Subscription Licensing Requirements

Licensing Requirements for Internal Users

You may license access to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central by purchasing a Subscription License (SL) for every internal user who directly or indirectly accesses the service. Dynamics 365 Business Central has one type of SL: • User SLs are assigned on a “named user” basis, meaning each user requires a separate User SL; User SLs cannot be shared but an individual with a User SL may access the service through multiple devices. The User SL grants users non-perpetual rights (with no buy-out rights) to the use of the Dynamics 365 Business Central service. As long as you are current on your subscription payments and adhere to the Product Terms and the Online Service Terms, you will have access to the most up-to-date version of your Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.

Licensing Requirements for External Users

External users are end customers and third-party users of the organization or its affiliates and do not require SLs to access Microsoft Dynamics 365. External user access is included with the organization’s internal user SLs.

External users cannot use any clients provided by the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Application Programming Interface (API), such as the Windows client, the Web client, the Windows, the iPad or iPhone app, or the Android application. In addition, external users include off-site vendors not on an employee-like relationship with the organization or its affiliates (e.g. IT help desk support vendors serving multiple customer organizations). However, external user access does not extend to the customer or the customer’s affiliate’s contractors, vendors, or agents providing business processes on the customer’s behalf or using Microsoft Dynamics 365 to manage any portions of their business. In this sense, the customer may not use Microsoft Dynamics 365 to provide business process outsourcing services to its clients


Multiplexing refers to the use of hardware or software that a customer uses to pool connections, reroute information, reduce the number of devices or users that directly access or use Microsoft Dynamics 365 service. Multiplexing does NOT reduce the number of SLs of any type required to access the Microsoft Dynamics 365 service. Any user or device that accesses Microsoft Dynamics 365 —whether directly or indirectly—must be properly licensed. Microsoft Dynamics 365 SLs are required for users or devices that directly input, query, or view data from the Microsoft Dynamics 365 service. Similarity, Microsoft Dynamics 365 SLs are required for users or devices that input data into, query, or view data from Microsoft Dynamics 365 through a pooling device. Pooled connections use a non-interactive user account in Dynamics 365 that can access the system but only via the web service layer. Internal users and devices accessing Microsoft Dynamics 365 data indirectly through a portal or via an API to a separate service such Microsoft Outlook must also be properly licensed, regardless of if they are set up as a Microsoft Dynamics 365 user in the service, for example: • Internal users and devices access Microsoft Dynamics 365 data indirectly through a PowerApps must still be properly licensed for Dynamics 365. • Any user or device that accesses the service, files, data, or content provided by the service that is made available through an automated process requires a Microsoft Dynamics 365 SL. • The number of tiers of hardware or software between the Microsoft Dynamics 365 service and the user or devices that ultimately use its data, services, or functionality does not affect the number of SLs required. For additional information about multiplexing refer to the Microsoft Volume Licensing Brief Multiplexing—Client Access License (CAL) Requirements.

Dual Use Rights

One of the advantages of Dynamics 365 is dual use rights. This allows customers the option to deploy the server software either in Microsoft’s cloud or in a private on-premises or partner-hosted cloud. In some cases, customers may want to deploy both types of instances simultaneously. This might be done to help with migrating a Dynamics 365 on-premises deployment to Dynamics 365, running private Dev/Test deployments in Microsoft Azure. With Dual Use Rights, Dynamics 365 users licensed with the required User SL do not need to acquire CALs to access Server instances. Users or devices licensed with Dynamics 365 SLs have use rights equivalent to a CAL for the purpose of accessing equivalent on-premise workloads. With Dynamics 365 the server license is included with the SLs. Licenses for all supporting servers (e.g., Windows Server and CAL(s)) must be obtained separately. Users or devices licensed with the following SLs may access the on-premise Dynamics 365 Server software provided via dual use rights: • Dynamics 365 Essentials • Dynamics 365 Premium • Dynamics 365 for Team Members To take advantage of Dual Use rights, a Dynamics 365 Business Central cloud subscription needs to be activated via CSP. Once the subscription has been activated, a customer account will be created in PartnerSource Business Center (PSBC) with the equivalent user SLs. The customer can access their onpremises/dual use rights license key (flf. format) by signing in to CustomerSource, selecting the ‘My Products and Services’ link from the dropdown menu and then clicking on the ‘Registration Keys’ link beside the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central product. Note: The on-premises license file is valid as long as the cloud subscription is active. When you update your online subscription (for example, reduce the user count), you and/or your customer are obligated to download a new on-premises license file from PSBC to reflect the changes made on the cloud subscription.