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Does Power BI Report server require annual user licensing?

With the Report Server model, my assumption is that I can install PBI Report Server locally and have my report-creation users download Power BI Desktop at no additional cost.  Past the cost of SQL Server Enterprise, to run PBI Report Server, are there any other costs involved with setting up a Power BI Report Server environment? 


For example, would there be any per-user licensing involved (is there still a need for Power BI Pro or Power BI Premium yearly licenses if we are only working locally with Report Server)?  Also, it sounds like Power BI Report Server is provided free to those with existing agreements for SQL Server Enterprise edition.  




Hi @pbiwork,


If you already have a SQL Server Enterprise SA agreement, you can get your Report Server product key from the Volume Licensing Service Center. There is no other costs to set up a Power BI Report Server environment.


If you need to publish Power BI report from desktop to PBI Report Server, the report publisher should have a Power BI Pro account.


Best regards,

Yuliana Gu

Community Support Team _ Yuliana Gu
If this post helps, then please consider Accept it as the solution to help the other members find it more quickly.

Could you help me to better understand why a user would need a Pro account to publish to a local PBI Report Server?  My current understanding is that any of my users can install Power BI Desktop (version designed for Report Server), create reports with it, and then upload/publish those reports to the PBI Report Server. 


What added benefit/functionality would a Power BI Pro account offer?



I reached out to Power BI. At first they told me the same thing. "You need a Power BI Pro license to publish" and I had the same questions you did. I need a cloud license to publish to on premise? There is too much confusion out there. After the first email I received the following minutes later. YOU DO NOT NEED ADDITIONAL LICENSES FOR PBIRS IF YOU HAVE SQL ENTERPRISE WITH SOFTWARE ASSURANCE. I feel like too many people out there are unnecessarily paying for a pro license . 



PBI license.JPG

This is documented here


The second paragraph clearly says: 

If you publish Power BI reports to Power BI Report Server, you also need a Power BI Pro license. You don't need a Power BI Pro license to view and interact with Power BI reports on Power BI Report Server.

Not applicable

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