Saturday 1 June 2013

CRM 2011 On Premises - External Connector License


UPDATE: The External Connector License is obsoleted. The connector was removed from the pricelist in January 2014. From the quick reference guide:
"Access by external (third party) users is included with the Server License; you do not need CALs unless using Microsoft Dynamics CRM client applications. External users are users that are not either your or your affiliates’ employees, or your or your affiliates’ onsite contractors or onsite agents."


One of our customers, working on CRM 2011 on-premises, would like to provide the access of CRM data to external parties, like their service providers, customers and other contacts. At present, these people have been created as contacts in CRM. I was asked to prepare high level design, a work model that allows this group of people to access the Dynamics CRM data. I have prepared a design wherein we decided to give access to external parties via the existing web site of my customer. I have also explained that we require External Connector License for this implementation. However, as I never used it before, I would like to collect more details on External Connector License.

I thought once we purchase such uncommon license from Microsoft, they would allow us to assign it to one of the existing Dynamics CRM users and the credentials of that user can be consumed at web portal then to fetch/update CRM data. To validate my understanding, I put the same as question on different Dynamics CRM communities, forums and groups.

I found that my conception was wrong. The External Connector License is just a paper license, a trust license. It has nothing to do with the implementation. To validate the cost for this license, you can refer below link.

You could also refer the below links that help me to confirm it.

Note: The External Connector License is not applicable to Dynamics CRM 2011 online

Please feel free to update this post with your experience about External Connector License.


  1. The external connector is only necessary for CRM On-premise. The external connector license is already included in partner hosted CRM (SPLA) and CRM Online. The license is not a CAL license, it is a server license. You license your CRM server for external access. You purchase one external connector for every CRM server you have licensed. Another thing to consider is that an external connector will not give any users any rights to use the UI or outlook client - you will have to build your own portal to access the data. It is only for external people in your organization. In your case, both of those seem to be true. I hope you are building your external portal using the portal framework - if you need more information, please feel free to contact me.

  2. Hello Shan,

    Thank you for sharing more details on External Connector License. Yes, I am building a separate website and planning to use "CRM 2011 ASP.NET Membership Provider".

  3. Hello Ankit, External Connector License is to give access to any of the Non-Employee. (Dealers, Partners, Distributors, Consultants & Others). They can access MS CRM data through the API or Custom Portal. You can also give access of crm data to employee via portal, but u need to buy ESS CAL for the Employee.

  4. Hi Ankit,
    I am going to implement a adx studio intranet portal with adfs

    Am going to use CRM External connector License, to allow access to external user.

    I looked all over but did not got any information about this,

    1) Do we add external connector user to CRM System use entity.

    2) IF yes then what is the access type/ license type to set to user.

  5. Hi Vikram,

    The external connector licence is a trust license. It has nothing to do with the implementation. No need to attach it in CRM system user entity.