CRM 2011 – Client Access License Types

I am studying for the CRM 2011 installation certification and I was reading about the topic of client access license types.

You will have probably heard of these before as CALS (Client Access License) and to access CRM you need a CAL.


There are three difference Client Access License Types

  • Full: Users configured with this license type can view and modify records (subject to their assigned security roles and privileges).
  • Limited: Users configured with this license type can only view records (subject to their assigned security roles and privileges). They cannot modify records.
  • Administrative: Users configured with this license type can administer the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server but will not have access to the Sales, Marketing, or Service areas.

Interestingly the Administrative user does not use a license type, initially I thought, wow just make all users an Administrative user and it won’t cost you a bean but then after reading the description above properly I realised you can’t see any of the data.

Still it’s interesting to wonder how many people are using a license for someone who is only doing administrative tasks.

The Full and Limited CALs can be either a Device or User CAL.  I never really understood this and couldn’t understand why people would get Device CALs, so lets look at the definition of the a user and device CAL.

  • A user CAL enables a user to connect to CRM from any computer or other device
  • A device Cal enables any number of users to connect to CRM from the same computer or device.

There is not price difference between a device and user call so when would you use each different type.

You would use a device CAL if you had a lot of different users accessing CRM from the same computer, so if you have shift workers then you could buy device CALs and then each shift workers could use a different login but the same computer to access CRM.

If you have workers with multiple devices who might have a different computer at the office and at home then it would be better for this user to have a user cal where they can access CRM from multiple devices.

I think the user CAL might be relevant in the future when users can use tablets and phones to access CRM.


Another interesting point which you learn if you study for the Installation certification is disabled users no longer use a CAL and you can enable and disable users at any time.

To find out how many licences you are using then you can find this information in the Deployment manager.


13 thoughts on “CRM 2011 – Client Access License Types

  1. Jukka Niiranen June 25, 2012 / 8:03 pm

    In CRM 2011 there is one additional CAL type: Employee Self Service CAL, also known as ESS CAL. This is an interesting one as it allows users to access the CRM data but not through the actual Microsoft Dynamics CRM web or Outlook client. It’s meant for scenarios like intranet portals where an alternative UI is developed for these users to access CRM data and platform functionality. You can read about the details in the Pricing & Licensing Guide:


  2. Roxana August 13, 2012 / 4:54 pm

    Hello, How many CAL administrative does the CRM 2011 have?


  3. Jukka Niiranen August 14, 2012 / 6:16 am

    Roxana, I don’t think there’s a hard limit on how many admin CAL’s you can add when it comes to Dynamics CRM on-premises server. In CRM Online every user requires a license, unless they are set in a non-interactive access mode, which means they can only access the system through the web service but not the CRM UI. It used to be possible to have 5 non-interactive users as service accounts in CRM Online, but after they moved the system to the same platform as Office 365, there are no longer free service accounts available at all. You can find some more information here:


  4. Boobalan October 18, 2012 / 12:19 pm

    How to know how many license are available and how many used in CRM 2011


  5. Boobalan October 18, 2012 / 12:37 pm

    in the Deployment Managed I am able to see the requied users that is used license but i am not able to see available license


    • Hosk October 18, 2012 / 9:22 pm

      it won’t show you how many licenses are availabe you just have to make sure you are not using more licences than you have paid for.

      Sometimes Microsoft do an audit


      • Boobalan October 19, 2012 / 5:54 am

        Thanks for the information, How to convey this to customer, they want to know their license information available on their portal, is it any other way ?


  6. Hosk October 19, 2012 / 8:26 am

    If they want to know how many licenses they are using, view the number of enabled users.


    • Boobalan October 19, 2012 / 8:35 am

      they are able to add more user then license available in additional organization, not in the root organization, your answer is for the root organization


  7. Fernando Santos June 29, 2015 / 7:30 pm


    Is there any way to block the same userid to be used by several people simultaneously ?


    • Hosk June 30, 2015 / 10:30 am

      I would ask this question on the CRM forum. I’m not sure off the top of my head and there is no easy way.

      You could probably do something with SQL server connections. The CRM audit shows you when people have logged on but how would you know if they had an active connection to SQL would be the tricky bit.


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