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Gateway Service - SQL Server CAL requirements Power BI Pro / SharePoint Online

Hi there:


I am trying to determine the CAL licensing requirements for SQL Server, when a number of users view an embedded Power BI report in SharePoint Online.  The tricky part here is that the underlying data source for the Power BI report is scheduled to refresh daily, and pulls data from a local SQL Sever database via the On-Premise Data Gateway Service.  All of the users are licensed with Power BI Pro.


It seems like this could be a multiplexing scenario, which means we would need a CAL for each individual user, but that seems odd since the gateway service is actually making the connection to the database on a scheduled basis.


Here's what I was reading on the multiplexing scenario:


Any help would be greatly appreciated.


--Justin H.

New Member

Same question.  Logic says PBI Gateway is one connection to SQL server to source data i.e. 1 CAL.  The question of downstream users does not apply or does it.  Microsoft/anybody please enlighten.

Frequent Visitor

Almost three years later... I have the exact same question.


Someone here got this information?



Hi @justinhca,

To my knowledge, why do you need a CAL for each individual user? You just need to give all the uses access to get data from SQL Server. Then the uses can create report and publish it to service, configure schedule refresh and embedded Power BI report in SharePoint Online, all of those operations are not related SQL Server. The uses do it in Power BI desktop, service and sharepoint online. The only permission is to access SQL Server data if you want to users use the data. Please review the following articles for further analysis.

How to configure Power BI report scheduled refresh
Embed with report web part in SharePoint Online

Best Regards,

Not applicable

Hi - so what is the licensing requirement if you use an On Premises Data Gateway with the SQL Server + CAL licensing model? Do you require just 1 CAL for the gateway machine, then all the Power BI Pro users do not require any license? I've also read the Multiplexing information and whilst I don't think it applies to PowerBI I would like to be sure before we decide which path to take for SQL licensing. Thanks

I have the exact same questions.. How did you end up solving your issue?

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