[Et al.] Understanding UiPath Licensing Compared to Power Platform Licensing

Level of Difficulty: Beginner – Senior.

As a follow-on from the post written comparing UiPath to the Microsoft Power Platform, this post aims to unpack the different licenses and licensing strategies implemented by the two different vendors. Since both are leaders in the automation space, it is apt to understand both when evaluating the feasibility of each for the implementation of either platform within an environment.

High-Level Differences in Approach

Microsoft are relying heavily on utilising existing user licenses as part of the Power Platform with limited functionality. Since Microsoft dominates the market for their Microsoft 365 offering that allows users access to Word, Excel, Outlook, SharePoint, etc. it has become intertwined with their approach to drive adoption among citizen developers and allow organisations an opportunity to minimise cost to an extent. The complexity starts to become apparent when considering how Power BI licensing differs slightly from the rest of the Power Platform licensing. A user would need some form of licensing to actually start developing processes, apps or chatbots whereas the same user could download Power BI Desktop for free and start developing reports locally. The user would only need a license when publishing a report or consuming an online report.

The UiPath licensing approach is somewhat different – UiPath is very much driven from the Automation Cloud with the inclusion of the Orchestrator which allows organisations to orchestrate all automation-related operations. On-Prem or cloud orchestration options are now included in the user and robot-specific licensing options, meaning that clients no longer need to purchase an orchestrator separately. Users can install UiPath Studio or UiPath Studio X Community for free to play around with the functionality and understand how it all fits together. Within an organisation, users would need to download UiPath Studio/Studio X from the Automation Cloud for which they would need a license before being able to sign in. The difference between the licensed version and community version is essentially the license applied to the Automation Cloud. Users can use a community version of the Automation Cloud which has a limited lifespan of approximately three years.

Brace for the complexity that is licensing – for not one… but two different platforms.

Microsoft Power Platform Licensing

Before we begin trying to understand the Power Platform licensing, let’s take a look at what all is encapsulated within the Power Platform and group the different licensing approaches accordingly:

Based on the above, Power BI licensing and administration is kept somewhat separate from the rest of the Power Platform. There are multiple ways that Power Platform artefacts can be licensed – with specific focus on Power Apps and Automate flows. The two main categories of licensing are:

  • User-based licensing: utilising a license already assigned to a user to interact with and create content on the Power Automate environment.
  • Flow/App-based licensing: utilising a license specifically allocated to a flow or app to create Power Automate flows.

Each license is subject to limitations and restrictions in terms of connector access, AI builder access, Dataverse capacity and number of actions that can be executed in a day. All of these are summarised below:

LicenseNumber of Action Execution (API calls) Limits per DayStandard ConnectorsPremium ConnectorsRPA AttendedAI Builder CreditsDataverse Database CapacityDataverse File capacity
Power Automate per Flow Plan (5 flows/month)Actual Limit: 250 000/flow
Transition Period Limit – 500 000/flow
IncludedIncludedNot IncludedNot Included50MB200MB
Power Automate per User PlanActual Limit: 40 000/flow
Transition Period Limit – 100 000/flow
IncludedIncludedNot IncludedNot Included50MB200MB
Power Automate per User with Attended RPA PlanActual Limit: 40 000/flow
Transition Period Limit – 100 000/flow
IncludedIncluded1 Bot Included500050MB200MB
Microsoft 365 PlanActual Limit: 6 000/flow
Transition Period Limit – 10 000/flow
IncludedNot IncludedNot IncludedNot IncludedNot IncludedNot Included
Power Apps per User PlanActual Limit: 40 000/flow
Transition Period Limit – 100 000/flow
IncludedSupportedNot IncludedNot Included250MB2GB
Power Apps per App PlanActual Limit: 6 000/flow
Transition Period Limit – 10 000/flow
IncludedSupportedNot IncludedNot Included50MB400MB
Dynamics Team MemberActual Limit: 5 000/flow
Transition Period Limit – 100 000/flow
IncludedSupportedNot IncludedNot IncludedNot IncludedNot Included
Dynamics 365 ProfessionalActual Limit: 40 000/flow
Transition Period Limit – 100 000/flow
IncludedSupportedNot IncludedNot IncludedNot IncludedNot Included
Dynamics 365 Enterprise ApplicationsActual Limit: 40 000/flow
Transition Period Limit – 100 000/flow
IncludedSupportedNot IncludedNot IncludedNot IncludedNot Included
Windows LicensesNot IncludedNot IncludedLimited RPA via PAD onlyNot IncludedNot IncludedNot Included
Power Platform Licensing

There is also a pay-as-you-go option available for Power Automate but it is not recommended without specific reason. Currently, business users who are equipped with a Microsoft 365 license entitles them to the capabilities, limits and restrictions of the Microsoft 365 plans.

