App Cloud Licensing – Know Your Options to the License Replacement

By July 13, 2017 September 5th, 2019 4 Comments

What happened to Licenses?

One of the reasons Salesforce is a such a successful tool is its market and customer-driven attitude. Its capabilities move with the industry, and the Salesforce team strives to make sure their users can keep up. Unfortunately, sometimes things move so quickly that users are left wondering what happened and how to move onto the next step.

My team and I have been getting some questions about licenses – where they went, what their replacements are, and how much they cost. allowed Salesforce users to build custom apps that could integrate into the platform using point and click development, eliminating users’ need for a full programming background. In its heyday, it was a wonderful tool to enhance the Salesforce platform further. However, as users’ application needs evolved with the rest of the technology world, they found themselves needing something more robust. Salesforce capitalized on this opportunity by building up its capabilities through a to deliver the App Cloud. As a result, users can drive their application development to the next level.

Should You Upgrade?

However, if you’re a customer who has been hanging on to your licenses for a few years, you’re probably wondering if or when you should upgrade to the App Cloud and if the benefit would be worth the investment.

And trust us, we’re proponents of strategic license purchases – if you only need read-only access to accounts and contacts,  you don’t need a $1,800 per year Sales Cloud license. Buy only what you need for each team member.

But we also urge you to make the best decision for your organization. If you think you’re going to need to enhance your Salesforce apps with more customization than your grandfathered license can handle, consider exploring the App Cloud.

Here’s the pricing breakdown for the two App Cloud options:

1. Employee Apps Starter

The least expensive way to go is with the Employee Apps Start license, which costs $25 per month per user. It provides access to 10 objects per user, so this is perfect for users building small, straightforward apps.

2. Employee Apps Plus

Your second option costs a bit more, at $100 per month per user, but it gives developers the ability to build truly customized apps. The license provides for access to 110 objects per user, which empowers users to create unique

Basic Functionality and Support Included

Both App Cloud licenses provide the following:

  • Full access to accounts, contacts, calendar, activities, custom objects, content, Documents, employee cases (not customer cases) and chatter
  • Workflows and approvals
  • Customizable reports and dashboards
  • Role-based sharing
  • Salesforce1 App access
  • API calls
  • Create and read access for ideas
  • Read only access for knowledge

Your company has the option of one license or the other for your Salesforce org as well as an Enterprise or Unlimited edition. This allows you to truly customize your investment for your business and pay for only what you truly need.

Salesforce has the best information on the minute nuances between the two options and their Enterprise and Unlimited counterparts, but here’s what we think is the most important differences between the Employees Apps Starter and Employees Apps Basic:

Org Edition Employee Apps Starter Employee Apps Plus
Custom Applications Unlimited Unlimited
Custom Tabs Unlimited Unlimited
Custom Objects  10  110
Data Storage 20MB 20MB (Enterprise) 120MB (Unlimited)
File Storage 2GB 2GB
API Calls (per day) 200 1000 (Enterprise) 5000 (Unlimited)

Your Next Steps with App Cloud

As I pointed out, I don’t recommend getting rid of your license if it’s serving its purpose and meets your organization’s needs.

However, if you’d like to enhance your apps further, upgrading to App Cloud is a sound investment. I encourage you to sit down with your users and developers and discuss what you actually need for each before choosing between the Employee Apps Starter and Employee Apps Plus.

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below. If you’re looking for more guidance on your best path forward, you can reach out to us here.

Michelle Lavalette

Michelle Lavalette

Michelle is a Technical Project Lead in Soliant’s San Francisco office, working remotely from Arizona. Michelle has over 13 years in the Salesforce eco system with work in the sales, service, financial, and health clouds. Michelle has thirteen Salesforce certifications. In her spare time Michelle enjoys hiking, biking, motorcycling, working on cars, and walking dogs.


  • Avatar Rafael says:

    Hello Michelle, thanks for writing this article! Can a company just subscribe to Employee Apps Starter and make the customisations within that org? Or is an admin type of subscription required to configure customisations for (custom objects, reports, dashboard, workflows, etc.)?

    • Michelle Lavalette Michelle Lavalette says:

      Hi Rafael,

      You would need at least one full license to make any customizations. The employee app has been renamed to Lightning Platform Starter and it does come with some minimal access to setup, but not too much. It’s more for limited users (no access to leads, opportunities, cases) who may just need to see accounts and contacts – and up to 10 custom objects.

  • Avatar keith says:

    Hi Michelle, a couple of questions.

    In the text you say the Employee Apps Plus license “provides for access to 110 objects per user, which empowers users to create unique” but in the table you say 10 Custom Objects, is the table incorrect?

    Can I mix Employee Apps Starter licenses and Employee Apps Plus licenses?


    • Michelle Lavalette Michelle Lavalette says:

      Hi Keith,
      The plus does offer 110, the starter is 10. my table has a typo, thanks for the catch. You should be able to mix the 2 license types, they are feature license add-on’s, so you’d just have to assign the right permission set to the users based on what you’ve purchased. Also as an FYI, these have been renamed again, they are now Lightning Platform Starter and Lightning Platform Plus

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