Microsoft Dynamics licensing has changed with Dynamics 365. Historically licenses were perpetual and on-premise. We are now in a world of fully hosted cloud-based subscription models of per user per month. In this article we explain some of the new terms and what this means for you.

Are you a new Microsoft Dynamics customer?

If you are a new customer, then you will no longer be able to purchase Dynamics CRM or Dynamics AX. You will be presented with Dynamics 365 instead. From there you can purchase a role-based application for: Sales, Customer Service, Marketing, Finance and Operations, Retail, Talent and more.

Are you an existing Dynamics CRM or Dynamics AX customer?

If you’re already an on-premise customer, there are several options. Dynamics 365 is a cloud service that also offers dual-use rights, which allows for on-premise deployment. Microsoft offer customers connectors if they want to use a hybrid of on-premise and cloud solutions, and a migration path when they are ready to move to the cloud.

Customers who bought Dynamics on-premise products prior to the launch of Dynamics 365 can stay on-premise as long as they continue to pay Software Assurance (SA) or Enhancement Plan (EP). On-premise customers who are current on SA/EP have the option to move to Dynamics 365 utilising new SKUs.

Microsoft are standing by the original support timelines for each previous version of Dynamics CRM, Dynamics AX, Dynamics GP and Dynamics NAV. This means each product will get roughly 10 years of bug fixes and improvements from the go live date as originally planned by Microsoft. However post this 10 year window you are running some risks by continuing to operate the system. Some earlier versions of Dynamics AX (2009 or earlier) and Dynamics CRM (2011 or earlier) are already out of support or rapidly approaching their deadline.

Download our guide ‘Dynamics 365 Licensing” to understand the different license options and the difference between apps and plans.

Can you license a device on Dynamics 365?

Device Licenses are assigned to a specific device. There are four device licenses available for enterprise customers:

  1. Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations device
  2. Dynamics 365 for Sales device
  3. Dynamics 365 for Field Service device
  4. Dynamics 365 for Customer Service device

With the ‘Customer Engagement Plan Business Application Device’ license, any number of users can use the licensed device with a shared login, such as ‘’ without the need for separate user licenses. Individual users cannot be tracked as they all share one login. Customer Engagement Plan Device licenses are full devices – they include the same rights as the equivalent user license. With the ‘Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations Device’ license, any number of users can access a licensed device with individual logins without the need for separate user license. The ‘Operations Device’ is a limited license with a subset of Unified Operations capabilities.


To learn more about Dynamics 365 Licensing download our guide here or visit our Dynamics 365 page for more information.