Note: recently the licencing model for the PowerPlatform has changed this article does not reflect those changes yet

Microsoft Flow Licence options

Microsoft Flow comes with 4 different flavours of Flow.

  • Microsoft Flow Free
  • Microsoft Flow P1
  • Microsoft Flow P2
  • Flow for Office 365 and Dynamics 365

I’m quite sure that you like the first flavour! Maybe like me, you have been asking why bother with P1 or P2? The pricing of the Premium products may stop you. Are the paid for options worth it? In this post I will go through the differences.


First I’ll have a look at the Microsoft Flow pricing page.

microsoft flow free P1 and P2 plans

This already shows some of the benefits of the paid for plans above Microsoft Flow Free. The number of runs that is included in your licence if the first obvious difference between the different plans. The big differences are:

  • The frequency that Flow does its checks
  • Availability of premium connectors
  • Policy settings
  • The availability of Business process flows.

When you look at the features listed on the same pricing page you will find some more differences and even a 4th plan.

Plans and their features

The frequency that Flow does its checks

Are you using flows that start with a recurrence trigger?

Frequency of recurrence flows

When you try to adjust the schedule while using the free version of flow you will run into some Start your free trial dialogue.

Start a free trial

This is where you will need to make a choice. Do you want to be able to run recurring jobs every 15 minutes, every 5 minutes or every minute?

Availability of premium connectors

There are many Premium connectors that you might be interested in. If you need any of these connectors then you would need to consider using a P1 licence to run your flows.


