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New Member

Power BI Embedded Pricing - Am i mistaken?

We are a very small ISV with 2 co-founders. We have a BizSpark subscription and are currently using Azure for our infrastructure. We use a SQL Azure database.


I have created several reports to share with my co-founder and we each have a Pro license ($20 per month in total). I want to give the users of our application the ability to view some of these reports using RLS.


I've followed the "App owns data" tutorials and can now see the reports with no issues (great!). 




My co-founder informed me about new pricing for this. Last time I looked, Power BI Embedded charged by the session which was ideal. We have 15 customers and they will probably check these reports no more than twice a week.


To my horror, I checked the Azure pricing for Power BI Embedded and it is now telling me that my minimum price will be $750 per month. WTF? 


Am I confusing services here? We aren't interested in dedicated capacity, and I've already linked our website to an embedded report without creating a Power BI Embedded service in Azure. 


I would really appreciate anyone here clarifying where we stand. As a startup generating about $150 per month in revenue it makes absolutely no sense at all to use Power BI if these prices are what we'll now have to pay.

New Member

Same situation here. I championed powerbi within my company and feel stupid now. we found out that its $750 (x2 for production and UAT servers) a month just recently and cannot turn off instances due to 99% uptime client expectations. the dashboards will hardly be used by 6 client users only once a week or even farther apart. so much money for a mostly idle machine. very dissappointed.  

Frequent Visitor

This really angers me and makes me want to avoid ms all-together.

Not applicable

Yes, it can be challenging.

BTW, it appears as though the OP is no longer active on this forum:
Date Last Visited
‎11-08-2017 03:03 AM

Unfortunately the decision by MSFT to massively increase the price saw us have to go in a different direction.

Not applicable

Mind sharing what direction your team went with?  We are looking at alternatives as well and would greatly appreciate your feedback.  Some of the ones we are considering are below.



We walked away from Microstrategy as it was "WAY, WAY more" to get any kind of horsepower and even with their own cubing mechanism which takes forever to build a cube.  My experience was it was built from the ground up, but slow to evolve (very slow) and a lot of the good people we worked with there jumped ship.  They were heading in a terrible direction.  I would consider Tableau or Qlik before the others...but Tableau will be as much or more than Power BI.


I haven't seen pricing lately with Qlik, but I bet it's close to the same.

Resolver I
Resolver I

They got you excited about the product and then once enough interest they raise the price...not something should be that unusual.  That's the Microsoft way, keep it cheap to get people excited, then jack the price up.

Called Bait and switch if you ask me or generate interest then jack it up so people are hooked.

We ended up using Power BI internally (there are only 2 of us) and unfortunately our customers ended up suffering. We've just gone with very basic export to Excel for now until we can find something reasonable to offer.


With regards the SKU for $750, that's over $1k AUD per month. To put that into context, our business currently has a revenue of around $4k AUD per month. Spending 1/4 of our revenue on a reporting solution is totally incomprehensible from a business perspective. 

Not applicable

@PaulAllen2412, do you have any options, in the interim, to use open source solutions until Power BI becomes a viable option for your firm?

Wow, that's absolutely insane. How can Microsoft justify such a massive deviation in pricing? I'm just glad I didn't roll out Embedded based on the previous pricing model! This is a huge eye opener for me using cloud, especially Azure. One greedy move by Microsoft and your business could be bankrupted. Incredible.


What makes me really angry about this is it goes TOTALLY against Microsoft's main tagline surrounding the cloud of "only pay for what you use" In this case it's bull, because I would be paying $750 per month to allow a handful of users to view a report a couple of times a week.


@Anonymous in answer to your question I think my only option is to go elsewhere for my reporting solution. It's a shame as Power BI is fantastic, and as a developer with SSRS for the past 10 years its great to see the direction they are heading. Unfortunately Microsoft appear to want to completely abandon everyone in this space except for the large faceless corporations who can pay this.


Poor form Microsoft, very poor.


Thanks for your feedback.


The Power BI workspace collections which is charged by sessions is being deprecated. It will continue working for a limited time,  after which all users will be required to migrate to the new system to continue enjoying the full-suite of Power BI Embedded features. At this moment you can still use Power BI workspace collections.


As to the new Power BI Embedded, which is charged at least $750 monthly(A1 tier), you can pause the the capacity for cost saving. You won't be charged if the capacity is paused. The product team is working on the correlated APIs so that it will be possible to start/pause the capacity in a programmatically way. Then you'll be able to pause the capacity automatically in off-work hours.


As per your message, i understand that once you have API for Pause, Power BI Embedded's replacement which is Power BI Premium shall be lesser than $750/ month. However, the pricing website for Power BI Premium shows a minimum of $5195 per month when pricing 100 users is checked for.


Can you please explain the low priced option as an ISV to leverage Power BI embedded features for a 100 User group ??

If you are embedding only in another application, you can use an A SKU, but anyone internal using it, needs a pro license.  We are using this model for our customers and we are a fortune 200 company last time I checked.  P SKU is 5K a month.


I would say in the ISV model your option is A sku for ~$750 a month that gives you 3 GB RAM is all.  We had to go to A3 to get any kind of performance $3K/mo, not to mention if you use cubes, and use AAS, we had to rack that up to an S3 otherwise we ran out of memory processing cubes.  And the cubes are not big.  GB's, but less than 10.  You can pause A SKU's and you can do this through Azure portal yourself anytime.  P sku's you have to be a global admin to do it and it's a yearly committment which A SKU is pay as you go.


As per your message the pricing of Power BI Premium, which is replacing Power BI Embedded shall be better that the minimum $750, once the programmatic pause is developed. However, the Pricing page of Power BI Premium ( shows that the minimum pricing say for 100 users per month shall be $5,195 / month.


So from what i understand, as an ISV, we have no option but to spend minimum of $5195 per month. Is that correct ? If not, can you please help me understand what combinations should we use for low usage (less than 100 users) on Azure with data residing on Azure.

Thanks Eric - I was initially critical though the improvement to the product is game changing really, and when the powershell automation kicks in I think that will address almost everyone's concerns. 


It's also significantly easier to manage - workspace collections were a bit of a dog if I'm being honest.



How can this possibly be justified by Microsoft? And what has happened to Azure being pay as you go?


I'm sorry but taking a phone call from a customer and saying "Just a minute whilst I unpause my very expensive reporting server for 1 minute so you can run your report" is not what I would call a particularly constructive work around for this.


With these prices I am utterly appalled. I'm a loyal Microsoft developer and have recommended Azure and Power BI to multiple clients here in Australia. That has now changed.

Helper I
Helper I

You are not mistaken. There has been quite a bit of backlash from the community, check out the following link.


The subtext is that the previous model wasn't viable financially, though that is simply speculation at this point.

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