Performance Profiles

Power Platform artefacts have different limits depending on their performance profile. Performance profiles are subject to the license that is being used to license a flow/user. All users who are equipped with a M365 license is encapsulated in the Microsoft 365 plans – therefore business users will make use of the existing license. IT may opt to rather use the per flow plans or per user plans to license the artefacts they create on the Power Platform.

As per the table below business user flows sit in the low performance profile with the utilisation of the M365 license. This can change with IT using either a per user or per flow license, which would push the licensed flow into the medium or high-performance profile category.

Performance profilePlans
Low– Free
Microsoft 365 plans
– All license trials
– Dynamics 365 Team Member
– Microsoft Power Apps for Developer
Medium– Power Apps triggered flows & child flows
– Power Apps per user Plan
Power Automate per user Plan
– Dynamics 365 Enterprise plans
– Dynamics 365 Professional plans
– Dynamics 365 non-licensed and application users
HighPower Automate per flow plan
Power Platform Performance Profiles

Power BI Licensing

Power BI has multiple different licenses attached to the product – the two main license types are Power BI Pro and Power BI Premium. All business users who are equipped with a Microsoft E5 license has Power BI Pro license included. Power BI Premium contains additional features and functionality over Power BI Pro, as detailed below:

FeaturePower BI ProPower BI PremiumPower BI Premium per capacity
Mobile app access
Mobile app accessXXX
Publish reports to share and collaborateXX –
Paginated (RDL – Report Definition Language) reportsXXX
Consume content without a per-user license  X
On-premises reporting with Power BI Report Server X
Data prep, modelling, and visualization
Model size limit1 GB100 GB400 GB
Refresh rate8/day48/day48/day
Connect to more than 100 data sourcesXXX
Create reports and visualizations with Power BI DesktopXXX
Embed APIs and controlsXXX
AI visualsXXX
Advanced AI (text analytics, image detection, automated machine learning) –XX
XMLA endpoint read/write connectivity –XX
Dataflows (direct query, linked and computed entities, enhanced compute engine) XX
Datamart creation –XX
Governance and administration
Data security and encryptionXXX
Metrics for content creation, consumption, and publishingXXX
Application lifecycle management XX
Multi-geo deployment management – –X
Bring your own key (BYOK) – –X
Auto scale add-on availability – X
Maximum storage10 GB/user100 TB100 TB
Power BI Licensing Comparison

Dataverse Limitations

Every tenant with a Power Apps license gets default capacity. In addition, for each license there’s additional capacity (pooled) added to the tenant.

Power Apps capacity LimitsPer license entitlement (Power Apps per app plan)Per license entitlement (Power Apps per user plan)
Dataverse Database Capacity+ 50 MB+ 250 MB
Dataverse Log Capacity+ 0+ 0
Dataverse File Capacity+ 400 MB+ 2 GB
Dataverse Capacity Limits – Power Apps

Since flows, as well as certain Power Automate features like approvals, run inside of the Dataverse, every tenant with a Power Automate license gets default capacity. In addition, for each per-user or per-flow license there is additional capacity added to the tenant.

Power Automate capacity Limits+ Per user+ Per flow
Dataverse Database Capacity+ 250 MB+ 50 MB
Dataverse Log Capacity+ 0+ 0
Dataverse File Capacity+ 2 GB+ 200 MB
Dataverse Capacity Limits – Power Automate

Licensing Limitation

All the users of Microsoft Power Platform have limits on the number of requests based on the license they’re assigned. The following table defines the number of requests a user can make in a 24-hour period:

ProductsRequests per paid license per 24 hours
Paid licensed users for Power Platform (excludes Power Apps per App, Power Automate per flow, and Power Virtual Agents) and Dynamics 365 excluding Dynamics 365 Team Member140,000
Power Apps pay-as-you-go plan, and paid licensed users for Power Apps per app, Microsoft 365 apps with Power Platform access, and Dynamics 365 Team Member26,000
Power Automate per flow plan3, Power Virtual Agents base offer, and Power Virtual Agents add-on pack4250,000
Paid Power Apps Portals login200
Licensing Limitations, Based on Licensing Plan

More information is available here and here.

Licensing Recommendations

Business users should use their M365 plan for citizen development and IT should make use of per user plans, attached to service accounts/principals as well as per flow/app plans.

