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Microsoft Employee
Microsoft Employee

Fixes to Power BI Pro License Required Dialogs

A Power BI Pro license is required to view dashboards or reports that contain Pro content. In some cases, our enforcement of this licensing logic caused confusion about whether content was Pro or not.  We are releasing several fixes that make this experience more consistent for users.


Please note that there is no change to our licensing policy - the conditions for what is Pro content, which continue to remain the same.
The fixes are as follows:

  • Dashboards and reports created in Group Workspaces that were subsequently shared to other users without Pro licenses did not trigger the standard License Required Dialog. Instead there was a  non-standard treatment of this Pro content for viewers without Pro licenses.  We have fixed this issue, so these consumers will now see the standard 'License Required' dialog that is consistent with other Pro content scenarios.


  • In some circumstances, users that attempted to view Pro content without a Pro license saw the standard License Required Dialog, but upon closing the dialog saw partial content, causing confusion about whether a license was required.  We have fixed this issue, so these viewers will no longer see any Pro content if they do not have a Pro license.


  • In some circumstances, direct links to reports that contained Pro content did show the standard 'License Required' dialog for users without Pro.  We have fixed this issue, so these viewers will see the standard 'License Required' dialog.



Senior Program Manager,
Power BI, Microsoft.

@Mardin sorry there is little trick, every one who export to excel/PowerPoint, needs to be pro too,

friends, the damage is done, maybe we need to start asking what's the alternative.

maybe the best solution is the old school solution  SQL server/Tabular and Excel as a front end, unless you want a mobile solution ?

Tableau desktop is very competitive too, 1 license for developper, unlimited viewers ?

Impactful Individual
Impactful Individual

Hi @mim,


Regarding Tableau with 1 license and unlimited viewers... Is exactly the same as creating a Power BI Desktop template and sharing it with unlimited users. You store your data file on your network drive and Power BI Desktop is used as your viewer. 


Tableau will result in you being out of pocket by $1500 when you can do exactly the same for free in Power BI.



Impactful Individual
Impactful Individual

Hi @mim,


Do you realise that Tableau server is significantly more expensive ? I did costing for 300 users. Power BI will cost us $50k p/yr for PREMIUM, which is scalable up to about 1600 users.


Tableau, on the other hand, is about $400k for 300 users. Not sure how much they charge for 1600 users. Ongoing fees are 20% each year. Also, Tableau is not an Enterprise reporting solution. It's standalone and doesn't integrate with Microsoft (Azure, Office, Dynamics, Sharepoint etc) products like Power BI can.


I am not defending Microsoft. I am upset with the changes myself because. I have done a lot of due diligence and tested many products before hand.



@djnww I know about Tableau server cost, I am talking about  the combination of Tableau desktop/reader.


here is my take, I think this whole new BI solutions are overrated, why really every one needs real time, web based solution, from my experience not all users need this kind of sophistications, 90 % are happy with static PDF, I struggled with users just to tell them how to click on a slicer.


I am just a business users, and what i am pushing for the next BI solution is SSAS Tabular Standard and Excel as a visualisation layer, and if some users want to see those fancy cross highliting charts they can use PowerBI desktop.


ps : PowerBI desktop do not print, show stopper!!, Tableau reader do print.

Impactful Individual
Impactful Individual

Hi @mim,


Agree about the printing bit. Printing in Power BI Desktop is in development. Hopefully it comes soon.




@djnww do you have any inside knoweldge that it coming, it will be a fantastic news

Impactful Individual
Impactful Individual

I do have some inside knowledge. However the print from Desktop feature has 3000 votes in the Power BI ideas forum. It's under review and they had a survey about what features we wanted.
Not applicable

For the moment, the only way I see to share dashboards It's by the method "Publish to web".
But It isn't a safe way.

@Anonymous wrote:

For the moment, the only way I see to share dashboards It's by the method "Publish to web".
But It isn't a safe way.

I was thinking the same thing. 


What I don't understand is why do users have to pay extra for something that comes included in a product that as a user I'm already paying for? I rather have other limitations than the collaboration/sharing feature removed as a free user. It's the center piece of why people (at least in my organization) were attracted to. using it. But now that we are basically forced to pay for subscription just to have sharing capabilities enabled, it feels like alternatives for PowerBi are in the works. 

@djnww  I know distributing reports using web technology is the easiest and most effective way, everything is live, if you change something in the reports, it will automatically propagate to every viewers.


the fundamental problem it is very experience, I know Tableau server/ Qlick Server are expensive, the reason i am very upset is I thought PowerBI will be the product that will change that, unfortunately it is still using the old paradigm. 

I have seen this page:


If I can understand the policy for PowerBI pro is also the same, or is necessary to buy also Power BI Premium, wich is obviously impossible for us ??

@djnww I hope so, anyway Google Data studio will definitely put some pressure on Microsoft. 

Helper II
Helper II

Hi @Ajay,


Thanks for your update about the Pro Content dialog box.


I have a small doubt and curious to know why MS is implementing a pricing model where the users have to get a Pro License just to view the reports.


Please provide some update on the same, we are not looking for free solutions. But we are looking for a solution where it's mandatory for developer to pay and get Pro license and users can view for free like other platforms (Tableau).



Impactful Individual
Impactful Individual

I am growing quite tired of waiting for a response. Even my Microsoft contacts agree that these licensing changes are not corporate friendly.


I created a new Idea regarding the licensing issue. If you would like to vote, please go here:





Hi @djnww,


Thanks for the support and understanding the concerns. Let's hope MS Power BI would not disappoint us.


Upvoted your idea.




New Member

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Frequent Visitor

Has this topic's problems been on hold forever?

@bisupportMS is just ignoring this.

Advocate I
Advocate I

Interesting discussion. A couple of additional thoughts.


--This explains why we were so darned confused in the beginning about what kind of licenses we needed. The documentation and the tool WERE in conflict. No wonder. Those are hours our team will never get back.


--It does raise the question of whether we were double-crossed. We sunk a lot of time and energy into working with a product at one price, and now we're going to have to pay a substantial price increase to keep using it. We naturally wonder whether the disconnect between what the tool would allow and what the documentation said was intentional.


--We have found Power BI to be glitchy, but we've been willing to put it up with it because the pricing model was so much better than Tableau's. We felt like we were supporting a well intentioned development team. When we have to buy everyone pro licenses, we'll be much less generous with our good will. I doubt we'll use the tool for the long term now.


--The pricing model may still work for small organizations looking to avoid large upfront costs. But they have to be pretty small.


--The idea that documentation should trump what the tool allows is ridiculous.


--The idea that a shared workspace is a pro feature is ridiculous. Collaboration is a requirement of tools like Power BI. You would not want it to be the domain of a single person!



Super User
Super User

@Ajay ok so I just  need some clarification here.


If i have a report, that updates 1 x day using the gateway to do a scheduled refresh of the data into an imported model from a sql server database/ cube, that sits in a shared workspace would i need a pro license for this?

If I took the time to answer your question and I came up with a solution, please mark my post as a solution and /or give kudos freely for the effort 🙂 Thank you!

Proud to be a Super User!

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