Home > Microsoft CRM - General > New CRM 2011 Licensing Options Leads to Better Flexibility

New CRM 2011 Licensing Options Leads to Better Flexibility

New software means new licensing which means new levels of flexibility. But with flexibility comes opportunity for confusion. So, this blog entry is about explaining what Microsoft has done with on-premises client licensing in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 release. Enjoy!

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Microsoft introduced the Dynamics CRM Limited CAL which is 30% of the cost of a CRM CAL. It has limited usage rights. Those rights, in Dynamics CRM 4.0, excluded write rights to any of the Dynamics CRM entities (built-in or custom). With the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, Microsoft is extending the usage rights of the Dynamics CRM Limited CAL.

The name of the product (Dynamics CRM Limited CAL) and the price (30% of the Dynamics CRM CAL) have not been changed. So this is a good news story. Additionally, Microsoft is adding an entirely new CRM CAL, the Dynamics CRM Employee Self Service CAL which is priced at 10% of the Dynamics CRM CAL.

In reading the extensive available documentation, I have decided to summarise the CRM CALs here on my blog for clarity and brevity.

The CRM CAL functionalities supported for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server 2011 are:

Dynamics CRM CAL

The CAL provides a user with full read-write access to all capabilities within Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and provides full “Microsoft Dynamics CRM functionality” using Microsoft Dynamics CRM clients and using API access. “Microsoft Dynamics CRM functionality” means that users may view, manipulate, input, query or otherwise structure CRM ‘live’ data. ‘Live’ data is information that, via use action, dynamically writes to or reads from, or synchronises with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, whether it is accessed directly or indirectly.

Dynamics CRM Limited CAL

The Limited CAL provides a user with full read-only access and limited write access to “Microsoft Dynamics CRM functionality”. Users may view or query CRM data. The use rights supported for Limited CAL include:

  • Read-only access to “Microsoft Dynamics CRM functionality” using Microsoft Dynamics CRM clients.
  • For the built-in entities of Accounts, Contacts, Cases, Leads, and Activities, data privileges to Create using Microsoft Dynamics CRM clients and Append, Append To and Update records created by any CRM user using Microsoft Dynamics CRM clients.
  • For the built-in entities of Accounts, Contacts, Cases, Leads, and Activities, data privileges to Assign, Share, and Delete records created by the same user using Microsoft Dynamics CRM clients.
  • For custom entities, data privileges to Create using API access only and Append, Append To and Update records created by any CRM user using API access only.
  • For custom entities, data privileges to Assign, Share, and Delete records created by the same user using API access only.
  • There are no data privileges to Delete, Share, or Assign records created by other CRM users.

    Dynamics CRM Employee Self Service CAL

    The Employee Self Service (ESS) CAL provides a user with limited API only access to “Microsoft Dynamics CRM functionality” through any application/graphical user interface (GUI), other than the Microsoft Dynamics CRM client. The use rights supported for ESS CAL include:

  • Data privileges to Read, Create, Append, Append To and Update records from the built-in entities of Accounts, Contacts, Cases, Leads, and Activities as well as records in all the Custom entities.
  • There are no data privileges to Delete, Share, or Assign records.

Now, you may be reading the above, hopefully slowly, and thinking – this isn’t ‘brevity’ in action! But if you read the document I used as a guide to pull this together, you may be thinking ‘thanks, this makes sense’ – or at least I hope you would…

    Cheers, Ross
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  1. Alex
    March 22, 2011 at 6:15 am

    Thanks for the useful summary.
    Are these licenses declarative or does the product itself actually restrict actions and API calls based on the user’s license type?
    Do you know what kind of exceptions one would get when trying to perform an action beyond the scope of the user’s license?

    • March 30, 2011 at 1:15 pm

      Not sure what a ‘declarative’ license is, but thanks for the question. Administrators allocate users to a type of license. In the initial release of CRM 2011, the choice of ESS CAL isn’t there, so Limited CAL would be the one to use right now. We’re planning to align the options within the admin settings with the actual license types. No firm timeframe for that yet.

