Power Platform Licence Guidance

What is Power Platform?

Power Platform on the NHSmail central tenant includes Microsoft’s collection of three products: Power Apps, Power Automate and Power BI. Visit the Introduction to Power Platform page for more information.

What is included with the E3 Restricted (E3R) licence?

The table below outlines the limited Power Apps, Power Automate and Power BI capabilities available with the E3 Restricted (E3R) User Licences.

For a full summary of the E3R User Licences use rights visit the Microsoft Power Platform Licencing Guide.

Power Apps
Feature Included with E3R Licences?
Run Unlimited Custom Canvas Apps
Connect to data source in O365 or directly with O365 application using Standard Connectors
Power Automate use rights (See Power Automate with O365 section)

See below for more information regarding Power Apps Subscriptions.

 

Power Automate

Feature Included with E3R Licences?
Execute any Automated, Instant, and Scheduled flows
Connect to data source in O365 or directly with O365 application using Standard Connectors

See below for more information regarding Power Automate Subscriptions.

Power BI Free

Feature Included with free download?
Create and View Dashboards & Reports
Power BI Desktop
Access via mobile Devices
Consume Curated Content Packs (Dynamics, Salesforce, Google Analytics)
Import from Excel, CSV, and Power BI desktop Files
Publish to Web

See below for more information regarding Power BI Subscriptions.

Please note that you do not need a licence to get started with Power BI. You can download the Power BI Desktop application for free from Microsoft. However, you will require a standalone licence to integrate with certain functionalities, such as Office 365, exports to PowerPoint or report data to CSVs.

The latest information on Power Platform licensing can be found on the Microsoft Power Platform Licencing Guide. Further information below outlines the licences available to utilise on the central tenant.

Types of Power Platform licences available

You can purchase licences for Power Apps, Power Automate and Power BI to use on the central tenant. Once purchased, the standalone licences are available as add-ons to the standard capability provided by E3R licences.

Note
Not all Power Platform capabilities are currently supported on the central tenant. Visit the Power Platform Capability Overview for more information.

More information on Power Platform licences

Prior to purchasing Power Platform standalone licences, it is important to consider what you would like to do and which technology you need to use.

Contact your local trusted Microsoft licensing specialist or reseller who can help determine which licences are most suitable for your organisation’s needs.

For more information on supported Power Platform licences please contact feedback@nhs.net.

Please contact your local IT or Procurement team to be introduced to your organisation’s Microsoft reseller or licensing specialist resource.

Power Apps subscriptions

Power Apps is a low code/no code application platform that allows users to quickly build business applications. For more information on how to use Power Apps please see here.

Supported standalone Microsoft Power Apps licences can be purchased in following ways:

  1. Power Apps per app plan:
  • Allow individual users to run applications for a specific business scenario based on the full capabilities of Power Apps.
  • Allows a user to access 2 apps within one environment. These licences are applied to environments and not individual users.
  • If more than 2 apps are shared from one environment, or one app is shared from an additional environment, additional Per App licences will need to be purchased.
  1. Power Apps per user plan:
  • Equip users to run unlimited applications based on the full capabilities of Power Apps.

For more information contact your trusted Microsoft reseller or visit the Microsoft Licencing Guide.

Power Automate subscriptions

Power Automate allows users to create automated workflows between applications and services. For more information on how to use Power Automate please see here.

If advanced Power Automate functionalities are required, a standalone licence may need to be purchased. There are limited Power Automate capabilities that can be used by O365 licences and Power App plans.

