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Self Service Purchasing for Power Platform, Visio and Project, should you keep it enabled or disable the functionality?

In October 2019, Microsoft announced that it would enable end users to buy and manage their own licenses within their corporate account. At that time this “feature” was announced for the Power Platform: PowerApps, Flow (now Power Automate) and Power BI.

After that announcement Microsoft received critical feedback from tenant administrators where eventually Microsoft allowed tenant administrators to disable this functionality using PowerShell, the self-service feature is enabled by default in every tenant though.

Last week, on August 12th Microsoft announced that they will expand this functionality and also allow end users to buy Visio and Project licenses in the same way starting September 15th 2020 (at time of writing in less than a month).

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License requirements for administering Microsoft 365 services

Microsoft licensing is tough and vague but something we must deal with while implementing our solutions. I’m also aware that some of the features I describe on my blog are only available in the most expensive licensing options Microsoft provides, making some of the features I describe not usable for some of my readers.

Update June 23rd 2020: Microsoft has removed the Intune license requirement for administrators, see this blogpost by Peter van der Woude for more information: Quick tip: Allow access to unlicensed admins

If you administer Microsoft 365 services like Azure Active Directory (AzureAD), Exchange Online (EXO), SharePoint Online (SPO), Intune and many other products the license requirements for your administrative accounts are extra vague. I’ve asked Microsoft in December last year to clarify this, but until now no response was given.

There is some fragmented information available in the Microsoft documentation, that in combination with some other information to be found on the internet, like on twitter concludes that the license requirements are indeed very vague and could really use some official documentation from Microsoft to clear things up.

One thing in known, is that when asked about licensing requirements for the online services provided by Microsoft the statement returned is: “When the user benefits from the service, a license is required”

So let’s see what I found available online and see if it makes sense in some way…

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