How KMS use Dynamics CRM licensing structure for Construction firms

Dynamics CRM “Basic” Licenses

When Dynamics CRM 2013 launched, Microsoft “restructured” their pricing, which in reality meant increasing it to match their arch rival 

However, at the same time they also introduced some new license levels which give some additional flexibility when licensing your users.  These extra options have also been carried into Dynamics CRM 2015.

Gone are the “Read Only” licenses from earlier versions of CRM, instead we have “Essential”, “Basic”, “Professional” (and later “Enterprise”).  To keep this piece short, suffice to say that the Enterprise license includes all the additional packages that Microsoft have subsequently bought and integrated into Dynamics CRM (Parature, Marketing Pilot etc.) while Essential is only really of interest if you are using the CRM platform for something that isn’t CRM! 

What do I lose out on if I only have a basic license?

Well, you lose full access to some of the areas where Microsoft have added “business logic”, such as Opportunities, Quotes, Orders, Invoices, Products, Service Contracts, Service Scheduling and Marketing Campaigns.  You can still read a lot of records (such as system dashboards and reports), but can’t update them.  See the graphic below for more details.

Okay, so what can I do?

You still have full access to all of the Accounts and Contacts, the Activities and Custom Entities.  You also get to use the Outlook client, mobile and tablet apps just like a Professional licensed user.  You can also create user reports and dashboards for yourself.  So, depending on your job within an organisation, the basic license may give you everything you need.

I work in a Construction Business, what do I need?

Here at KMS, we worked out long ago that the Opportunity entity simply doesn’t cut it when tracking a Construction project from initial lead, through the bidding process to being onsite and eventually completed.  The business logic that Microsoft have added to Opportunities for more traditional product/service businesses actually gets in the way!  So we have created the Project entity to take you through the entire lifecycle. 

A spin off benefit to this is that, as a custom entity, the Project and the related functionality is fully accessible with just a Basic license.

Is this all above board?

Absolutely, this is what the Basic license is for!  I’m sure Microsoft would love for everyone in your organisation to have a full Professional license, but we at KMS are looking to give you the best advice to meet your particular needs, and a Basic license can save quite a bit of cash.  It won’t always be suitable for all of our customers depending on their specific requirements but it is a useful option to consider.  Why pay for all that functionality if your users don’t need it?

Any other quirks?

Another slight change in terminology is that for CRM Online, these are called User Subscription Licenses (USLs), but the same principles apply to on premise and online licensing.

Microsoft have a minimum of 5 Professional USLs per CRM Online subscription.  You’ll probably need these anyway for System Admins, Super Users and Marketing roles however if additional users get all they need from the Basic license, why pay more?  You can always convert a Basic USL to a Professional USL at a later date if you discover you need the extra bits.

If you want to see the whole MS CRM Online Licensing guide (not for the faint hearted) it is available at:


Licensing Overview