CRM 2011 – Employee Self-Service CAL (ESS) (Reduce 90% of CAL cost!)
A new type of CAL has been introduced to the model to allow for licensing internal users that use other applications to connect to CRM without using the CRM web or outlook user interfaces. This employee self-service CAL (ESS CAL) is particularly useful for line-of-business (LOB) xRM applications and for intranet portals that are connected to CRM.
This license type is still a CAL, and that means that it is needed for every internal user. The good news is that it is approximately 10% of the cost of the full-use CAL.
In the past, if you were to build a helpdesk portal for internal users, you would have to license every user in your organization for CRM, even if they were not actually using CRM. For example, you may have a helpdesk staff of 10 users supporting a company of 500 users. Without the ESS CAL, you would need 510 CRM full use CALs. With the new ESS CAL, you would need 10 full use CALs and 500 ESS CALs, representing a savings of just under 90%.
There are some restrictions with the ESS CAL. First off, the obvious – the user can only access CRM through an application that uses the CRM SDK. They cannot access CRM using the CRM Outlook or Web UIs. There are also limitations on which SDK calls can be made. The ESS CAL can create, read, and update all entities in CRM but is restricted to not delete, assign, or share through the SDK. The good news is that it can change state, so the delete capability can be achieved by changing the state to InActive, which is probably best practice anyways, especially if you have turned on auditing and want your audit data to stick around…