Are you happy for anyone in your organisation to decide how much you spend on the Power Platform? Great you can probably skip this blog post.

 For everyone else, we’d suggest that you might want to consider disabling self-service subscriptions to Power BI, Power Apps and Power Automate before it’s released to your tenant on January 14th, 2020. This post will show you exactly how.

A few weeks ago, Microsoft began unveiling their plans to roll out a new self-service subscription model across their Power Platform suite of programs: Power BI, Power Apps and Power Automate (previously known as Microsoft Flow). This approach offers greater flexibility for individual users, allowing them to choose which services they consume. The drawback of this self-service model is the difficulties it imposes upon central functions to oversee, support and budget for the functionality that is being used. It’s very likely that your IT and Finance teams will struggle to maintain control of your tenancy and how much it costs once self-service is enabled.

Self-service was originally scheduled to launch in November, but was postponed to January 2020, as a direct result of the volume of critical feedback from the community; at the time of writing, over 7,000 members of the UserVoice community have petitioned Microsoft to block this self-service purchase system altogether. The reason for the backlash was clear: whilst the change empowers staff, it risks causing many organisations to spend more and have less control over their use of the Power Platform.

If left enabled, users will undoubtedly subscribe to functionality that they may not need, should not have, and probably don’t fully understand. All, of course, while your organisation foots the ever-increasing bill.

Thankfully, Microsoft has been quick to listen to the community by providing a method to disable self-service Power Platform subscriptions in your tenancy. However, you will need to act pretty soon to turn this off, as from the 14th January 2020 self-service will be rolled out in your tenant and staff will start to be able to pay for their own services.   We feel that most organisations will want to make sure that they plan to disable self-service subscriptions over the next few weeks.

How to disable Microsoft Power Platform self-service subscriptions

Open a PowerShell session with the correct permissions and elevation for your tenant. As this feature has not been rolled out in any of the standard PowerShell modules, it requires the installation of a separate ‘MSCommerce’ module. To install and then import this module, you will need to run the following PowerShell commands:

Install-Module -Name MSCommerce

Import-Module -Name MSCommerce

After this has been successful, you will need to connect to your tenant. Enter the following command and be prepared to be enter your credentials when prompted:

Connect-MSCommerce

If you have ensured that the credentials you are using have the correct permissions across your tenancy, you should have now been connected and have received the confirmatory “Connection established successfully! message. You are now able to begin disabling the policies. Do note that in this command, Microsoft has created different policies for the three main programs in the Power Platforms suite – Power Apps, Power BI Pro and Power Automate. Most organisations will wish to disable all three, which I will demonstrate, but there is contingency to disable just one or two if desired. First, enter this command:

Get-MSCommerceProductPolicies -PolicyId AllowSelfServicePurchase

You should be shown the three products contained within the Power Platform suite. You will notice that the PolicyValue on each will, by default, be set to “Enabled”. This will mean that individuals in your organisation will be able to engage in self-service purchases. To disable them, you will need to run the following commands, which will disable self-service subscriptions for Power Apps, Power BI and Power Automate respectively. The three commands you need, which you can copy and paste directly into PowerShell, are below:

Update-MSCommerceProductPolicy -ProductID CFQ7TTC0KP0P -PolicyId AllowSelfServicePurchase -Enabled $False

Update-MSCommerceProductPolicy -ProductID CFQ7TTC0L3PB -PolicyId AllowSelfServicePurchase -Enabled $False

Update-MSCommerceProductPolicy -ProductID CFQ7TTC0KP0N -PolicyID AllowSelfServicePurchase -Enabled $False

You should have received confirmation that these products have been disabled. To check that is the case, we can revisit the command we used earlier. Now, if you run this command:

Get-MSCommerceProductPolicies -PolicyId AllowSelfServicePurchase

You will notice that the “PolicyValue” pane on the right will list all three products with a value of “Disabled”. This means that users of your organisation will not be able to use self-service subscriptions. You are now able to close out of the PowerShell window, and will not be surprised by some potential extra additions to your bill come 14th January 2020, when this feature is set to officially release.

We hope that this has helped explain what this change means and, if necessary, has instructed you how to disable it. If you have any questions about this, or indeed anything else about Microsoft 365, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.