Licensing – Know Your Options

July 2017 Update: has been replaced with App Cloud licensing options. Learn more about the change and how to transition here.

In most organizations, not everyone needs access to full-blown CRM functionality.  There might be users who never touch Leads or Opportunities, need read-only access to just Accounts and Contacts, or maybe a custom app. One Enterprise Sales Cloud user license costs $1500/per year at current pricing. I suggest spending a bit of time analyzing your users, and what they use Salesforce for most often.

There are ways to get creative with licensing and put more of that money back in your pocket. The Spring ’13 release delivered two new licensing options that worth checking out. You can combine traditional Salesforce licensing (full-blown access) with licensing that allows you to pay for precisely what your users need. Existing customers that already have licensing in place can stick with their current licensing and pricing, or switch to one of the new offerings. Light Light, the first new choice, costs $10/per app/per user. In addition to the custom app(s) the user can access, Light includes:

  • Read-only access to Accounts and Contacts
  • Full read/write access to Activities, Tasks, Calendar, Events, Content, Documents, Ideas, Q&A
  • Enterprise Analytics including Data Bucketing, Joined Reports and Cross Filters
  • Profiles
  • Permission Sets
  • Canvas
  • SOAP and REST API’s Enterprise Enterprise, the second choice, costs a little more at $25/per app/per user, and gives the user access to quite a bit more functionality in addition to what we list above for Light:

  • Full read/write access to Account and Contacts
  • Bulk API
  • Streaming API
  • Sharing Model

Common Capacities

Both license types come with the same capacity:

  • Custom Objects – Max of  10 per app
  • Custom Tabs – Max of 10 per app
  • Data Storage – 20MB per subscription
  • File Storage – 612MB per subscription
  • API Calls per Day – 200 per subscription

Since you can combine license types, you might find that you have groups of users that could easily be moved to a license. You can then maintain full-blown CRM licensing for only those who need it. Do a bit of research and planning on the level of functionality required by each user to maximize Salesforce use and minimize costs.

Drive Value with an Optimal License

If you have additional questions about and have it can drive value for your business, we can provide some insights and lessons learned from our work. Contact our team of consultants today to determine which license is best for your business and organizational goals.

12 thoughts on “ Licensing – Know Your Options”

  1. My confusion here is that how is the 10 objects per app limit enforced upon the users. In my entire salesforce experience I have never seen a way by which there is a set relation between apps and objects. I can have the same object listed under 10 different apps.

    Secondly how would salesforce figure out the number of objects I am using under an app. I can create a button wihtin an object under App-A, to create a new record or modify a record for an object listed under App-B.

    Moreover, this 10 Objects/App/User is again confusing. What is I have in a given project 20 CRM licenses and 80 enterprise licenses. So does this mean my 80 users would only have access to 1 app and just 10 custom objects.

    Please respond if you have the answers.

  2. Hi Yash-

    To your first two points, these limits are contractual in nature. While not a technical limit, it can be enforced through an org audit.

    As for your second point, you mention that you have the Enterprise licenses. Your users can have access to more than one app, you just pay Salesforce on a per/App basis. There was an older offering, the One-App license, which was more of what you described above. This option is no longer available for new Orgs.

    Have a great day!

  3. Hi – I’m just wondering if you know whether or not it is possible to purchase multiple licenses for each user? To clarify – let’s say you wanted 15 users to have access to to 2 custom apps. Each with 10 objects. Is it possible to purchase 30 EE licenses and allocate 2 licenses to each user?

  4. @Kim : Thanks for the information.
    @Damien : At any given point of time, one user should be associated with only 1 user license.Looking at Kim’s reply to one of the query above, as this would not be a technical limit but more of a contractual limit,to answer your case, you would still have 1 user license but to access 2 apps with 10 objects each, i assume contractually you have to pay 50$/user/month to salesforce.
    Kim can clarify if my understanding is correct.


  5. Ashutosh Limaye

    Hi Kim, a very nice article!
    I had a question of my own, If I buy one Salesforce (Enterprise Edition) for my Admin and ten Light licenses for my end-users, will the capacities (for instance Storage Space) be the sum of EE and Light(10)? Also could my Admin now create 10 custom apps (as that is the max he can do in EE) and give access to each app to different person with Light license?
    Thanks for the information!

  6. Hi Ian,


     Yep, thats what they mean by "Analytics".  Plus, probably, "Analytical Snapshots" and the newer embedded charting features.


     Hope this helps!



  7. Hi,
    I am new to SalesForce and getting some problem. I have created an application in my developer account. My application has several user roles. Now I want all employees of my organization use that application. For this i have to add all my organization employees to SF. But i don’t know what SF license type to choose.
    I am ready to purchase a SF license account and i am ready to deploy my application into that but don’t want to pay for each of my employee.

    Please suggest which Licensing option i should go with.


  8. Hello Gaurav, 

    I spoke with the Salesforce team at Soliant and here is a response to your question.

    "If your users do not need the standard CRM elements, you might land on a license type of “Salesforce Platform,” which gives your users access to core Salesforce elements (accounts, contacts, reports, etc.) plus what you have created custom for them. For more details, though, check the Help page on user licenses:


    "In terms of not paying for each employee, that’s a tough one. It is a best practice to have one login per user. If you work for a non-profit you can receive some free licenses for Salesforce, but other than that your best bet to reduce costs is just ensure the edition and license type you choose is the best fit for your needs. For example, if your app is custom and does not rely on the Salesforce CRM, consider the Platform editions Kim mentions above as opposed to the Sales or Service Clouds: "


    I hope this helps answer your question, please advise if you need addtional help.

    Best Regards – Farrah

  9. Hi

    I simply want to pull some info from SF into our local data store.

    Updating Clients, Contacts and Addresses plus Jobs with Job number, name, description and link back to the client and contact. I would also need to restrict this user down to only the fields management want the API to see, for data security.

    This is a one way pull and would only need to be run once per day so maybe 15-20 API calls. What is the best licence?

    During testing can the 200 API limit be extended?


    1. Hello – good question. I don’t have a ton of experience knowing if the two integrate well, but here’re some resources that should help.

      Target X offers a solution on Salesforce.comΓÇÖs App Exchange for integrating Target X and Salesforce. This integration does require that you have SalesforceΓÇÖs Enterprise Edition or above. You will also need to pay Target X separately for licenses for its solution. Those licensing costs, as stated by Target X, are dependent upon the number of Target X licenses you want along with optional add-on features ΓÇô they do not publish their pricing specifically, so you will need to contact Target X directly. They do offer substantial discounting for non profit organizations, if that is applicable in your case.

      You can read more about Target XΓÇÖs Salesforce connector app here:
      And you can get in touch with someone from Target X to talk about their CRM connector pricing here:
      Finally, are you aware Salesforce offers its own solution for Higher Education? Again, weΓÇÖre not sure if thatΓÇÖs relevant in your case, but you might wish to explore it in more depth here:

      We encourage you to fill out a Contact Us form on our website if you would like to discuss any additional details! Hope this helped.

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