CRM 2011 Pricing and Licensing Guide updated Feb 2012
February 23, 2012 4 Comments
Kevin Machayya posted links in this article to an updated version of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Pricing and Licensing Guide. This is the definitive document for figuring out what you can and can’t do in various situations with different types of licence.
You can download it via Partnersource here (authorised LiveID required):
<edit> or the direct link here: http://crmdynamics.blob.core.windows.net/docs/Pricing_Licensing_Guide.pdf (I’m not sure if this only works when logged in with an appropriate LiveID)
The guide covers differences between user and device CALs, and the different types for “Full”, “Limited” and the new (for CRM 2011, as opposed to 4.0) “Employee Self Service” (ESS) CAL, which was covered in the previous version of the guide but I am still amazed by the number of users and even partners who seem to have never heard of it.
What’s an ESS CAL for?
The ESS CAL is designed for situations where you have lots of employees who may need very limited interaction with CRM via another platform such as a specific portal, an existing intranet, HR application, etc. These users are not allowed to use the browser or Outlook client to directly work with CRM, but the licences are considerably cheaper than full ones, so it makes sense for some scenarios, in (typically) larger organisations. (It used to be about 10% of a full licence, but I have not checked recently – anyone have a rough figure on this? Add comments below.)
Activity Feeds – Rights for Different Licence Types
One of the reasons for the new release of this document is to include the changes in the November update – better late than never I suppose. Luckily they have very clearly signposted the changes so you don’t have to hunt them down amongst the 72 pages. The changes I was expecting were partly to give clarity around some of the record types to do with Activity Feeds, and they have added a couple of paragraphs follows(emphasis mine).
ESS CAL Changes
The use rights supported for ESS CAL include:
- Data privileges to follow and post activity feeds against Accounts, Contacts, Leads, and Custom entity records created by any CRM user.
Note this implies access to do this via API calls from another application; ESS users cannot interact directly with CRM through a browser. Also note that although ESS users can read, create and updated Cases, they cannot post Activity Feeds against them or be set up to follow them. This seems a bit odd, since being able to link users to Cases to indicate “I’m affected by this issue too” when a printer goes down or the 2nd floor bathroom is flooded would make it easy for users to then see Cases they follow and track their progress to know when they can expect a resolution. Looks like you will have to use a custom entity linked to a Case against which to track this relationship instead and post updates there, annoyingly.
Limited Use CAL Changes
The use rights supported for Limited CAL include:
- Data privileges to follow and post activity feeds against Accounts, Contacts, Leads, Opportunities, and standard entity records created by any CRM user using Microsoft Dynamics CRM clients.
- Data privileges to follow and post activity feeds against custom entity records using API access only.
Remember, Limited users have read access to everything in CRM via the usual clients, and limited write access to specific entities through the CRM clients but to others only through the API, and to some no write access at all. The first added paragraph seems a bit odd since it lists some entities but then says “and standard entity records” (which I take to mean built-in system entities).
The big thing stacked against using Limited User CALs for some users is they can’t create or update Opportunities or Marketing Campaigns, so that wipes out some big areas of your sales and marketing staff for a start, even if they could do the rest of their job with the other limitations. They can however create and update Cases and assign the ones they own, which seems pretty reasonable for customer service functions (albeit anything to do with Contracts would be out).
The External Connector licence is still the right way to get external (ie non-staff, non-contractor) people such as customers or suppliers to interact with CRM via a portal application. They can also post activity feed updates and follow (some) records, so this might be good for getting social and interactive feedback about Events for example.
So what is a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Client?
According to a footnote under the big table of tickbox comparisons of what you can and can’t do with every type of licence, it says this:
Microsoft Dynamics CRM web client, Microsoft Dynamics CRM client for Microsoft Outlook, and Mobile Express for Microsoft Dynamics CRM
So that’s Internet Explorer (until other browsers become supported in the
Quarter 2 R8 release UR12 / Q4 2012 Polaris release), Outlook CRM client, and any browser connecting to Mobile Express at <yourCRMURL>/m
The thing which seems to be missing from this list is the free Windows Phone 7.5 Activity Feeds App for CRM. This is good news as it means all those exclusions saying Limited and ESS CAL users can’t use the CRM clients do not prevent them from using this app.
So they can read and even create activity feed posts while out on the road all day long, and follow records of certain types to ensure they get updates about them and then respond to those. This in turn means you can leverage their posts to create or update records (of the types they are allowed to deal with), in particular things like activities as described by Jukka Niiranen in this article about using hashtags on CRM 2011 posts for follow-up workflows earlier today. (Of course it does not have to be hashtags, you could use any convention of abbreviation as a “flag” to the workflow, but hashtags do seem to make good sense as a meme.)
“I love it when a plan comes together”. A new licensing guide, and a great article from Jukka on the same day which could not have been better timed to go together.
If you have any comments on the changes, or areas of CRM licensing you find particularly confusing, please start a discussion in the comments.