      • Alex
        March 30, 2011 at 6:45 pm

        What I meant was: Assume I give a user one of the new license types (let’s say the limited CAL), does the product enforce the privilege restrictions?
        For example, if the user tries to create a custom entity through the standard web client (which is something you mentioned as not being allowed by the limited CAL license), will the user get en error? or maybe the “New” option is not available at all?
        If the user uses the API to perform an action his license doesn’t have privilege to perform, does he get an error/exception?

        “Declarative” means no, the product doesn’t enforce the license restrictions. The organization purchases the right amount and mix of licenses but no one can actually tell if users work within their license privileges or perform some other actions they’re not supposed to.

        Thanks, and I hope my question is more clear now.

      • March 31, 2011 at 9:02 am

        To assist with managing your deployment to match what you purchase, the administrator assigns users to a license type. Currently full and limited. So in the scenario above, you would have assigned that user to a limited type and they won’t see any options to create a custom entity. For users who will be consuming the new Employee Self Service (ESS) CAL they only access CRM from an API only (i.e. a custom client – not the Outlook or CRM web client). So, for now you should assign them the Limited type since this matches the ESS (except it includes the client – but you can easily control that but not giving them the client). You control what they actually do in how you write the code they use. As stated above, we’re planning to align the options within the admin settings with the actual license types. So there will be a new option that matches the new Employee Self Service CAL type that you can use in the future to better manage your deployment and keep it aligned to your purchases.

  2. Dyn
    March 23, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Hi Ross, I have a doubt…in my company we’re 35..and each user must write, read, delete, etc…so I think I should choose the first CAL…and the cost will be 35 x CAL price..
    Whats is the cost of the first CAL?…Thanks so much!

  3. March 30, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Hi, the cost of the 1st CAL is the same as the 35th CAL… Seriously, though, we sell Dynamics CRM through a wide range of licensing programs. So without knowing what program you would buy under and what country you are in, it is not possible to tell you the price of the CRM CAL. Try contacting a Microsoft partner in your part of the world. They can then figure out what licensing programs would be suitable for your business (since you have 35 people – it will probably be Open Value in the Microsoft Volume Licensing programs) and arrange to get you a quote.

    Try the new CRM ‘aisle’ of the new Dynamics Marketplace. So for Australia, the link to a list of Dynamics CRM partners would be on this URL: http://dynamics-crm.pinpoint.microsoft.com/en-AU/companies/search?map=0&sort=rating&q=

    Even if you are from another country, open that link, and then change your country in the top right corner. All the best.

  4. Robcrm
    March 31, 2011 at 1:42 am

    Struggling a bit between the Full CAL and Limited CAL. Consider the following.
    If a Sales Agent in the field uses only the built in entities of Accounts, Activities, Contacts, Leads etc.. using the CRM client and creates and updates such entities then as I read it he/she is sufficiently covered using the Limited CAL. Almost everything else they do is read only access.

    If for example an Agent is working offline and wants to sync any of the built in entity changes they made back to the central server then is this covered under the Limited CAL?
    I note from the Full CAL explanation that ‘Live’ data is “information that, via use action, dynamically writes to or reads from, or synchronises with Dynamics CRM, whether it is accessed directly or indirectly”. Would this mean that for offline use the Agent would in fact require a Full CAL? Say you were not to dynamically sync and syn’d at a predefined set time could this constitute using a Limited CAL?
    Appreciate any feedback anyone may have on this.
    Robert

    • March 31, 2011 at 9:12 am

      Sales users in the field will typically use the full CRM CAL, because typically sales people work with the Opportunity entity. However, to clarify your question, if a field based user does create/updates records in the set of entities allowed by the Limited CAL, then yes, the Limited CAL is sufficient. The CAL types don’t have any restrictions about online/offline use (although you will need at least the Limited CAL to be able to use the Outlook and CRM web clients).

      Sorry about the confusion around the descriptors for live data. That really just means that we don’t care if you go directly or indrectly (e.g. through a SharePoint Server or some other form of multiplexor) but we do care that if you use data from a CRM server you do require a CAL (unless you are entirely externsl to the organisation running the CRM Server – like suppliers, customers, channel partners – the CRM External Connector licenses cover those scenarios).

