Apps vs Workspaces for sharing data

Hello. My company just purchased a company. I will be building Power BI dashboards and reports for them soon. They have 120 employees. I want to find the most efficient way of sharing reports with them. I have never dealt with Apps before. Until now, I create and share dashboards that link to various reports or just share the reports with various people in the organization. Everyone in our organization that has power bi access now has a 9.99 monthly license. We have around 60 total currently. I watched a video talking about you can set-up viewers of the reports that don’t need a 9.99 a month license. Is this true? This could save us money, especially when we add in this new company. Does anyone have advice on what I should do…create apps or “power apps”?, whatever those are. Or just stick with sharing dashboards and reports with a lot of people. Can they be just viewer and save money?

Where can I find out information on how to best manage this?

Hi @Usates,

Here is a Microsoft page with some info about publishing an app in Power BI.

The best choice depends, but here below I have pasted a selection from the Microsoft page that is important.

To create or update an app, you need a Power BI Pro license. For app consumers , there are two options.

  • Option 1 The workspace for this app is not in a Power BI Premium capacity: All business users need Power BI Pro licenses to view your app.

  • Option 2 The workspace for this app is in a Power BI Premium capacity: Business users without Power BI Pro licenses in your organization can view app content. However, they can’t copy the reports, or create reports based on the underlying datasets. Read What is Power BI Premium? for details.

Hope it helps.


Thanks for the information.

You said “Here is a Microsoft page with some info about publishing an app in Power BI.”, but I see no links. Could you supply the link please? Thank you!

Oops sorry @Usates, here it is:

I am not going to speak about the best course of action in order to save the money.
I will talk about the difference between workspaces and apps though. Power BI workspace is where reports, datasets and dashboards are saved. It is also where you schedule refreshes. I suggest that only the ones that develop and collaborate on reports have access to workspace. It is also a good idea to keep reports of similar content in the workspace.

App, on the other hand, is primarily geared towards the users. It contains the set of reports from a particular workspace.

Let’s assume your company sells on Amazon. Amazon provides you with the data. You have four Amazon reports in your workspace: Inventory Report, Weekly Snapchat, etc.

An app would combine all these reports together.

You may also want to go and vote requesting a lite power bi pro license. For small companies, the cost does grow exponentially especially since the power bi pro does not support paginated reporting.
Vote link

the other thing you may want to look into - other than power bi pro and premium capacity node is using Power BI Embedded capacity [purchased through Azure]

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