Excited About PowerBI Embed?

Microsoft now allows you to embed PowerBI charts and dashboards in your custom application. While I was initially excited about this I did notice the pricing is based on renders and seems pretty expensive for an ISV. A comment from Graham Bunce sums it up best:

Glad to finally have this feature but $2.50 per 1K renders is way too high. Most dashboards will have lots of charts and are designed to sit open all day refreshing periodically. Typical system with 15 charts refreshing at 5 minute intervals over a typical 10 hour working day = 1,800 per dashboard per day. Now add in 500 worldwide customers, who each has different data, and we have 900,000 renders per day. This works out at $2,247 per day….. not a chance we’d pay that.
If you take the scenario where users are popping in and out, same dashboard but 5 users per customer and 1 access per hour per user you are *still* at 375,000 renders per day which is $935 per day. Still high.
We could pay a developer for 10 weeks to create a similar dashboard with web based charts and SQL Server backends, and break even after around 15 days on the 900,000 p/d rendering.
I know Power-BI gives you more (slicing and dicing data from other content sources etc.) but many consumers of your service won’t need that. We need a good, browser based, replacement for SQL Server Reporting services that doesn’t break if you don’t use IE.

I’m still trying to get their sample to work so that I can think about how we might use it. I think for a smaller one-off tenant deployment with few users and direct customer billing I think it still makes sense. At product/SaaS scale there’s no way with this billing model to make it work.

Update: I just noticed that this rider in the PowerBI pricing page

You may use the Power BI Embedded service within an application you develop only if your application (1) adds primary and significant functionality to our service and is not primarily a substitute for any Power BI service, and (2) is provided solely for external users. You may not use the Power BI Embedded service within internal business applications.

So now I’m not sure in what way this is useful to anyone. Maybe we will just ignore it and pretend it didn’t happen.