Adobe Creative CloudConnect to Adobe Creative Cloud to manage your assets. You can perform various actions such as create, get, and delete assets on Creative Cloud. You can also choose to be notified when an asset is added or updated on Creative Cloud.
Amazon RedshiftAmazon Redshift is a fast, fully managed, petabyte-scale data warehouse service from Amazon.  Connect to Amazon Redshift database to read data from tables.
Apache ImpalaApache Impala (incubating) is the open source, native analytic database for Apache Hadoop.  Connect to your Impala database to read data from tables.
AppsForOps TimelineAppsForOps Timeline is a game changing Customer Success software platform and the connector allows you to create new timeline entries on AppsForOps Timelines.
AWeberAWeber is an email marketing platform that allows small businesses and entrepreneurs to create and send emails.
Benchmark EmailOnline email marketing solution to engage subscribers, target an audience, send beautiful, responsive emails and track results.
BitbucketBitbucket is a web based hosting service for projects that use GIT revision control.
CalendlyCalendly helps you easily schedule meetings based on participants availability.
Capsule CRMOnline CRM for individuals, small businesses and sales teams wanting a simple, effective and affordable solution.
ChatterChatter is an enterprise social network for your company that allows employees to connect and collaborate in real time.
Cloud Connect StudioThis connector will be used to integrate with Fuji Xerox Cloud Connect Studio solution. This connector will be used as Trigger only and will be triggered once user perform a Scan from Cloud Connect Studio solution
Common Data ServiceProvides access to the org-based database on the Microsoft Common Data Service.
DB2Microsoft Connector for DB2 integrates Azure applications with resources stored in an IBM DB2 database. Connector supports SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE operations.
DocFusion365 – SPDocFusion® 365 is a dynamic, cloud-based document composition and automation engine designed to help you manage all of your document content and processes within the Office 365 environment.
DocparserExtract data from PDF files & automate your workflow with our reliable document parsing software.
DocuSignDocuSign is the easiest and most secure way to sign and get documents signed. With over 50 million users worldwide, DocuSign is the most widely used eSignature and Digital Transaction Management platform in the world.
Dynamic SignalDynamic Signal is an Employee Communication and Engagement Platform, trusted by organizations to connect, align and engage employees. Connect to Dynamic Signal to create and manage your posts and users.
Easy RedmineEasy Redmine is a web based tool for software project management.
EventbriteEventbrite is a self-service ticketing platform used to create and discover local events.
FlowFormaFlowForma Business Process Management (BPM) tools for Office 365, enable users to build forms & workflow, automating processes without code.
FreshserviceFreshservice is a cloud-based IT service desk and service management solution that’s easy to set up and use, to transform employee experience across the organization.
GoToMeetingGoToMeeting is an online meeting tool. You can schedule your own meetings or watch for the ones you are invited to.
GoToTrainingCitrix GoToTraining enables you to manage a stable and high-performance online training environment.
GoToWebinarCitrix GoToWebinar enables you to manage a stable and high-performance online webinar environment.
HelloSignHelloSign enables secure electronic signatures that are business-caliber, easy-to-use and legally binding.
HTTP with Azure ADUse the HTTP connector to fetch resources from various Web services, authenticated by Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), or from an on-premise web service.
iAuditorFast and easy mobile inspection reporting. Get real-time visibility to uncover insights and raise standards.
Imprezian360-CRMImprezian360 CRM All-In-One
InfobipEnable enterprise grade communication over Infobip.
InformixMicrosoft Connector for Informix integrates Azure applications with resources stored in an IBM Informix database. Connector supports SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE operations.
InfusionsoftInfusionsoft is sales and marketing automation software built exclusively for small business success.
JIRAJIRA is a software development tool for agile teams to plan, track, and release world-class software. Connecting JIRA issues to the rest of your tools helps break down barriers and unleash the potential of your team.
LeanKitHelping teams work together to deliver customer value, faster.
LiveChatLiveChat is an online customer service software with live support, help desk software and web analytics capabilities.
MailChimpMailChimp is a SaaS service that allows businesses to manage and automate email marketing activities, including sending marketing emails, automated messages and targeted campaigns.
MailParserExtract data from emails & automate your workflow with our powerful email parser software. Convert emails to Excel, parse leads from emails, and more.
MandrillMandrill is a transactional email API for MailChimp users. It’s reliable, powerful, and ideal for sending data driven emails, including targeted e-commerce and personalized one-to-one messages.
Marketing Content HubMarketing Content Hub by Stylelabs integrates and blends boundaries between traditional marketing silos. It provides an integrated solution for Digital asset management (DAM), Product information management (PIM), Marketing resource management (MRM), Web to Print, Marketing portal and Digital rights management (DRM).
MarketoMarketo© is a marketing automation platform that enables marketers to manage personalized multi-channel programs and campaigns to prospects and customers.
MetataskMetatask is a simple tool to organize and control internal processes that lets normal users quickly build and execute business workflows.
MySQLMySQL is an open-source relational database management system. Connect to on-premise MySQL database to read and write data.
NexmoNexmo, the Vonage API Platform, enables you to add communications within the context of your applications, including SMS, Voice and Chat. Sign up for a Nexmo account here –
Oracle DatabaseOracle Database is a relational database management system developed by Oracle. Connect to on-premise Oracle Database to perform various actions such as create, update, get, and delete on rows in a table.
ParseurExtract structured data trapped in your emails. Then send it to your favorite application.
PipedrivePipedrive is a CRM & pipeline management tool that helps you focus on actions that matter.
Pitney Bowes Data ValidationPitney Bowes Data Validation Services helps eliminate errors in data and improve customer experience. It makes communication easier, faster and effortless by enriching customer details, keeping it up-to-date and maintaining its accuracy and consistency. To learn more, visit the documentation page:
PlivoPlivo enables sending and receiving SMS & voice calls globally for businesses of all sizes.
PoliteMailMeasure results with powerful email metrics, including opens, read-time and click through rates plus valuable analytics to help you gain the insights you need to improve your communications.
PostgreSQLPostgreSQL is a relational database management system developed by PostgreSQL Global Development Group. Connect to on-premise PostgreSQL database to read data from tables.
PowerApps NotificationSend push notifications to apps created with PowerApps. Trigger them from Flows or other apps.
SalesforceThe Salesforce Connector provides an API to work with Salesforce objects.
ServiceNowServiceNow improves service levels, energizes employees, and enables your enterprise to work at lightspeed. Create, read and update records stored within ServiceNow including Incidents, Questions, Users and more.
Soft1The Soft1 Connector provides an API to work with Soft1 ERP objects
StormboardStormboard Flow Connector
StripeStripe allows private individuals and businesses to accept payments over the internet. You can track customers, orders, invoices and more.
SurveyMonkeySurveyMonkey is the world’s leading provider of web-based survey solutions. These solutions are used by companies, organizations, and individuals to gather the insights they need to make more informed decisions.
TagoTago provides easy connection of electronic devices with external data to drive smarter decisions using contextual analysis.
Teamwork ProjectsKeep all your team’s tasks in one place. Collaborate and work in real time for real results. Teamwork Projects is a powerful and simple way to collaborate with your team.
TeleSign SMSTeleSign SMS enables apps to send global text messages. Add as another communications channel to send alerts, reminders, notifications, invites, marketing messages and more.
TeradataTeradata Database is a relational database management system from Teradata Corporation, typically used to support large data warehousing operations. Connect to on-premise Teradata database to read data from tables.
Workday HCMWorkday HCM contains operations that expose Workday Human Capital Management Business Services data, including Employee, Contingent Worker and Organization information.
ZaharaZahara is a complete purchase management platform enabling paperless approvals for supplier invoices and purchase requisition.

If you use a free flow licence and you include any action from the above connectors you will get a Start your free trial dialogue appear.

Free trial dialogue that appears

Now you have some choices.

  1. Buy the licence.
  2. Start developing your own custom connector
  3. Start developing solutions outside Flow to compensate for the features unavailable in Free Flow.

Policy settings

The Policy settings should actually be called admin settings. The P2 licence fives you access to Flow admin. Initially, I thought that admin users should all have P2 licences, but after some more thought this is not the case.

The Flow Admin centre can be found at the following URL.

If you try to access the above url without a P2 licence in place you will get redirected to one of the upgrade pages in Flow.

The Flow Admin Centre

If you do have a P2 licence you will get to the admin center. This is where you can create new environments, Configure data policies and data integration.

Environments in Flow

Data policies

This is where we really get to the point where everybody should want a P2 licence! It is all about governance.

I will quickly take you through the steps of configuring a policy.

When you create a new policy with a P2 licence then Flow will asked which environments you want the policy to apply to?

