Skip to main content

Will freemium model, new tools, connectivity improvements draw Microsoft Dynamics users to Power BI?

by Jason Gumpert

A sample report from the Microsoft Power BI Public Preview

A sample report from the new Microsoft Power BI public preview

Microsoft has firmed up the details of its new Power BI preview. It includes a range of new connectors, including one for Dynamics CRM Online, new design tools and client apps, and new pricing including a free entry level option.

We looked at some of the capabilities of the new preview version in late December, including the new Dynamics CRM Online connector. The connector relies on the CRM Online OData feed to present new dashboard views with improved data refresh rates. The framework is still limited to standard entities and fields, so its utility in more sophisticated CRM solutions will be limited if taken as-is.

This week's announcement is perhaps more interested for the updated pricing model with free and paid level. In the US, people can now sign up for access to the free version without an Office 365 account.

The current Power BI preview highlights some key decisions in the product's future. More pre-built SaaS connectors (with more to come, including one for Microsoft Dynamics Marketing), an iPad interface, and improved connectivity to on-premise data sources. There is a new Power BI Designer to allow business analysts to model and visualize data, then publish the results to for use by others.

Microsoft also released a preview of Power BI for iPad. They will ...

FREE Membership Required to View Full Content:

Joining gives you free, unlimited access to news, analysis, white papers, case studies, product brochures, and more. You can also receive periodic email newsletters with the latest relevant articles and content updates.
Learn more about us here

About Jason Gumpert

As the editor of, Jason oversees all editorial content on the site and at our events, as well as providing site management and strategy. He can be reached at

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.

More about Jason Gumpert