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Understanding Salesforce License Types


It has been a while since Salesforce came out with the platform and I just wanted to bring it to your attention that there may be ways to use this to your advantage when paying for your Salesforce CRM system licenses. In the paragraphs that follow, I will go over understanding Salesforce license types – the different editions and features – so that you can be sure you are using the right edition for your business.

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The Sales Cloud Contact Manager edition costs $5.00 per user per month for up to five users. If you have a small office and just need to track and share all of your contacts and accounts, this may be the edition for you. This is more of a contact management system than a customer relationship management system in that it does not have leads or opportunities. Content, a Chatter license, Outlook and Google Apps integration, and activity tracking is included.

The Sales Cloud Group edition costs $25.00 per user per month for up to five users. This is a basic CRM system that includes the above features plus leads and opportunities. It also includes dashboards, support for one AppExchange app, and Salesforce email templates. If your small office wants to track customers, leads and sales, then consider this edition of Salesforce.

Understanding Salesforce License Types

The Sales Cloud Professional edition costs $65.00 per user per month for an unlimited number of users. This is a complete CRM system for any size company. You get all of the above plus campaign, case, and contract management, customizable dashboards, forecasting, mass email, products and pricebooks, as well as a role hierarchy to limit access to records (so you have real security controls vs. an open sharing model in the above editions). You can have up to five custom apps and fifty custom objects. It does not have back-end (API) access to other programs or automation like workflow but if these features are not needed, and the other CRM system features are needed, this may be a good edition to start with.

The Sales Cloud Enterprise edition costs $125.00 per user per month for an unlimited number of users. This is the most widely used version of Salesforce. If integration with other systems or workflow automation is required, then this is the CRM system edition for you. Send emails using Salesforce email templates, update fields, assign tasks, and change owners automatically based on any criteria you choose. Enterprise edition allows for more customization and lets you edit profile and page layouts and create sales territories.

The Sales Cloud Unlimited edition costs $250.00 per user per month for an unlimited number of users. The name says it all. Unlimited custom apps and up to 2000 custom objects! The storage is also increased from 20MB of data storage and 612MB of file storage per user to 120MB of data storage and 2GB of file storage per user. Salesforce premier support is also included with Unlimited edition.

The Salesforce CRM system also has a Service cloud for the Professional ($65.00 per user per month), Enterprise ($135.00 per user per month), and Performance ($300.00 per user per month) editions that are designed for support companies or call centers. Depending on the edition, the Service cloud includes the agent console, Twitter integration, knowledge base, service contracts, entitlements, field service management and Facebook integration. If your primary business is support, these editions may help you the best.

When making your choice of license type remember that is is easy to upgrade to a more expensive license type and difficult to downgrade to a less expensive license type. Not only can there be development work or data transfer associated with downgrading to a less expensive license, but Salesforce will not let a company downgrade a license type until the end of the contract period. You can upgrade a license type at any time.

The platform includes all of the back-end functionality of Enterprise edition including integration with other programs, automated workflow, custom objects and apps, and Apex code but it has limited access to the standard CRM objects. Cases, solutions, campaigns, leads, opportunities, products, contracts, and forecasts are not accessible with any edition.

Understanding Salesforce License Types

The Chatter Free edition allows non-Salesforce users to post status updates, follow their coworkers, share files, and collaborate with colleagues. It includes access to the Chatter desktop client, Chatter feeds, file sharing, Chatter Groups, invitations, profiles, and status updates.

The Chatter Plus edition costs $15.00 per user per month for an unlimited number of users. It has read only access to accounts and contacts, supports 1 custom app and up to 10 custom objects. Chatter Plus also gives users access to calendar and events, content, reports and dashboards, and tasks and activities. The Chatter edition can be added to any Professional, Enterprise, or Unlimited instance where the user only needs access to the custom app and objects. Chatter Plus is a great way to expand the use of Salesforce in your organization to new departments outside of business development and customer service.

The Enterprise App edition costs $25.00 per user per month for an unlimited number of users. It supports full access to accounts and contacts as well as 10 custom apps and up to 10 custom objects. It can be added to any Enterprise instance where the user needs full access to the accounts and contacts as well as your custom apps and objects only. This is the perfect platform if you have the need for a database that does not need access to any of the CRM system objects.

The App Bundle edition costs $80.00 per user per month for an unlimited number of users, supports full access to accounts and contacts, and gives users 10 custom apps, 25 custom tabs, and up to 200 custom objects.

The Unlimited Apps edition costs $150.00 per user per month for an unlimited number of users. It also supports full access to accounts and contacts as well as an unlimited number of custom apps and up to 2000 custom objects. It can be added to any Unlimited instance where the user needs full access to the accounts and contacts as well as your custom apps and objects only.

Now that you have an understanding of what the different Salesforce CRM system editions feature and cost, you may find that you have users that can take advantage of the licenses to reduce your licensing costs. If you only have one Enterprise edition user that can be moved to a Enterprise license, you will save $100.00 per month or $1200.00 per year.

