The differences between Free and Pro licensing for Power BI are pretty straightforward, Free is great if you work in Power BI alone whilst Pro allows you to work in Power BI on your own and with others. But where does Premium come into this? Well hopefully the below diagrams help to answer this question better than words can.
Here’s a Power BI (PBI) tenant with an O365 tenant and Azure AD running behind it – these are always created when a new PBI tenant is created (even if its only used by one user)
Pro licensed users can create content and publish it to their own My Workspace and to App Workspaces.
Content in App Workspaces can be published as Apps. Pro licensed users can access content in App Workspaces and in Apps.
Its important we understand there’s a difference between App Workspaces and Apps. App Workspaces in Power BI can contain data sets, reports, dashboards and Excel workbooks. The content in an App Workspace can be published as an App. Publishing and sharing Apps is the best way to share content with users.
Free licensed users can create content and publish it to their own My Workspace; however they cant publish content to App Workspaces, publish Apps or access content other users have created
If a Premium Node for Power BI is purchased and applied to our tenant, we can create a new Premium Capacity against this Node
We can now assign some or all of our organisations App Workspaces to this Premium Capacity. Apps created from such App Workspaces will also now reside on the Premium Capacity.
Content published to App Workspaces that have been assigned to a Premium Capacity can be accessed by Free licensed users
Even if Premium has been added to your tenant, its not possible to give Free licensed users direct access to App Workspaces. Free licensed users can only access published Apps residing on a Premium Capacity
This last point may be unnecessarily over-complicating the matter, but those who used Power BI before June 2017 were used to giving users access to content in Workspaces (now called App Workspaces). Now we have App Workspaces in Power BI, it’s important to understand that we can’t give Free licensed users access to App Workspaces. We can only give Free licensed users access to Apps created from an App Workspace assigned to a Premium Capacity.← Other blog articles