Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Licensing Guide: news from Directions EMEA 2018

Despite recent Directions US conference, where most of the news were revealed, licensing topics were still hot on Directions EMEA.

Awara IT as usual is visiting the biggest Dynamics NAV and Business Central conference in the world. Here is a wrap-up of latest licensing news and results of Q&A licensing sessions in The Haague this fall.

Dynamics 365 Business Central general licensing concepts

Named user concept. Named CALs are assigned on a “named user” basis, meaning each user requires a separate User License. Named user licenses cannot be shared but an individual with a named user license may access the service through multiple devices.

Three types of Dynamics 365 Business Central licenses:

  • Team member (reads and approves, creates cards, quotes and sales orders)
  • Essential (all except service management and manufacturing)
  • Premium (all including service management and manufacturing)
  • One external free license for accountant
  • One external free license for administrator
dynamics 365 bc licensing

Dynamics 365 Business Central SaaS (cloud) licensing

 Here is the link to official licensing guide:https://mbs.microsoft.com/partnersource/global/pricing-ordering/licensing-policies/Dyn365BusinessCentralPricingLicensing

  • CSP is the only method to license Dynamics 365 Business Central cloud license.
  • Device CALs.
  • Named user concept.
  • Annual or monthly billing.
  • Trials available.
  • ISV Team Member available.
  • No storage limitations (as in case of Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations); despite the fact that it aims to move to CCS/CDM, there is still no storage limitations for cloud.

At least, one Essential or Premium user needs to be licensed.

Additional objects are free:

  • Objects in 70,000,000 – 75,000,000 range are given by vendor for free when registering App in the AppSource – inherited from “Business Edition”, works only in cloud.
  • Objects in 1,000,000 – 60,000,000 range are given by vendor for free for ISV partner solutions (should match ISV requirements); will be available for both on-premises and cloud versions of Business Central and will have possibility to be published in AppSource (not yet, but soon).
  • Objects in 50,000 – 99,999 range are given by vendor for free and could be used to deploy on-premises extensions per tenant, cannot be used in AppSource, but can be uploaded directly to a tenant

By default, Business Central on-prem sandbox is deployed with Essentials type of user license. There would be no manufacturing features by that. However you can activate premium functionality and enable manufacturing, using this official guide.

Cloud Transition Promo in place when upgrading from on-premises installations to SaaS cloud installation: for existing active customers (active before March 2018) 40% discount for cloud offering if they convert before June 30, 2021; if more users purchased after transition, 40% discount will be applied for those as well.

Dual Use Rights – available only through SaaS cloud licensing offering. The customer who uses SaaS version can download license key (.flf format) from Customer Source selecting “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.

d365 bc dual use rights

Dynamics 365 Business Central On-Premises licensing

New BREP options appeared. Apart from usual 16% Enhancement Plan, there are also 18% Advantage Plan and 25% Advantage Plus Plan, as well as 25% Software Assurance and Premier Support options to offer better SLAs for incidents resolution and more access to support features (see the DPL price policy above for full details). Here is the link to official licensing guide.

Perpetual Licensing

NAV 2018 licenses for new customers will be sold until December 31, 2018; from January, 01 no new customer license sale of NAV 2018. Customers that target NAV should purchase Business Central on-premises.

Named user concept. Only DPL (Dynamics Price List) method to license on-premises perpetual licenses. No Starter Pack needed, minimum one Premium or Essential user is required. For transition you need to make an order at Order Central (for NAV 2018 without Extended Pack) or through Regional Operations Center (for NAV 2018 с Extended pack and NAV 2018).

All perpetual-licensed types of customers with older versions (NAV 2018 and older) that were active (that is, had licenses and active BREP) before October, 01 2018:

  • Can continue using their products as they are and purchase additional licenses and objects; there is no date limiting the usage unless they pay active BREP
  • With version older than NAV 2018 (e.g., Navision 5.0), will be able to upgrade to newer older versions (e.g., to NAV 2018) not later than April 01, 2019; after April 01, 2019 they will be able to upgrade only to Dynamics 365 Business Central without downgrade option (obviously as it implies different licensing concepts of named users).
  • Will be able to upgrade to Dynamics 365 Business Central perpetual anytime, with concurrent users to be converted to named users:
    • One Full User (Extended Pack) – to two Premium users
    • One Full User (no Extended Pack) – to two Essential users
    • One Limited User – to one (!) Team Member
    • Objects – as they are
    • The total value of licenses remains the same. E.g., if there has been 10 perpetual licenses of total 10,000 USD, then they will be converted to 10 named licenses of value 10,000 USD plus 10 extra named licenses with zero value; this total value will be used for the BREP calculation
    • Upgrade from Essential to Premium will be available (still open), but not backwards
    • Application Builder and Solution Developer are converted 1-to-1

All perpetual-licensed types of customers with older versions (e.g., NAV 2018) that became new customers (that is, had made the first purchase) after October, 01 2018:

  • Can continue using their products as they are and purchase additional licenses and objects; there is no date limiting the usage unless they pay active BREP
  • With version older than NAV 2018 (e.g., NAV 2017), will be able to upgrade to newer older versions (e.g., to NAV 2018) not later than April 01, 2019; after April 01, 2019 they will be able to upgrade only to Dynamics 365 Business Central without downgrade option (obviously as it implies different licensing concepts of named users)
  • Will be able to upgrade to Dynamics 365 Business Central perpetual anytime, with concurrent users to be converted to named users:
    • One Full User (Extended Pack) – to one Premium users
    • One Full User (no Extended Pack) – to one Essential users
    • One Limited User – to one Team Member
    • Objects – as they are
    • The total value of licenses remains the same. E.g., if there has been 10 perpetual licenses of total 10,000 USD, then they will be converted to 10 named licenses of value 10,000 USD
    • Upgrade from Essential to Premium will be available (still open), but not backwards

No mix and match between Essential and Premium – only one type for all users is allowed.

Subscription licensing

 Named user concept. Only DPL (Dynamics Price List) method to license on-premises subscription licenses. 

All subscription-licensed types of customers with older versions (NAV 2018 and older) that are active (that is, had licenses and active subscription):

  • Can continue using their products as they are and purchase additional licenses and objects.
  • Starting from October 01, 2019  the subscription prices will be increased by around 20-30%
  • Will be able to upgrade to Dynamics 365 Business Central on-premises anytime, skipping the current subscription and starting paying for the new subscription
  • If placed in Azure, there will be extra license discount of 20% for subscription of licenses, both now and after October 01, 2019.

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