Microsoft is now charging to use Microsoft Graph Data Connect – here’s how much
At Build 2021, Microsoft announced that they are/will soon be charging for use of Microsoft Graph Data Connect.
Data Connect is Microsoft’s answer to accessing Microsoft Graph in bulk, augmenting “Microsoft Graph’s transactional model with an intelligent way to access rich data at scale“. Essentially instead of making a Graph call for every single bit of data you can use Azure Data Factory to copy the data to your application.
Right now, not all Microsoft 365 data is available via Data Connect. In fact, really it’s mostly Calendars, Contacts, Users & Mailboxes. (ref)
Data Connect has been around since Microsoft Ignite 2018 when it launched as public preview. Previously, it had been known as “Managed Access to Microsoft Graph Data” and was first announced at Build 2018. Up until this point there hasn’t been any additional charge to use it (other than compute and storage considerations).
That’s changing with this announcement though. Referring to the change, Microsoft say:
“While most Microsoft 365 products are offered on a per-user/per-month basis, we’re offering Microsoft Graph data connect as a metered service so that developers only need pay for the data consumed in your solutions.”
It sounds like that charging will be added on the Azure side, as an Azure-metered service, rather than something that is charged to your Microsoft 365 account. That means that the more you access your Microsoft365 content via Data Connect, the more Azure Credits you’ll use.
What’s the cost?
Details of the cost calculation are found in a new “Frequently asked questions” page recently added to the Data Connect documentation. The actual cost is available on the Microsoft Azure Pricing page. The costs I quote below were correct at the time of publishing: however you should always check the latest guidance using that link.
It’s based on how many “objects” are extracted. An object is an individual instance, such as an email, a file, a message etc. For each of these objects, the extraction cost is $0.375 per 1,000 objects. Billing rounds up to the nearest 1000.
Example: you have 500 mailboxes, each with 1,000 mail items. Total items: 500 x 1,000 = 500,000. Cost = (500,000 / 1000) * 0.375 = $187.50.
Users, Mailbox Settings, Manager and DirectReport information is not charged.
Another answer in the FAQ actually points out something interesting: if there are multiple copies of items (such as mail items) then you will need to download (and pay for) them all, even if you then de-duplicate them.
Read more about the announcement.
This is a new announcement, and it’s likely that more information will be available over the coming days, so be sure to keep up to date with my Build 2021 coverage. I’m writing blog posts, recording videos, and posting on Twitter.