Supported standalone Microsoft Power Automate licences can be purchased in following ways:

  1. Power Automate per user plan:
  • Allow individual users to create unlimited flows based on their unique needs.
  • Business Process Flows.
  • Premium and custom connectors.
  • On premises data gateway.
  1. Power Automate per flow plan:
  • Implement flows with reserved capacity in which an unlimited number of users can access them.
  • A minimum of 5 per flow licences is required in any purchase, which are assigned to an environment.
  • To build more than 5 flows for an environment or to build a flow in a different environment, then additional Power Automate per flow licences need to be purchased.
  1. Power Automate per flow plan:
  • Allow individual users to create unlimited flow for API-based automation plus automate legacy applications with desktop flows through Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and AI.
  • Business Process Flows.
  • Attended Desktop Flows.
  • Ability for users to run an attended RPA bot on their workstations.
  • Premium and custom connectors (desktop flow connector included).
  • On premises data gateway.
  • Includes access to AI Builder capacity in support of scenarios like forms processing, object detection, prediction, text classification and recognition, and more. 5,000/month included AI builder service credits.
  • Desktop flow authoring, bot orchestration and management are included.
  • The bot must operate concurrently with the user on the same workstation; the bot can run more than one discrete processes (desktop flows), but each process must be serialised to run sequentially.
  • Please note running an RPA bot in an unattended scenario requires the addition of the Power Automate unattended RPA add-on (which is not currently supported on the NHSmail tenant but is being looked at). Please reach out to feedback@nhs.net if you would like to find any more details.

For more information contact your trusted Microsoft reseller or visit the Microsoft Licencing Guide.

Using Power Automate with a Power Apps subscription

You can use Power Automate with your Power Apps subscription if you are creating flows within your Power Apps application.

Power Apps licences (Per App Plan and Per User Plan) include some Power Automate use rights for the purpose of automating workflows within Power Apps.

For both triggers and actions, flows included within a Power Apps application can connect to:

  • Any data source within the use rights of the Power Apps application.
  • Directly with the Power Apps application (via built in trigger/action).

To create a Flow outside of Power Apps, a standalone Power Automate licence will need to be purchased.

Power BI subscriptions

Power BI is a suite of business analytics tools that can be used to deliver insights. Connect to hundreds of data sources, simplify data preparation and drive ad-hoc analysis. Produce custom reports, then publish them for your organisation to consume on the web and across mobile devices. For more information on how to use Power BI please see here.

Supported standalone Microsoft Power BI licences can be purchased in three ways:

  1. Power BI Free
    • Allows individuals to use Power BI service, connect to data and create reports and dashboards exclusively in their own workspace.
  1. Power BI Pro
    • Allows individuals to use Power BI service, publish content to other workspaces, share dashboards, subscribe to dashboards and reports, share with users who have a Pro licence.
  1. Power BI Premium
    • Power BI Premium capacity-based licence reduces the requirement for Power BI Pro licences for both creators and consumers of content. The Premium plans provide the capacity and entitlement for the consumers of content, with only the creators requiring the Power BI Pro User licence. Creators may publish content, share dashboards, subscribe to dashboards and reports, share with users in workspaces that are assigned to Premium capacity.

Please note that Power BI uses a place called Workspace to store dashboards, reports, workbooks, datasets, and dataflows, which is separate from the environments used for Power Apps and Power Automate. For more information on Power BI Workspace visit the Power BI Guidance Docs.

For more information contact your trusted Microsoft reseller or visit the Power BI Microsoft Licensing Docs.

Power Virtual Agents

Power Virtual Agents (PVA) in Teams is available to users who have a Office365 Teams license. Everyone in a Team has access to the bots created using PVA in Teams and can be shared with other users by adding them to the Team.

For the latest information on current limits please view the PVA limits website.

Purchasing Power Platform licences

NHSmail Power Platform minimum licencing requirements

To create a dedicated Power Platform environment for your organisation, a minimum purchase of licences is required.

The minimum purchase is any combination of the supported licence types listed below that equate to 1GB of capacity, so that an environment can be created.

You can mix and match Power Apps and Power Automate licences in your purchase but purchases below 1GB will not be enough to create an environment. Additionally, if you require Power Automate per flow licences, there is a minimum of 5 licences required in your purchase.

