Lesson 2 – Microsoft Fabric Licensing Model

Microsoft Fabric is a unified platform designed for users to access, generate, distribute, and visualize data through a variety of tools. To share and collaborate in it, your company needs a specific type of license (F or P capacity) and at least one per-user license.

Structure of Microsoft Fabric

The core components of Microsoft Fabric include three main sections.
• Tenant
• Capacity
• Workspace

Tenant is the foundation of Fabric structure. It is a domain or an organization that owns and manages the analytics solution. When you sign up for a free, trial, or paid license for a Microsoft online service, a tenant is set up for you. Once you have your tenant, you can add capacities to it.

Capacity is a subset within a tenant. Each capacity is a separate collection of resources for Microsoft Fabric within that tenant. The size of the capacity determines how much computing power you can use.

Workspaces are located within capacities and act as containers for items in Microsoft Fabric. Every Microsoft Fabric user has their own personal workspace called My Workspace. Additional workspaces can be created to facilitate collaboration.
In Microsoft Fabric, when you create or assign workspaces, the type of license decides where you can be hosted and what features you’ll have.

Source: Microsoft learn

Type of Microsoft Fabric Licenses

The types are.

  • Capacity License
  • Per user license

Capacity license

A capacity license is a specific type of license that serves as the foundation for Microsoft Fabric’s infrastructure. It grants you

  • Access to all the features in Microsoft Fabric that are licensed based on capacity, including Data engineering, Data Science, Real- time analytics and Business Intelligence.
  • To create Microsoft Fabric items.
  • Store your items in a workspace and then share them with a user who has the right type of license.

The capacity license comes in different versions (SKUs), each providing a specific level of resources for Microsoft Fabric. You can get this license either by paying as you go or by making a reservation, giving you flexibility in how you obtain it.

Each capacity has different options called Stock Keeping Units (SKUs), and each of these options provides varying levels of memory and computing power. The one you choose depends on the kind of solution you want to use.

Source: Microsoft learn

The Capacity Unit (CU) can be used to understand the computing power of each SKU.

Note: You’ll require a Pro or Premium Per User license or a Power BI trial to access SKUs smaller than F64.If you buy an F2048 via the Azure portal, you won’t be able to access it through the Fabric admin portal.

Per user license
Per user license in Microsoft Fabric is a way to access the features and capabilities of the platform on a per user basis. Three types of individual licenses are

  • Free license allows you to create and share fabric items other than Power BI items. Power Bi items can me created in default workspace (My workspace).  A free license does not have access to the Premium features of Fabric, such as larger capacities, faster refresh rates, paginated reports, and AI capabilities. A free license does not have any cost associated with it.
  • Pro license enables you to create and share fabric items, including Power BI content, within workspaces that have the Pro license mode. This license is priced at $9.99 per user per month. However, it doesn’t grant access to Premium features in Fabric, such as larger capacities, quicker refresh rates, paginated reports, and AI capabilities.
  • Premium per-user (PPU) allows you to create and share fabric items including Power BI content within workspaces that has PPU license. With a PPU license, you also gain access to Premium features in Fabric, such as larger capacities, quicker refresh rates, paginated reports, and AI capabilities. The cost of a PPU license is $20 per user per month.

Source: Microsoft learn