Self-Service Purchasing II

It was in October 2019, that by means of Message Center bulletin MC163609 Microsoft announced that end users would receive the self-service purchasing option for Power Platform licenses (PowerBI, PowerApps and Flow). The announcement received quite some negative feedback, mostly because of the absence of administrative controls, with the risk of bypassing corporate purchasing as well as potential legal implications. Microsoft delayed the introduction, to launch it few months later in January this year, including the much requested controls.

Now MC220282 has appeared in the Office 365 Message Center, which announces the same self-service purchasing options for Microsoft Visio Plan 1 & 2 and Microsoft Project Plan 1 & 3. These purchasing options becomes available per September 15th.

The Message Center bulletin reads, “This change will not impact any existing settings you may have in place to manage self-service purchasing”. While true, administrators still might be faced with unexpected self-service capabilities for these new licenses. In this blog, I’ll talk you quickly through how to start managing these self-service capabilities, and how to modify these new ones.

Connecting and Managing

To start managing self-service capibilities, you need to install the MSCommerce PowerShell module, which Microsoft published at the PowerShell Gallery:

Install-Module MSCommerce

If you previously installed MSCommerce, update your module using:

Update-Module MSCommerce -Force

The current version of the module at the time of writing is 1.6. Now, to starting using the cmdlets provided in the module, you need to first connect to your Office 365 tenant:

Connect-MSCommerce

After completing login and succesfully completing any multi-factor authentication challenge, you can inspect the current self-service capabilities policy. First, there is a global policy named AllowSelfServicePurchase, which can be inspected using:

Get-MSCommercePolicies | Select PolicyId
Get-MSCommercePolicy -PolicyId AllowSelfServicePurchase | fl

As you can see, the default option for purchasing options is set to Enabled. This value can’t be modified, which means every new product added to self-service purchasing will be enabled by default. This also means admins may need to monitor the message center for self-service purchasing changes, and when required proactively monitor and disable this capability for new products. To inspect the current setting for every current product, use:

Get-MSCommerceProductPolicies -PolicyId AllowSelfServicePurchase

As you can see, the self-service purchasing for the Power Platform products have been disabled. However, because the DefaultValue is Enabled, the purchase capabilities for these new products have been set to Enabled. If we want to disable this capability for these products, use the following cmdlet:

Get-MSCommerceProductPolicies -PolicyId AllowSelfServicePurchase | % { Update-MSCommerceProductPolicy -PolicyId $_.PolicyId -ProductId $_.ProductId -Enabled $false }

Note that self-service purchase capabilities are not available for Office 365 Government, Nonprofit, and Education tenants.

Approval Flow

In another bulletin (MC213897), Microsoft announced the roll-out of an feature for end users to request licenses trough a customizable message or workflow. This option should become available when self-service purchasing has been disabled. It allows admins assign requested licenses from the pool or make required purchases, and also report on these requests to track interest. The bulletin has been updated recently to mark completion of roll-out of the message part of this feature; the request part is scheduled for completion in September. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to locate settings related to these features yet, but these might appear any time soon. The screenshot from the bulletin gives an indication of what to expect:

To read more information on Self-Service Purchasing capabilities in the Self-Service Purchase FAQ,