CRM 2011 Pricing and Licensing Guide updated Feb 2012

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):

CRM 2011 Pricing and Licensing Guide Feb 2012 update

<edit> or the direct link here: (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).

External Connector

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.

4 Responses to CRM 2011 Pricing and Licensing Guide updated Feb 2012

  1. VD says:

    when having a limited user CAL, that should have some updates privileges to the foreseen entities, how should the user be configured in CRM? Is it as access mode “read/write” + license type “limited”?
    Because if I do so, the user seem to have full access to all entities and can perform all actions to the entities, also those actions that shouldn’t be able with such limited user CAL?

    • Adam Vero says:

      Annoying, isn’t it!
      There seems to be no “out of the box” way to control user actions through the type of licence (CAL) they have. The point is more that you can report on how many users you have of which type at any time (you could even build an admin dashboard to show this, I guess) and make sure this matches the ‘paper’ licences you have bought and hold.

      So, you need to create security roles which give the users no more than the rights dictated by the licence type. There are no out of the box roles for this, and of course every business is different so even if there were a role giving users organisation-level update privileges to Accounts for example (which the Limited licence allows) you might only want them to update their own, or those in their business unit.
      The Limited CAL allows them to delete Accounts they created (note – the wording in the Licensing guide says “created by the same user”, not owned). You might not want them to delete any Accounts, preferring them to be deactivated, but if you did allow any level of delete privileges through a role, how would you control this within the Licence terms?

      What is even more annoying to me is that there is no proper tool to manage security roles for multiple users. If you select more than one user and go to “Manage Roles” then you can add all the roles you want, but you can’t see what roles they already have, nor remove any. Even if they all have the same roles, and even if they all have only one role, and that is the same for all of the selected users. Grrrr…
      So if you want to switch people from a custom role “Customer support – full” to “Customer support – limited” you have to do this one at a time (or use some third party or in-house tool to do this, but I’m not aware of one – please comment if you are).

      It’s all a bit messy, frankly.

  2. Pingback: CRM 2011 – What is a Dynamic CRM Limited CAL « Hosk's Dynamic CRM 2011 Blog

  3. hachecrm2011 says:

    Reblogged this on hachecrm2011 and commented:
    Great post about licencing

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