CRM 2011 – What is a Dynamic CRM Limited CAL

I was asked today what the benefits and negatives of using CRM Limited CAL.

I had no idea what a CRM Limited CAL was.

I know CRM users have Access Modes




but whilst investigating this I then noticed there is a license type next to the access mode on the user record.

License type has these options



Device Full

Device limited

For my CRM 2011 installation and configuration exam I knew the device part means you can have users limited to a device and this is basically good if you have people working shifts or using the same computer at different times.  Rather than have a separate license for each user you can have a license for the device/machine.

but what does a limited license type do?

I will admit to gathering information from a number of excellent blogs.  I have changed a user to limited and found they can add, update and delete the core records they have added themselves.

They can’t delete records created by other users.

Lets start the pasting, nice little table from this page

CRM Server Access per CAL Read access Write access
Employee Self Service CAL Limited Limited
Limited CAL Full Limited
Full Use Additive CAL N/A Full
Limited Use Additive CAL Full Limited
CAL Full Full

The text below is an excellent succint description of what the limited cal offers you, it’s around 30 percent cheaper

Limited CAL

In Dynamics CRM v4 a Limited CAL was restricted to read-only access but in Dynamics CRM 2011 the Limited CAL has been expanded to include additional permissions.

For starters, Limited CAL users can now create and amend many of the standard entity records including accounts and leads. This includes permissions to:

  • Create: Accounts, Contacts, Cases, Leads and Activities (including custom activities) using Microsoft Dynamics CRM web, Outlook and mobile clients.
  • Update: Accounts, Contacts, Cases, Leads and Activities created by any CRM user using Microsoft Dynamics CRM clients. Limited CALs also enable the above record type to be associated (or appended) to another so for example, a Limited CAL enables capability to link an activity with a case or to link a contact to an activity.
  • Assign, share & delete: Accounts, Contacts, Cases, Leads and CRM Activities that are created by the same user using Microsoft Dynamics CRM clients.

Further controls is available through an Application Programming Interface to Microsoft Dynamics CRM functionality that can be accessed via any application/graphical user interface (GUI) other than the Dynamics CRM client.
These includes permission to:

  • Create: custom entity records
  • Update: custom entity records that were created by any CRM user
  • Append / Associate: custom entity records with other entities (excluding custom activity records) created by any CRM user.
  • Assign, share and delete: custom entity records created by the same user

These 4 permissions are only available with a Limited CAL through API access.

Not included with a Limited CAL

The Limited CAL doesn’t provide any permission to assign, share or delete records that are created by other CRM users.

Finally, all other entities and CRM functionality have read only access including opportunities, quotes, mail merge, workflows, reports and dashboards. A full CAL is needed to have unrestricted access to all of these functions and entities.

Limited CALs in Summary

Limited CALs are an attractive lower cost option (around 30% of the full CAL price) for light users including analysts or data-entry users in service and telemarketing teams who only need basic access to standard entities including cases, leads, accounts and contacts.

If requirements change a Limited Use CAL can be upgraded to a full CAL for complete CRM functionality by purchasing a Full Use Additive CAL.

The limited cals also can’t create/update custom entities but can see them.  Limited cal’s also can’t use workflows, reports or dashboards or delete records they haven’t made.

It would be tricky to estimate whether a user could use a limited cal.

The articles I found on the subject are below