The Microsoft stack is massive, so large in fact that it has two low-code workflow tools: Power Automate Flows and Azure Logic Apps.
At first glance, is difficult to discern a difference between these two. In three ways they are very similar:
- The tools are both Microsoft products
- They are both cross-platform
- They share a similar web-based designer and components like actions
For example, when you compare a simple three step Power Automate Flow to a three step Azure Logic App in the designer they look identical:
However, as you delve deeper into these tools the differences will begin to stack up. This is the first in a series of articles covering the differences of Power Automate & Azure Logic Apps in the following categories:
- Platform vs. Ecosystem
We will begin our journey by discussing one of the more important topics: How much does each one cost?
Power Automate Flows
In this section, we are going to discuss the two distinct pricing models Microsoft Power Automate to run cloud Flows: Subscription and Pay-as-you-go plans
In reviewing the link, there are 3 price levels within each model. However, for our purposes it is better to only focus on the first two tiers in the subscription model and the first tier in the pay-as-you-go plan.
First, under the subscription model you can pay $15 per user/month:
This grants the following Power Automate capabilities to a single user:
- Build & Run cloud Flows (including premium connectors)
- Access to a Dataverse with 250 MB of capacity
- Process Advisor
Second, the $40 per user/month license:
This license has the capability to Power Automate Desktop Flows (RPA) in attended mode & 5,000 service credits/month for use in Power Automate’s AI Builder.
This is a great option for those interested in Power Automate’s RPA & AI capabilities, which we will be discussing in a later article in the series.
In conclusion, both licenses will you put on the path to using Power Automate. Indeed, it is worth noting that Microsoft offers licenses for other products that include cloud flow capabilities.
So, I have added a table below to compare licenses that allow you to run cloud Flows:
|License||Build/Run Cloud Flows||Standard Connectors||Premium Connectors||Dataverse Capacity|
|Power Automate per user plan(s)||Yes||Yes||Yes||250 mb|
|Power Apps per use plan||Yes||Yes||Yes||2 gb|
|Power Apps per app plan||Yes||Yes||Yes||250 mb|
|Dynamics Team Member||Yes||Yes||In context of application||None|
|Dynamics 365 Professional||Yes||Yes||In context of application||None|
|Dynamics 365 Enterprise Applications||Yes||Yes||In context of application||None|
Last August, Microsoft introduced a pay-per-run model. This new model offers some advantages over a subscription model.
For example, if you are a person reading this article to decide between tools like Power Automate and Logic Apps, you can do that by using the same Azure subscription to pay for both.
The pay-as-you-go model is simple: $0.60 for each cloud flow run and includes access to all standard & premium connector.
Logic Apps Pricing
Next, we will discuss Azure Logic Apps’ pricing model. It has a benefit over Power Automate in that it only offers one model for its cloud flow equivalent: Consumption based. As an added bonus, we will touch on the pricing model for the enterprise equivalent known as Standard Logic Apps. Keep reading to find out if simpler is really better.
Consumption Logic Apps Pricing
Simply put, Consumption Logic Apps pricing is similar ‘pay-as-you-go’ model, with each built-in action execution costing $0.000025 per execution, while each managed standard connector action execution costs $0.000125, and each managed enterprise connector costs $0.001 per execution.
As previously mentioned, Consumption Logic Apps actions are priced in three tiers:
- Built-in actions
- Standard connectors
- Enterprise connectors
The built-in actions priced at $0.000025/execution include but are not limited to:
Standard connector actions priced at $0.000125/execution include but are not limited to:
Enterprise connector actions priced at $0.001/execution include but are not limited to:
In most scenarios, those working in Logic Apps will find that a combination of the built-in actions & standard connector actions are all they need to build their processes. Usually, the use of the enterprise actions is for niche scenarios.
Integration Account Pricing
Additionally, there is specific pricing for a Logic Apps Integration Account to support B2B EDI & XML processing capabilities:
|EDI Trading Agreements||1||1,000|
|EDI Trading Partners||2||1,000|
Standard Logic Apps Pricing
Usually, there is some confusion when you navigate to the Logic Apps pricing page and see a tab for Standard Plan (Single-Tenant). Single-tenant Logic Apps are Microsoft’s enterprise integration offering dedicated compute & extensible connectors.
Standard Logic Apps have two pricing components: Compute & consumption.
vCPU & memory are priced at $0.1997/hour and $0.0143/hour respectively while each standard connector action execution costing $0.000125, and each enterprise connector costing $0.001 per execution. Finally, Standard Logic Apps’ specific built-in actions are included as part of the compute & memory cost.
We will be discussing the detailed differences between consumption & standard Logic Apps in a future article, as they do not share enough similarities with Power Automate Flows to justify inclusion here.
Power Automate or Logic Apps: Picking on Price
In this Whiz Kid’s opinion, both tools offer excellent value in terms of pricing. Unfortunately, Logic Apps rigid pricing structure its arcane cost per action-type make it a difficult entry point while Power Automate offers multiple avenues to access at any price point.
If you were looking to decide on a low-code automation tool based on the price alone, Power Automate would eek out a victory for its variety. But, Logic Apps still has some tricks up its sleeve.
Join the AZ Whiz Kid in the next article for Power Automate vs. Logic Apps: Platform Power or Azure Ecosystem?