Licensing Updates: Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform October 2019 changes for API consumption, customization, apps come into focus

September 2 2019

Microsoft plans to introduce a range of licensing updates related to its business applications lineup in October 2019, ranging from all-new packaging for its first party apps to new limitations on cloud consumption in other areas.

A recent high-level statement on the Microsoft Licensing site declares that updates are indeed coming to licensing of Microsoft Dynamics 365, PowerApps, and Flow. In reality, many of the details included had been revealed over the last two months like:

But the language in the new licensing statement calls attention to important aspects of the change as it relates to current and future business apps. For example, some first party application entities will no longer be restricted from use in PowerApps. The case entity will now be available, the article states, with the suggestion that more changes to entity usage and customization via CDS and PowerApps are coming over time.

The article also notes a distinction in how Dynamics 365 users work with PowerApps and Flow, with new restrictions on building "general purpose" apps and flows:

Dynamics 365 subscribers may continue using PowerApps and Flow to extend and customize their Dynamics 365 applications. However, Dynamics 365 Enterprise licenses will no longer include general purpose PowerApps and Flow use rights. Dynamics 365 Enterprise application users can continue to run PowerApps applications within their Dynamics 365 environments, but running PowerApps applications in non-Dynamics 365 environments will require a PowerApps license. An additional Flow license will also be required to run flows that do not map to a Dynamics 365 application.

Microsoft MVP and Dynamics 365 consultant Alex Shlega wrote on his blog that the impact of this change is unclear. But it will require some adjustments. He wrote:

[W]e just need to make sure those Power Apps (model-driven or canvas) are deployed in the Dynamics CDS environments to allow our Dynamics-licensed users work with them. I have a feeling this is a bit of a license hack, so it might not work this way forever…It’s probably more important from the Dynamics-licensed users perspective that they will be loosing [sic] general-purpose Flow use rights.

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About Jason Gumpert

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Prior to co-founding, Jason was a Principal Software Consultant at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), where he implemented solutions, trained customers, managed software development, and spent some time in the pre-sales engineering organization. He has also held consulting positions at CSC Consulting and Monitor Group.

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