UiPath Plans

In order to understand UiPath’s licensing approach, it is important to understand the products within the UiPath technology stack.

UiPath pricing can be summarised by three major plans:

  • Free Plan: Used by developers/users for personal use, training and exploring the capabilities within the platform. There are no limits on the number of automation runs per user. This license type should typically not be used within a business environment. It is important to note that this plan is not the same as the community license which also allows developers access to the platform for personal use.
  • Pro Plan: Used by smaller departments who may be looking for dedicated support. There is also a Pro Trial available for organisations who would like to understand how the platform functions.
  • Enterprise Plan: Used by large teams using multi-tenancy and more complex organisational structures, also looking for dedicated support and access to more tools on the platform. The full scope of the UiPath platform is offered to Enterprise customers through the internal UiPath sellers or UiPath partners who resell UiPath licensing. The enterprise plan also includes the a-la-carte licenses and large commercial enterprise licensing agreements (ELAs) which see compliant customers received discounted prices on their licensing agreements. The enterprise plan also includes 100 automation express licenses.

Each of the licensing types allow access to different tools and are separate from user licenses and additional bundle purchases (specifically applicable to usage of UiPath Apps, Data Service Units and Document Understanding Units).

See full comparison
of our offerings
FreeProEnterprise
PLATFORMCLOUDCLOUDCLOUD / ON-PREMISES
DISCOVER AUTOMATION OPPORTUNITIES POWERED BY AI AND YOUR PEOPLE
Automation HubX
Task CaptureXXX
Process MiningX
Task MiningX
BUILD AND TEST AUTOMATION QUICKLY, FROM THE SIMPLE TO THE ADVANCED
Automation Express25 free licenses25 free licenses100 free licenses (Cloud only)
StudioXX
Automation OpsXX
Document UnderstandingX
Integration ServiceXXX
MANAGE, DEPLOY, AND OPTIMISE AUTOMATION AT ENTERPRISE SCALE
OrchestratorXXX
Data ServiceXX
Test ManagerX
AI CenterX
InsightsX
RUN AUTOMATIONS THROUGH ROBOTS THAT WORK WITH YOUR APPLICATIONS AND DATA
Automation Cloud RobotsXX
Unattended RobotsXX
Attended RobotsXXX
Test RobotsX
ENGAGE PEOPLE AND ROBOTS AS ONE TEAM FOR SEAMLESS PROCESS COLLABORATION
AppsXX
Action CenterXX
ADMINISTRATION & SUPPORT
Tenants1 Tenant3 TenantsUnlimited Tenants
Standard Support
Additional support options are available Find out more >
XX
UiPath Licensing Comparison

UiPath Express licensing has now also been included for organisations who want to allow for citizen development with less financial burden on the organisation – Jeppe explains it well, in more detail.

For developers who will be using Data Services or Document Understanding, read up on the limitations and the costs for additional unit bundles before designing the solution.

In retrospect, UiPath may seem like the more expensive option but there is a reason for it. Based on the comparison of UiPath and the Power Platform, the difference in price does somewhat justify the means.

Summary

In summary to a rather hefty post filled with some complicated information about the licensing for the two different platforms… Based on the price of a user license and the limitations it is exposed to within the Power Platform, the cost of the per user/per app (or flow) plan even out to some of the per user costs on the UiPath platform which are not exposed to the additional limitations which often result in additional licensing on the Power Platform. The biggest difference in cost between the platforms are the product inclusions of the different plans. Considering the benefits of an orchestrator and the tools made available within the automation cloud, UiPath is a good option for an organisation pursuing an all-inclusive automation platform. In the event that the platform will only run a handful of processes, the organisation may be better off with Power Platform. Ultimately, the costing of Power Platform solutions are highly dependent on their throughput and average number of transactions a day. So if you are hoping to process a few hundred thousand lines and transactions in a day, the cost of your solution may end up equating to the cost of an entire UiPath environment. Designing a solution on the right platform is no easy task and a lot needs to be taken into consideration.

Published by Jacqui Muller

I am an application architect and part time lecturer by current professions who enjoys dabbling in software development, RPA, IOT, advanced analytics, data engineering and business intelligence. I am aspiring to complete a PhD degree in Computer Science within the next three years. My competencies include a high level of computer literacy as well as programming in various languages. I am passionate about my field of study and occupation as I believe it has the ability and potential to impact lives - both drastically and positively. I come packaged with an ambition to succeed and make the world a better place.

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