  • All environments
  • Only selected environments
  • All environments except …

DLP in Flows

Then you will be asked which connectors you are happy for users to take data from and share this data outside your organisation.

Categorize these connectors into one of two data groups, “Business data only” and “No business data allowed”. Users will be prevented from creating flows and apps that combine connectors from the “Business data only” and “No business data allowed” data groups. Learn more

Did you ever wonder how to control the many connectors inside Flow? Do you want people to share information from your SharePoint intranet on twitter?  Well this is your answer. You will have to get a P2 licence for this.

Organise connectors with DLP

If a user however tries to create a flow and share Business data then they will see the following warning:

Your flow was updated, but it is currently suspended since it uses a combination of connectors that conflict with the company data loss prevention policies or billing restrictions.

Restrictions shown with DLP

More information on Data Loss Prevention in Flow you can find in the documentation provided by Microsoft.

Important Note:When you create a policy any flows that break that policy are disabled. Deleting the policy does not re-enable the flows. You will have to manually re-enable your flows.

The availability of Business process flows.

One of the documented differences between the paid for plans and the free plan is the availability of Business Process Flows. These are Dynamics 365 flows that guide users through completing the right data at the right time. For more details on this please read my previous post on Business Process Flows.

Data Gateway

One of the ‘hidden’ differences is the use of the data gateway. It is included int he feature list that I mentioned above, however not in the cost overview. So it is an easy one to miss. The data gateway is only available when you use a paid for plan.


I like the analytics features in Flow. If you have ever tried to make your flows 100% robust you will know that the analytics are very helpful. Even though you might have implemented error handling in you flow, your failing actions and triggers are still reported here. Very often  it is possible to handle the unexpected errors in a better way than just an email that is sent out to your support team when something goes wrong. Analytics gives you that detail.

Analytics options in Flow

Multiple environments

Are you updating your flows directly in your production environment? With a P2 licence your users can have multiple environments within Flow. This can help you reduce the risk of Flows breaking when you implement that quick fix.

Custom Connectors

With the free versions of Flow you can create 1 custom connector. With P1 and P2 plans you can create unlimited number of custom connectors. Personally I think that custom connectors go against the principle of low/no code, however you could of course use connectors that you find on github such as the Teams connector developed by Christian Glessner. This is still considered a custom connector, however you do not have to touch any code yourself.


For all Dynamics 365 or Dynamics CRM people solutions is something that they are familiar with. For SharePoint people, compare this a bit with save as site template but then with version control and better life cycle management.

The solutions option is described in the Improved ALM for Flows with solutions article. Note that adding flows to solutions works for free, P1 and P2 licensed users.

When to choose which licence?

Now that we have seen the differences, it is time to consider what is best for you? Of course we all want free, but do we also want to miss all the advantages that the paid for versions of flow give you?

Do you consider developing advanced coded solutions to avoid the P1/P2 licences? Remember the reason why you decided to go for low/no code solutions? This is a strategic decision to make.

Do you want to be able to protect your business data? The Data Loss Prevention options in the Flow Admin Center might convince you there.

Do you want to take flow development seriously and use multiple environments or are you happy to accept down time?

Do you need to connect into application that don’t have any existing connectors in Microsoft Flow?

Many questions that need answering, hopefully when you answer the above questions you will be able to make your choice.

By Pieter Veenstra

Business Applications and Office Apps & Services Microsoft MVP working as a Microsoft Productivity Principal Consultant at HybrIT Services. You can contact me using

7 thoughts on “Microsoft Flow Free, P1 or P2 licences?”
  1. Nice. Thank you. Now I know which licence I need if I CREATE a flow. But what licence do I need to RUN an flow? E. g.: I created a powerapp that uses – at the end – a flow to writes data through a premium connector into a PostgreSQL database that I run in Azure. 500 User can (theoretically) use the powerapp. But from my experience I can say that only about 30 people will use the app. However, I do not know in advance which 30 people will be using the app. Who do I have to license and how?

    1. Hi Richard,

      Thank you for your comment. You could run a Flow as a service account for the PostgreSQL flow.This service account will need a P2 to create the Premium connector’s action.I will need to double check if it is enforced when the flow is running.

  2. Does this mean I only need a PAYING flow plan for the people that are creating/managing flows ? I did not find any confirmation for this 😉

    1. Hi Marc,
      In general the licensing consequences are enforced when you build the flow there are however also some things that are enforced at run time. On top of that Microsoft have released their plans over the recent week and it is bit unclear still what the consequences are.

      Once things are a bit clearer, I’m hoping to update this post.

  3. Do we have any information regarding the current status? I need a premium plan to create a flow that e.g. uses HTTP post requests. Do all users that may trigger this http post request (a premium feature) require a premium plan as well?
    My idea is that users write to a sharepoint list (using powerapps but this is beside the point).
    Then, there is a flow when an item is created in sharepoint that creates a http post
    Another flow will run when it receives this http post request.
    So, is the user of the initial creation of the sharepoint list item, the same that runs the subsequent flows? How many premium licenses do I need? One for the developer or as many as the users that create the sharepoint list item?

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