These are some pretty big savings numbers for just one user. With the right customizations on your custom objects and apps, you may be able to move a majority of your users to licenses. This can free up some serious capital for use in other areas and in many cases can pay for the development work needed to make the change over.

Please feel free to contact us if you would like help understanding Salesforce license types, customizing your Salesforce instance or want to explore moving some of all of your users to licenses.

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Posted by Darren


Posted: December 5, 2010

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17 Comment

  • Prialto - Which Edition of Salesforce Should I Get?
    February 21, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    […] Want to know more about Salesforce Editions and licensing? Check out this post from the StarrForce blog Salesforce license types. […]

  • Joesph Smyth
    July 1, 2012 at 9:21 am

    If i upgrade from Professional to Enterprise during the middle of my subscription term, do I get credit for the remaining $$ on my Professional subscription?


  • admin
    July 3, 2012 at 7:51 am

    Enterprise is more expensive than Professional so you would not have any credit remaining. If you have questions about this you should speak with your Account Executive at Salesforce.

  • Milan Sanghani
    December 27, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    1) So, Free, Enterprise ans Unlimited edition are the Edition in which we can install only AppExchange Application, Salesforce does not provide any CRM functionality, is it right??

    2) Can we install application which is not listed in appExchange ?

    3) If application is just a Managed package, ( Means not passed Security review and not listed in AppExchange ) can we install in edition.

  • admin
    January 2, 2013 at 7:13 am

    Hi Milan,

    The Free edition has been replaced with the One App version and allows access to 1 App with up to 10 custom objects in it. It does not have access to any of the Salesforce CRM objects like accounts, contacts, leads, etc.

    The other versions have read/write access to accounts and contacts but no access to the other CRM objects. The Enterprise version has access to 10 apps and 200 custom objects.

    The “Apps” referenced in the names of these editions are the ones you would create by going to Setup | App Setup | Create | Apps and are selectable in the upper right of the Salesforce page next to the Help link. They can include AppExchange apps but are not limited to them. You can create as many Apps as your edition supports.

    For more information on these different versions, please see the Salesforce page in the link below:

    And the edition comparison chart below:

  • You Get What you Get, or Maybe Not: Negotiating with Salesforce | Prialto
    February 5, 2013 at 9:48 am

    […] locked into your choice of plan. With Salesforce, you can upgrade your license at any time,  but you can only downgrade when your contract expires. That means you’ll need to decide how much CRM functionality you need and how it will be used […]

  • Sumit
    March 26, 2013 at 5:51 am

    can I have 1 salesforce license – say enterprise or unlimited and then multiple licenses. what data can be shared?

  • admin
    March 27, 2013 at 6:13 am

    Hi Sumit,

    Yes, you can have one Enterprise or Unlimited license and many licenses. The one license would have read/write access to all Salesforce standard and custom objects and the FDC licenses would have access to Accounts, Contacts, and custom objects.

    The FDC users would not have access to other CRM objects like Opportunities, Leads, Cases, Campaigns, etc. For more information, see the Salesforce page in the link below and be sure to check the “Full edition comparison chart” link at the bottom of the page.

  • George
    April 22, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Professional edition does not support the Customer Portal but if your instance was created before the Spring ’12 release, then you will still have access to the Self-Service Portal. You can only have one Self-Service Portal in a Salesforce instance.

    For the Customer Portal that is available in Enterprise or Unlimited editions, you need to purchase licenses from Salesforce and you cannot have more portals than licenses. As for the limit on the number of active Customer Portals, you would need to speak with your Salesforce account executive. The limit is set when you purchase your licenses.

    For more information on the Salesforce Customer Portal, please see the Salesforce Customer Portal Implementation Guide in the link below:

  • Sravan
    September 7, 2013 at 2:47 am

    If i get enterprise edition is there any limit on the number of users i can configure…

  • admin
    September 7, 2013 at 7:08 am

    Not that we are aware of.

  • Kelly
    May 22, 2014 at 7:32 am

    The Contract Manager edition does not have Leads. Can Leads be added/purchased separately?

  • admin
    May 22, 2014 at 9:33 am

    Best to talk with your Account Executive at Salesforce to see what they say.

  • Vivian
    January 19, 2015 at 7:06 am

    What about marketing cloud? Is it a kind of user license in the same way as Service Cloud and Sales Cloud?

  • Darren
    January 21, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    The marketing cloud consists of different products so we’d recommend speaking with your Account Executive about pricing.

  • Krishna G
    August 17, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    Can we take combination of licenses for users? I mean we want to take 3 to 5 professional edition licenses and remaining people we want to have very basic license to access via salesforce 1 mobile with very limited control. Please suggest.

  • Darren
    August 18, 2015 at 6:41 am

    If you’re using Professional Edition licenses then all users will need to be on Professional Edition.

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