Understanding Microsoft Dynamics 365 Options: Licensing, Editions, Pricing and User Types

In the blog that I recently shared, Microsoft Dynamics 365: The Next-Generation Business Solution, I answered questions that we’ve been receiving about Microsoft’s new platform that combines the power of ERP and CRM into one unified, cloud-based system.

Now that you have a better understanding of what the technology can do, it’s time to start thinking about the best way to implement it and understand the options that are available to you – because there are many. Dynamics 365 is highly customizable from the very start, providing options based on the number of users, user types and more, allowing you to build a unique solution that suits your specific needs.

Let’s dive into your options:


Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers many different licensing options to suit both your business needs and your budget. First, there is a licensing option for Enterprise businesses or small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs). Secondly, you can choose to license by app, choosing full functionality for example, or only the apps you need now. Finally, you can license by team members or by role. For example, there may be employees that only need to read information or have limited input.


There are two editions available, Enterprise or Business Central. 

The Enterprise edition is built upon the Microsoft Dynamics AX and CRM Online platforms and provides a common data model that delivers powerful functionality including Sales, Customer Service, Field Services, Project Service Automation, Marketing and Operations. You can integrate these features with Office365, Power BI, Cortana Analytics, Azure IoT or you can choose other third-party apps from AppSource. This edition is best suited for businesses with complex needs, those requiring advanced analytics, or companies with a multi-entity, multi-language structure.

The Business Central is based on Microsoft Dynamics NAV and primarily offers financial management. This solution is ideal for SMBs, particularly those that have outgrown entry-level solutions, like QuickBooks. This edition also seamlessly integrates with Office365, Power BI, Cortana Analytics and Azure IoT. The initial release of this solution is currently available and functionality will be added beyond the financial management elements over the next few years.


Both Enterprise and Business editions offer tiered pricing. You have the flexibility to choose the functionality you need now and add or change features as your business grows and changes. As necessary, you can add apps or features including Office 365, Cortana Analytics, Power BI, and other solutions from AppSource. For example, for Enterprise Users, you can choose Plan 2, which includes all of the available functionality. Plan 1 provides the Dynamics 365 functionality, then you can add other apps, like field services or operations.

User Types

There are two user types. A light user is for team members, such as those that only read or review information or complete small tasks in the apps. A full user, on the other hand, will use more of the functionality in the applications. Team members will have read access across all apps and have a lower per-seat price at higher counts with tiered pricing. Plans provide full flexibility to work with all app functionality. This is a better value for customers with tiered pricing and leverages the full extensibility of PowerApps.

Businesses that already use Microsoft Dynamics products, including GP, NAV or SL can choose to stay with these products, which will be well supported for years to come. However, this is a good time to determine whether a cloud strategy and transition into Dynamics 365 may be a better fit for your business.

As always, let me know if you have any questions.

And, be sure to join us on December 6 for a free webinar, Your Path to Microsoft Dynamics 365, where we will further discuss options and help you determine the right time and the right way for your business to make the transition to Dynamics 365.

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