      Think of the Limited CAL and ESS CAL as working the same way with respect to the description of live data, except they are specifically restrictred to usage scenarios (entities and clients) that are covered in their sections. I hope this makes sense!!

      • Robcrm
        April 1, 2011 at 2:58 am

        Thanks, it makes perfect sense. I see what you mean about “Opportunities” and other important entities. Would the “Appointment ” entity also fall into this category? We would certainly want Agents to have the ability to manage their own “Appointments” and share this with their manager or the Sales Support Team, so full read-write access would be required.
        If we were to create custom entities; would a limited CAL allow full read write access to it/them? Do you have much experience in retrofitting system entities? Any advice re same in terms of what should be avoided.

      • April 21, 2011 at 11:17 am

        For Agents to manage their own Apointments and share them with their manager and others you will need the CRM CAL. For you o create Custom Entities and use the Dynamics CRM web and Outlook client to read/write to them, you will need the CRM CAL. A Limited CAL user can only edit data in a Custom Entity via API access, not using the Dynamics CRM web and Outlook clients.

  5. CRM_Glenn
    April 20, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    The way I read into the Limited CAL is that the user will not be able to add records for custom entities and Opportunities.

    However, in reality I have created a user in CRM 2011 as a Limited CAL with Read-Write access and confirmed in the Deployment Manager that this is the License being consumed.

    When this user accesses CRM none of the restrictions of the Limited CAL seem to apply. The user can add records to custom entities and create new Opportunites.

    Has this been your experience, and if so, does this imply that the whole scenario is on a ‘Trust’ basis?

    • April 21, 2011 at 11:23 am

      Yes you read correctly. For you to create Custom Entities and use the Dynamics CRM web and Outlook client to read/write to them, you will need the CRM CAL. A Limited CAL user can only edit data in a Custom Entity via API access, not using the Dynamics CRM web and Outlook clients. What you are experiencing in your tests I have no doubt is true. However, the Licensing guidelines I provided in this article are also true and it is important you understand them and license your users appropriately. The same advice would gernally be true for all Microsoft products licensed via Volume Licensing and some other programs too.

  6. September 17, 2011 at 4:53 am

    Is this Licensing service is also applicable for the up gradation of earlier license or this is only for fresh license.

    • September 19, 2011 at 8:19 am

      I’m not sure I follow the question. The licensing changes described in this article apply to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 on-premise. I hope that answers your question.

  7. VD
    December 7, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    Hi,
    thanks for this useful post!

    How should I configure the user record in order to have it 1 limited CAL consumed, but letting him have edit rights on accounts/contacts/cases?

    It seems that if I configure “limited user” with “read-write” access, that this user can change everything (also those entities that are not “supported” for limited CAL users)? Or am I mistaken?

    • May 7, 2012 at 12:14 am

      The usage scenarios built into CRM 2011 do not match to the license types, i.e. there is no “out of box” feature that matches to the license types, so that is work you need to do yourself. The best way to do it is to create Security Roles in CRM 2011 that match to the license types you purchased. For example, for the users you bought CRM Limited CALs for, set them up as “read/write users” and create a Security Role (may as well call it “CRM Limited CAL”) that has read only access to all entities except the ones that are allowed to be edited in a Limited CAL.

      I hope this makes sense…

      Ross

  8. February 22, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    Hi Ross
    This is really useful – its a headache getting my head around the licensing and the ESS licenses are something that is of great interest to us for some of our prospects! Thanks Catherine

  9. Barbara
    March 21, 2012 at 6:43 am

    Does the Adminstative User type in CRM need a Full or Limited Use CAL or no CAL at all?

    • May 7, 2012 at 12:07 am

      Sorry for the delay in replying… It has been a full on few months for me. I’ve researched the answer, here it is:

      Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server 2011 allows for up to two separate devices or users to access instances of the server software only to administer those instances, which do not consume CALs.

  10. Karla
    June 12, 2013 at 1:08 am

    What is “Restricted Access Mode”? I can’t find a definition for that field.
    We’re CRM 2011 OnPrem. I’m trying to set up an Auditor to look at data, but not take up a real license, because he’s here for a day.

  1. March 22, 2011 at 8:57 pm

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