Are we allowed to use Power BI Embedded within Dynamics CRM? I’m puzzled!

At this moment I’m doing some research to embed Power BI embedded within CRM. I can hear many of you think “Why bother dude, just use Power BI in your Enterprise 1 plan”.

For large enterprises this is in general financially not a problem. However when you enter the SMB market (and in this market the adaption of Dynamics CRM is growing) every penny counts. And I was wondering if there is some room to save money.

When you look at the Power BI Embedded site, the first thing you notice is the slogan “With Power BI Embedded, you can integrate Power BI reports right into your web or mobile applications.”

Heh, that sounds interesting. Actually Dynamics CRM is a web application. In that regard we should be able to use it.


But then, when you read the pricing page of Power BI Embedded, you’ll find a text that only a bunch of lawyers could have made up:

You may use the Power BI Embedded service in your applications that (1) add primary and significant functionality to our service and are not primarily a substitute for any Power BI service, and (2) are provided for third party use. Power BI Embedded is not intended for use within your organization’s internal business applications unless your internal users are also covered by a Power BI Pro User Subscription License (USL).

* Wut!? * 

If I understand it correctly, I am allowed to use the service within my applications (read Dynamics CRM solutions). But the use of Power BI Embedded can not be a substitute for Power BI. And… the usage is intended for third party use. Oh… and it is not intended for internal business applications.

And in case I intend to use it for internal business applications, the internal users need to be covered as well by a Power BI Pro subscription.

Microsoft, are you kidding me?

When you look at the general product info page, you see that ISV’s like e.g. Nintex use Power BI Embedded within their product.

Thus, if I’m correct as an ISV I’m allowed to build Dynamics CRM solutions containing Power BI Embedded functionality that I sell to my customers? That would mean that my customers are only charged with the usage costs of running the reports, instead of having a regular Power BI Pro subscription license.

Which makes me wonder. If a company decided to develop a custom solution using the same functionality, they are not allowed to do this unless they pay the Power BI Pro Subscription license as well. My gut feeling tells me that this doesn’t feel right.

For SMB companies every penny counts, Power BI Embedded would be a great benefit to them as they pay on a usage basis only.

What should I advise my clients?

Technically when I sell them a Dynamics CRM Solution, I sell them an ISV solution. In that regard they can use the Power BI Embedded without needing to have additional licenses. However I think Microsoft will see this in a different perspective.

In my opinion, Microsoft should take another good look at the licensing model, the way it is written at the moment you need to have a degree in law to explain it. And even then you will get multiple answers.

Which one is the correct answer?

I’m puzzled!