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Using PowerApps in Office 365 E3

Last Modified: 2019-02-04
We have Office 365 E3 in our organisation, and I'd like to learn more about PowerApps, with a view of using it to create a relatively simple but large (50,000 entries) database of user details.

Where does PowerApps hold its data? I've read up on Common Data Service, but I've read that an extra licence is needed for this. Is this only for those who build/maintain the app, or for all the users as well?

Could the 50,000 customers be created as some kind of contacts within Exchange Online that that I can sent emails to these customers?

Can anyone shed light on what I would need licensing-wise to achieve the achieve the above?

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Solutions Architect
Top Expert 2016
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meirionwylltSenior Desktop Engineer


Hello, thanks for your advice.

"you can just create as mail contact as long as it do not store any data that not privacy related"
- this would include email addresses at the very least, so wouldn't this be classed as privacy related?

"PowerApps Plan 1 for normal user that only use the database"
- Could you tell me which feature of Plan 1 would require this particular licence, rather than the "PowerApps for Office 365" licence?

Is it the following feature?: "Create and run canvas apps built on the Common Data Service for Apps"

Jian An LimSolutions Architect
Top Expert 2016

>> the email address is the most easiest way as along as you classed it will not contain privacy related data. (some might put someone birthday in there for goodness)

The major difference between PowerApps plan 1 and PowerApps for Office 365 is "Create and run canvas apps built on the Common Data Service for Apps" ; your requirement state you want to use CDS.

Between POwerApps plan 1 and plan 2 is model-driven apps.

put it in another context, you don't need to use CDS and choose for a SQL database

there are discussion about this. https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/General-Discussion/CDS-vs-Azure-SQL-Database/td-p/108940
meirionwylltSenior Desktop Engineer


Thank you.

For our requirements, which option do you think - CDS or Azure SQL - would be the best/cheapest for for us?
Jian An LimSolutions Architect
Top Expert 2016

I will ask your developer and see which one they are comfortable with

and Obviously, it also come out on how many users need it.
If you only have a handful of them CDS make sense as you don't need to maintain Azure SQL
but if your total users are high, then Azure SQL will be cheaper

But again, your developer should able to tell you which one is a better state as there might be some developer benefit to use one over the other. Cost should not the only consideration here.

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