensed application.
- Standalone users are not restricted to the context of a Dynamics 365 application and can use premium connectors, create and run standalone apps or flows that access data or functionality from various sources.
Types of licenses for combined use of Dynamics 365 and Power Platform
Dynamics 365 and Power Platform licensing can seem complicated because it depends on the number of apps and services used, the number of users, and the types of users (e.g., full users vs. light users). Here are the key aspects:
- Base and Attach Licenses: Dynamics 365 licenses come in two forms, base and attach. A base license is the first license purchased at a regular price, and an attach license is any additional license purchased at a discounted price.
- Power Apps/Power Automate Licensing: These can be licensed in four ways: per user, per app, per user with attended RPA, and per flow. Choosing the right one depends on your organization’s specific needs. (We’ll explain these below.)
- Seeded Power Apps/Power Automate with Dynamics 365: Many Dynamics 365 licenses come with “seeded” or included Power Apps and Power Automate use rights. These allow users to create or run Power Apps or Power Automate flows within the context of their Dynamics 365 environment.
- Additional Capacity Add-Ons: These add-ons can be purchased separately to provide additional capacity beyond what’s included in your license.
What is attended RPA and unattended RPA?
- Attended RPA: Attended RPA (robotic process automation) works alongside humans on recurring tasks that require human intervention or decision-making. The bots in attended RPA are triggered by specific actions or inputs from the user. For example, a customer service representative might use an attended RPA bot to automatically fill in forms with customer information during a call. The bot can do this quickly and accurately, saving the representative time and reducing the risk of errors. However, the bot can’t complete the entire process on its own; it needs the representative to initiate the process and make decisions along the way.
- Unattended RPA: This type of RPA operates without human intervention. Unattended RPA bots are typically used for tasks that can be completed start to finish without human input. These bots can be scheduled to run at specific times or triggered by specific events. For example, an unattended RPA bot might be used to process invoices overnight, or to automatically update customer records when a new order is placed. These bots can work 24/7, increasing efficiency and productivity.
How do Power Platform components fit into Dynamics 365 licensing options?
The Power Platform components—Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power Virtual Agents—are included in Dynamics 365 licensing options. Therefore, businesses can access these components based on their licensed plan. Remember, if you use Power Platform components outside of the licensed app or plan, it could lead to non-compliance and additional licensing fees.
For instance, if you license the Sales app, you will have access to Power Apps and Power Automate that are related to the Sales app. However, you will not be able to access Power Virtual Agents. It’s also essential to understand how the Power Platform components fit into Dynamics 365 licensing options. Dynamics 365 includes several different license types, including Enterprise Edition, Customer Engagement, and Unified Operations. The Power Platform components can be included in these license types or purchased as add-ons.
Microsoft offers several licensing options for Power Platform, including per user licensing, per app licensing, and per flow licensing. It is essential to understand which components are included in each licensing option. Here are the main licensing plans that give you access to Dynamics 365 within the Power Platform:
Power Apps per app plan: The Power Apps per app plan is a subscription-based licensing model that provides access to specific Power Apps and the Power Platform. By licensing a specific Dynamics 365 app, such as Dynamics 365 Sales or Dynamics 365 Customer Service, under the per app plan, you automatically gain access to the Power Platform capabilities, including Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power BI. This plan allows you to build custom apps and automate processes within the licensed Dynamics 365 app.
Power Apps per user plan: The Power Apps per user plan is a subscription-based licensing model that provides individual users with broader access to the Power Platform. With this plan, licensed users can create and run unlimited Power Apps, use Power Automate with premium connectors, and access Power BI capabilities. This licensing plan gives users the ability to build and automate apps across multiple Dynamics 365 applications and other data sources.
Dynamics 365 Enterprise apps plan: The Dynamics 365 Enterprise apps plan is a comprehensive licensing plan that provides access to all the capabilities of the Power Platform, including Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power BI. This plan includes licensing for specific Dynamics 365 applications, such as Dynamics 365 Sales, Dynamics 365 Customer Service, Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations, and more. It offers complete access to the Power Platform’s capabilities within the licensed Dynamics 365 applications.
Power Automate per user plan: The Power Automate per user plan is a subscription-based licensing model that focuses specifically on the automation capabilities of the Power Platform. This plan provides licensed users with access to premium connectors, including those for Dynamics 365. By licensing the Power Automate per user plan, users can build and run workflows to automate processes within Dynamics 365 applications and other connected systems.
Per Flow License is ideal for organizations that have flows that require extensive resources or are used by multiple users or even across teams. Instead of being tied to a single user, the plan is associated with a specific flow. Any user in the organization can use this flow. This can be cost-effective for high-use flows, and it ensures that critical flows have the necessary resources.
When deciding between the ‘per user’ or ‘per flow’ license, it’s important to consider the following:
- How many flows will you or your organization be creating and managing? If you anticipate a large number of different flows, a per user license might be more economical.
- How frequently will the flows be run? If you have a small number of flows that run very frequently, the per flow license may be more cost-effective.
- Who will be using the flows? If a flow is used by a large number of people across different teams or departments, then the per flow plan could provide better value.
- What kind of connectors and resources do you need? Both plans provide access to premium connectors, but the per user plan might be more suitable if you need access to more premium features.
Tips for managing Power Platform usage rights and licensing
Managing Power Platform usage rights and licensing can be challenging, especially if you have a large number of users. Here are some tips for managing Power Platform usage rights and licensing effectively.
- Keeping track of licenses and users
You should maintain an accurate record of licensed users and their assigned licenses. Make sure you know which Power Platform components each user has access to based on their licensed plan. This will help you to identify which users are using Power Platform components outside of their licensed plan and take appropriate action.
- Reviewing and adjusting licenses as needed
Regular reviews of licensed users will allow you to adjust licenses as needed. For instance, if a user no longer requires access to specific Power Platform components, their license should be adjusted to reflect this. This will help you to save on unnecessary licensing fees.
- Ensuring compliance with licensing terms and conditions
You should ensure that your usage of Power Platform components complies with the licensing terms and conditions. It is very important to review the licensing terms and conditions regularly to ensure compliance.
Common misconceptions about Power Platform usage rights and licensing
There are several common misconceptions about Power Platform usage rights and licensing, such as:
- Confusion between different licensing options
The licensing options are complicated, to say the least. Many companies confuse the different licensing options available for Dynamics 365 and Power Platform components. For instance, you may assume that Per User licensing provides access to a specific app or component, even though you have only licensed a Per App plan.
It is essential to understand the licensing options available and the components included in each plan to avoid confusion and non-compliance.
- Misinterpretation of usage rights and restrictions
Many companies assume that they have unlimited use of Power Platform components, even though their licensed plan only provides access to a specific app or limited access to components.
Understanding Power Platform usage rights with Dynamics 365 Licensing can be complex, but it is crucial for optimizing your business’s operations and budget. It’s important to note that Microsoft’s licensing terms can change, so always refer to the latest Dynamics 365 Licensing Guide.
Remember, the goal is to use these powerful tools to drive your business forward. Keep an eye on your organization’s needs, assess how you’re using Power Platform, and adjust your licensing approach as needed. With the right understanding and approach, you’ll get the most from your investment in Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform.
Exploring the capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for your enterprise or start-up, or SMB? VBeyond Digital can serve as an end-to-end planning, implementation, and management solutions provider for Dynamics 365 and Power Platform.