Power Platform Licence Type Dataverse (previously CDS) Database Capacity provided Minimum licensing requirement Minimum number of licences required to meet 1GB requirement
Power Apps per user 250MB >1GB 4 or more
Power Apps per app 50MB >1GB 20 or more
Power Automate per user 250MB >1GB 4 or more
Power Automate per flow

(Note – Microsoft requires a minimum of 5 per flow licences in any purchase)

50MB >1GB 20 or more
Power Automate per user with attended RPA plan 250MB >1GB 4 or more

A few helpful examples are outlined below:

Scenario 1:

A Local Administrator (LA) wants to purchase licences to create an environment on behalf of their organisation.

After speaking to their trusted Microsoft reseller, the LA purchases:

  • 3 Power Apps per user licences (250MB each)
  • 5 Power Automate per flow licences (50MB each)

The database capacity for the purchase above is 750MB and 250MB and respectively, which meets the 1GB capacity needed for a new environment for their organisation. It also meets the minimum requirement of 5 Power Automate per flow licences.

Scenario 2:

A Local Administrator (LA) has already purchased 15 Power Apps per app licences, equating to 750MB of capacity. This does not meet the minimum licensing requirement and more licences need to be included in this purchase to reach the 1GB requirement.

Onboarding Power Platform licences to the central tenant

Once your licences have been purchased, you must first onboard your licences to the central tenant.Please follow the steps outlined in the Onboarding Guide for Local Administrators – O365 Licence Onboarding (with the Order Confirmation Email as an attachment) to submit an onboarding request via the NHSmail Helpdesk Self-Service page. Please note that Power Platform licence purchases do not contain the activation email.

If you have any issues with the process above, please raise an incident ticket via NHSmail Helpdesk Self-Service page, or email the NHSmail helpdesk (helpdesk@nhs.net) with the subject: ‘Onboarding Request Issue’.

If you have purchased additional licences from your trusted Microsoft reseller, please follow the steps outlined above to onboard them to the central tenant.

Once the ticket is closed, the licences will be available in the central tenant. Below is an illustration of the next steps:

Next steps for “per app” or “per flow” licences:

Prior to your ticket being closed, if your licence is a “per app” or “per flow” licence, an additional step will take place to allocate it to your organisation’s dedicated environment if it already exists and you have provided the environment name in the onboarding request.

If you need to create a new dedicated environment for the licences, please see the Power Platform Environments guidance on requesting a Power Platform environment via NHSmail Helpdesk Self-Service once the licences are available in the central tenant.

Next steps for “per user” licences:

Once your “per user” licences are available in the central tenant, you will be able to assign them to users via the NHSmail Portal. Please see the section Assigning “Per User” licences to users below for further information on how to complete this task.

Power BI

Licence onboarding is not required for Power BI Free. You can get started with Power BI free through the Microsoft Power BI website and by asking your Local Administrator to enable the policy toggle on the NHSmail Portal. For more information on how to use Power BI please see here.

Power BI Pro and Power BI Premium can be requested by contacting your trusted Microsoft reseller (LSP). These licences will then follow the steps outlined in the O365 Onboarding Guide for Local Administrators process with the same mandatory information required in the above section Purchasing Power Platform licences.

A workspace for Power BI Pro can only be created by creating a MS Team via the NHS portal and everyone in the Team will have access to the workspace.

Power BI premium gives premium capacity which can be requested via Helpdesk once the licenses are onboarded on the tenant. This capacity once created can be managed by the Trust LA/requested users and assigned to the workspace. This capacity is licensed via a subscription license which has an expiry date – this date “should” be relayed to the LA when the license is purchased and the license will expire if not renewed 30 days after this date.

Assigning Power App and Power Automate licences

Once Power Apps and Power Automate licences have been purchased and applied to the central tenant, licences can be assigned to environments or users within the organisation. Please see the section Onboarding Power Platform licences to the central tenant above to learn more about this process.

