Do you need pro licensing to administer Power BI Premium?

A recent viewer of my new Pluralsight course had a question about data gateways and Power BI Premium. Specifically, do you need a pro license to install and administer data gateways? The short answer is probably not!

Installing data gateways

So when you install a data gateway, you need to log in as a user to register it with your tenant. Well it turns out that whoever is used there is set as the default admin for that gateway. I created a user with just a power BI free license, and I was able to install and administer that gateway just fine. I was also able to assign it to other gateways that already existed.

So, for normal usage you don’t have to be licensed with pro to setup and configure data gateways. I was honestly a bit surprised by this, but in retrospect is makes sense. Pro licensing is all about consuming reports.

What about Premium?

So, the original question was about Power BI Premium. Unfortunately, there’s no developer tier for me to test on, but I have a few guesses.

First, I reviewed the white paper and the distinction it makes between pro users and infrequent users is about producing versus consuming reports. It doesn’t really talk much about administration from what I could tell. Same thing for the faq:

Do I need Power BI Pro to use Power BI Premium?
Yes. Power BI Pro is required to publish reports, share dashboards, collaborate with colleagues in workspaces and engage in other related activities.

Next, I did some searching, and found a page about capacity admins, but that doesn’t relate to data gateways specifically.

So based on what I found, I would assume that you don’t need a pro license to manage data gateways for premium. I would assume it would be a similar experience to normal Power BI.

One thought on “Do you need pro licensing to administer Power BI Premium?

  1. Gateways are not a Premium thing. Free and Pro users can make use of gateways, can be listed as admins and so on. In fact, a Pro user could setup an On-Premises Data Gateway, setup a data source, list a free user on the Users tab of that data source, and the free user could then take advantage of that for DirectQuery/Live connections or Scheduled Refresh. Premium doesn’t come into the picture for that feature.

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