At the end of the previous year (2020), the new licensing option “Power BI Premium per User was introduced. It started with the possibility to ask for “priority access” for tenants. This phase is over and now every tenant should have the possibility to use the license options.
There are new tenant settings “Premium per user (preview)” and it seems to be a common mistake (according to questions in the Power BI Community) to expect these settings to be the place to “switch on” Premium per user. (I also made this mistake).
Here are four steps that can be used to get Power BI Premium per user up and running:
Step 1: Allow users to try new features
Premium per user is still in preview. It is available in all tenants, but you can’t buy the license yet. It is a 60-days-trial license. To make it possible for the users to claim such a trial license and use it within a tenant, there is an option under “tenant setting” in the Power BI Admin portal.
The description of the option explains that you can upgrade from Power BI free to Power BI Pro, and from Power BI Pro to Power BI Premium per user.
Step 2: Upgrade your license
If you click on the Icon representing your account at the top on the right side of the Power BI portal, a context menu appears. It gives you the option to upgrade your license. Depending on what license you have (free or Pro) it offers you to go one license level higher. So you might need to upgrade twice to get from free to Premium per user.
Step 3: Enable Premium per user in Workspace settings
Once there is a user with a Premium per user license in a tenant, the workspace settings allow to switch a standard workspace to a Premium per user workspace. This switch is disabled if no user has such a license!
(don’t get confused: the name “Premium per User WS” is just my workspace name, not something that is coming from the software)
Step 4: Check or modify tenant settings “Premium per user”
As I wrote in the header of this blog post, this setting can lead to the (wrong) expectation that this would be the initial step to get all this running. However, as I showed before by explaining the steps 1-3, the tenant setting are rather the final step – or you don’t need it at all.
So the tenant settings in the Admin portal have a new section “Premium per user (preview). You might want to change some default settings here. I especially suggest to look at the settings for the XMLA Endpoint. The default is “Read”. I use Visual Studio with Power BI models, so I need to switch it to Read Write.