Assigning “Per App” or “Per Flow” licences to environments

The following licence types can be assigned to your organisations dedicated environment:

  • Power Apps per app
  • Power Automate per flow

Licences may be assigned to environments in two ways:

  1. The environment already exists: if the environment already exists, licences can be assigned through the process of Onboarding Power Platform licences to the central tenant explained above.
  2. A new dedicated environment needs to be created: if you need to create a new dedicated environment for the licences, please see the Power Platform Environments guidance on requesting a Power Platform environment via NHSmail Helpdesk Self-Service once the licences are available in the central tenant.

Assigning “Per User” licences to users

The following licence types can be assigned to users within the NHSmail Portal:

  • Power Apps per user
  • Power Automate per user

To assign a licence to a user, follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Visit the NHSmail Portal, navigate to “User Policies” and then select an existing policy or create a new policy.
  2. Select the relevant licences from the list of Power Platform licences available on the portal.
    Note: the date indicates the licence expiration date

3. Once selected, these will be added to the policy.
Note: all licences selected will be applied to users added to the policy.

4. Add or import the user to the policy to apply the licences.

Assigning “Power Automate Per Flow” licences to Power Automate

Once “Per Flow” licences have been purchased, applied to the central tenant, and assigned to an organisation’s dedicated environment, an LA needs to apply the “Per Flow” plan. To do this, navigate to your flow in the dedicated environment and click on edit. Then select the available per flow option to be applied:

Managing Power Platform licences

Once applied to the central tenant, LAs will manage “Per user” licences through the user policy process detailed above. For more information on viewing, editing or deleting a user policy, please see the User Policy Management support documentation.

Once purchased and applied to the central tenant “Per App” and “Per Flow” licences are applied to organisation’s dedicated environment. It is not possible for an LA to view the quantity of “Per App” and “Per Flow” licences within the Power Platform admin centre. To view the current licence status for your organisation, please send a licence inventory request to the NHSmail Helpdesk.

Licence capacity limits

When planning your Power Platform project, it is important to consider the licence capacity limits associated with each licence type.  Licence capacity limits can be split up into two main parts:

  • API capacity limits
  • Dataverse capacity limits

You can find the capacity reports in the Power Platform admin centre. View our Auditing and Reporting section for more information.

API capacity limits

Application Programming Interface (API) capacity limits are in place to ensure service lines, availability and quality of the Power Platform are not negatively impacted.

For a detailed explanation on Microsoft’s API Capacity limits for Power Platform please visit Microsoft’s Request limits and allocations page and Microsoft’s limits for flows.

It is important to consider these limits whilst planning your project and adjust your applications functionalities accordingly e.g. Workload can be distributed across more than one flow as necessary to avoid being limited by Action request limits, Runtime endpoint request limits or content throughput limits.

Instant flows, which are run on-demand, will use the limits of the account that started the process. On the other hand, workflows or automated/scheduled flows that run in the background will always use the limits of the owner of the process, irrespective of why the process started or what accounts are used for connections inside of the process.

Microsoft Dataverse capacity

Microsoft Dataverse (previously Common Data Service) capacity is made up by a combination of database, file, log and add-on storage capacity. All dedicated organisation environments have a Microsoft Dataverse database which provides storage for your apps.

Please ensure that your environment is within the limits for your entitled capacity for database, log and file. If you have utilised more capacity that you are entitled to, you should buy more capacity or free up capacity by deleting unwanted apps and flows.

Note: it is the Local Administrator’s responsibility to manage the capacity of your dedicated environment including Dataverse storage. Dataverse databases require at least 1GB of database capacity at all times.

For more information on Microsoft Dataverse Capacity please visit this website.

AI Builder

Each AI capability consumes credits at a different rate and more capacity can be purchased as required. Organisations should buy relevant capacity based on expected usage and using this calculator.

More information can be found regarding licensing for AI Builder on the Microsoft AI Builder Licensing website.

Updated on 22/11/2021

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