Can we talk about Power Automate Licensing...

Power Automate is great. The convoluted process of figuring out what and how many licenses you need to get things going however will drive you to drinking. I suspect colonoscopy is more fun than this. 

Pro tip Microsoft - if you need 30 pages with matrixes, examples, and revision changes 90% of which are of the type "Clarified", you are doing it wrong. 

To further complicate things, on top of the infuriatingly complex way to determine what type of license you need, there is also an eye-twitch inducing license dependency. 


You need some automation of the unattended kind so you end up getting a Power Automate flow or user license and and Unattended RPA one. Done, right...


Your reseller would be happy to sell you these licenses but you will be stuck and scratching your head wondering why you are getting a message that the unattended flow cannot execute. 

The answer to the riddle is, the Unattended RPA has a dependency on the Attended RPA. Solid logic 🙃. So, you need to go back, get yet another quote and another license. 

If someone from Microsoft ever reads this - please make a guided, dynamic selection page which based on user input will produce the license(s) your customer needs to purchase, as in:

Q: Would you like to use Unattended Automation?

A: Yes --> automatically selects all the licenses needed.

In hopes to spare or at least minimize some poor soul's frustration, tasked with Power Automate license purchase, specifically around bots, aka. "Unattended RPA", here's what you need:

  • Power Automate per flow or per user license
  • Power Automate Attended RPA
  • Power Automate Unattended RPA

and if your Unattended RPA will interact with Office products,

  • Unattended Microsoft 365 License. 

Chances are that your reseller may tell you that this license doesn't exist. This mythical creature however is very much real and you can ask for this SKU:

1P6-00013 (M365A3UnattendedLicenseEDU ShrdSvr ALNG SubsVL MVL PerBot)

Still with me? Good. Now, unlike all other license assignments, the licenses for Power Automate are assigned in a totally different place and in a very different way than let's say Power BI licenses.

The assignment of the Power Automate Licenses is handled through the Power Platform Admin Center.

Expand "Capacity" and look at the "Add-ons" section at the bottom. If you are really, really lucky, that's where the provisioned licenses will be, ready to be assigned. 

Good luck!


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