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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.

You seem to miss the point of everyone's frustrations.  While what you say is true of "what is pro content," some of those items are things that make using PowerBI a total deal breaker for mostly every company out there in one way or another.


For example, RLS.  Consuming a report locked down for security, shouldn't not require the end user to have a pro-liscense! 


I want to automate about 10 Excel reports to avoid manual reporting, and then share truncated data specific to one employees stats and performance without them seeing their peers numbers.  ME having a pro-liscense makes sense to have the ability to lock out their ability to filter the report/dashboard to a co-worker.  For them to read it?  Insanity!


Microsoft would probably see a higher drive in adoption of pro subscriptions if they allowed view only access to all users of any reports created with pro features.  Consumption is very different from collaboration or content creation. 


The pro liscense truly should be based upon a user's ability to create not consume.  This would be like charging an extra $10 a month to everyone in an organization to read a read only word document on top of their O365 subscription.  In my org, where we have 60,000+ employees, if MS thinks we would pay $600,000 a MONTH for the privalge of reading a report, they are out of their bloody minds.


In the above scenario, we will spend $0.  If they allowed consumption of reports made with pro liscense, we might have a thousand users a month who would be able to have a pro liscense.  That would be revenue vs. no revenue, and it seems to be a consensus as these things keep coming up.


We are already paying for 40,000 O365 subscriptions....


No more thoughts as i already shared them.



I understand the "fix" is to align with documentation, but I still don't understand the design choice behind this (other than money obviously).


To use a web-analogi:

If I store my website on my personal server where only I have access, I can administrate it free of charge, and likewise the visitors can view the site free of charge.

If I instead stored my website on a corporate server, I'd need to pay for a pro-license, and so would all other admins and web-developers working on the particular site. But the visitors should not need to pay(?)


This is the case with Tableau where only developers and admins need to pay, not every single end-user.


Advocate I
Advocate I

This is unaccepatable. As if the messaging from MS and Power BI wasn't confusing enough, you're now telling us that you "fixed" a bug that conflicted with the current wording of the Pro licensing. Shame on you. My org doesn't have the budget (since that closed last month) to upgrade our entire user base to Pro. Now we have to research non-MS solutions to avoid future "fixes". 

Indeed we need the group workspace to work together on the dashboards as developers. It is the only way to back-up eachother in publishing the dashboards.

Now we have to crecreate them on our personal accounts and hope nothing goes wrong in our absense !


Please make a distinction between developing in PRO en consuming the reports. We are willing to pay for developers and super-users, but not for the whole company!

Regular Visitor

Can you help me understand why on Wednesday of last week my users without Pro licenses were able to access reports created in workspaces, but as of Friday of last week they no longer have access to these same reports and are receiving the error message about pro content.


Is there a fix being worked on for these scenarios?

Advocate II
Advocate II

Our organization is up 40/60 split between Pro users and Free users. We use the Group work-space to segregate reports designed for seperate business units and a very small group of us actually do the creating and designing. The group workspaces effectively allow us to deploy the dashboards and most of organization consumes a dashboard currently housed in a group regardless of pro license. This feature has been available to our organization since at least July of last year and we have moved forward with this strategy.

The change, without any heads-up or communication, will cause significant problems with our end users and will require major rework to direct these dashboards to a different workspace. 

Does the Power BI team have a plan for how users will deal with disruption? For example, will we will be able to move dashboards, reports, and datasets to a free workspace? 


Thank you in advance for your insight.


  • Your end users will get 60 days of pro trial access, so they can continue to access your reports during that period.
  • Longer term, you can plan to acquire pro licenses for your end users OR move your reports to you personal workspaces. Note that you cannot collaborate with other authors when your reports are in a personal workspace. You will need to the underlying PBIx file to move the reports from the group workspace to your personal workspace

Hope that helps. 


Senior Program Manager,
Power BI, Microsoft.

Since launching our Power BI iniative in April of last year, this will be the fourth time our end-users have experienced an issue due to a change made by Microsoft without any forewarning on the change.


While I understand there was a need to fix the error in the Licensing logic, the only feedback I'd like to give the Power BI team is to communicate these types of changes in advance (i.e. email to affected organizations, Power BI blog and/or Community). This gives advance notice and also creditability to us power users who publish and share with the organization.


Overall, really pleased with the product and progress the team at Microsoft has made, but a little more communication in advance to releases on service / desktop would be appreciated.

@Bhartman30 We'll communicate in advance in the future. BTW- Your users' can still access their pro content by opting into our 60 day pro trials. 


@MickB - This is because of one of the fixes that we mentioned at the top of this post. Here is the excerpt:


"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."

Senior Program Manager,
Power BI, Microsoft.

How do you plan on communicating so I know where to direct my attention?


A schedule of releases could be helpful, for example. 


Thanks for your responsiveness! 

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Helper I
Helper I


Do you have an status on this?

Hi Igor,

All the fixes have been deployed. So you should be able to see it in your tenant. 

Senior Program Manager,
Power BI, Microsoft.

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