Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Today I attended the CRM 4.0 partner readiness tour and I took the opportunity to ask the technical specialist from Microsoft headquaters a lot of questions. In regard to my entry yesterday concerning licensing, we had an interesting discussion on how it can be managed and how it is handled in CRM 4.0.

In general the same licensing limitations apply as I described in my previous post. The new "light"-userlicense I described bellow will be a read-only user license with a reduced price. The external connector will also be available at a substanially lower cost.

However, we found some technical workarounds that the Microsoft representative actually said were ok but I havn't asked a Microsoft sales rep and I don't know if I should...

If you want to create dynamic reports based on CRM data, what you must do is to replicate all the data that you want to base your reports on to your own database. Then create all the reports based on this database, which can be called datawarehouse or something similar.

The same "intermediary" database can also be used when you have, for instance, an internal support page where you can submit your support issue, which is then added to the CRM as a Service case. Let the application write to a database and then create an service that periodically (like every minute or so) reads the new data, and writes to the CRM webservice. There are other similar ways of doing this (like sending emails from the form to a support que) and I think you get the general idea.

The legal workaround using a subsidary company with an external connector license is also valid, but will require you to buy the external connector which has a non trivial price.

I feel this is very strange, that you using a technical solution can bypass some licensing rules that actually should be changed.

Gustaf Westerlund
CRM and SharePoint Consultant

Humandata AB


  1. Hi Gustaf, good post however I think you will find that this 'technical workaround' is called Multiplexing. I think you will find that its not allowed by the EULA and Product Use Rights and users still require a CAL.

  2. Hi,
    Yes, you are probably correct but I think this is a grey zone and a lot depends on how you specifically implement the technical solution. This is of course very strange.

    My suggestion to Microsoft is to create a user license for Microsoft CRM that is a special no-named user that cannot access the CRM functionallity directly. Like an internal connector license with only one user but allows for "multiplexing", if that is what they call it.

    I, and probably more with me, would appreciate a clear licensing specification on exactly how this works and suggestions on how to solve this. For I would presume it is in Microsofts interest that Microsoft Dynamics CRM can be part of enterprise-wide data warehouses and other BI solutions.


  3. Do you know if there is a Sharepoint web part for CRM 4.0 out yet?

  4. Hi,
    No, I havn't checked actually and I am currently on vaccation/parent leave but I would think the old one should work since it uses the old webservice which works in CRM 4.0 as well. It doesn't have the 4.0-look but I believe it will probably work.