A Quick Guide to Dynamics 365 Base & Attach Licences


When Dynamics 365 was launched, a Plan licence was promoted as the most cost effective way to access all capabilities across its Customer Engagement apps.

However, Microsoft subsequently reported that the majority of users who were licensed with the Plan SKU tended to only work within one Dynamics app. In these instances, a single app would be a more cost effective licence compared to a paying a premium for the full stack of Plan functions that aren't used which misaligns value with price.

To move away from a 'one size fits all' licensing approach, Microsoft removed Dynamics 365 Plan licensing with effect from 1 October 2019.

What Changed?

Prior to 2019, the main Dynamics 365 licensing choices for Customer Engagement / CRM were: Team Member (for light usage needs), functional role based apps (including Sales and Customer Service) and the Customer Engagement Plan.

From October 2019, Microsoft removed its Plan option as it moved to an 'a-la-carte' style licensing offering.

As a result, users are now licensed on a per app basis, or using the Team Member license.

How does the new app licensing structure work?

For each user, an administrator will need to define a Base licence from the following choice:

  • Dynamics 365 Sales Enterprise
  • Dynamics 365 Sales Professional
  • Dynamics 365 Customer Service Enterprise
  • Dynamics 365 Customer Service Professional
  • Dynamics 365 Field Service
  • Dynamics 365 Project Operations

If individual user needs can be met by a single app, a Base app licence will be sufficient.

At this point it is worth referencing two important licensing changes that have been made during recent years as these may help steer you towards a single app:

  • Sales licences include capabilities enabling users to create cases (previously this would require Sales + Customer Service).
  • Customer Service licences include capabilities allowing users to create leads (previously Customer Service + Sales would be needed)

With the UK commercial price for a Plan licence previously @ £86.70 per user / month and an individual Enterprise app @ £71.60 per user / month, savings could be gained by moving from a Plan licence if user needs could be met by a single app.

Attaching Dynamics 365 apps

For each user requirement, where two or more apps are required, an administrator will need to Attach the appropriate licence(s), available at a discounted rate, to set the required combination.

For example, this would enable the following scenarios:


Base Licence: Sales Enterprise + Attach Licence: Customer Service Enterprise


Base Licence: Customer Service Enterprise + Attach Licence: Field Service


Base Licence: Field Service + Attach Licence: Sales Enterprise + Attach Licence: Customer Service Enterprise

There is no difference in the functionality of an individual app regardless of whether it is licensed as the Base or an Attached application. These are only differentiated in price.

When a user is equipped with a Base licence for an Enterprise app and a single Attach licence, the total cost is identical to the previous Plan price. As a result, an increase in user costs compared to Customer Engagement Plan licensing would only occur if users migrate from a Plan to a Base app with two, or more, Attach licences.

Other Attach considerations

Some important points to consider with the new licensing model are:

  • Administrators may only assign Attach licences if a user has one of the above valid Base licences.
  • When purchasing multiple apps, the Base license must be the highest priced license.
  • The Project Service Operations can only be purchased as a Base licence
  • We've focused on the Customer Engagement apps in this post, but these can also be mixed and matched with a selection of other apps including Dynamics 365 Finance, Business Central, Commerce and Supply Chain Management. This remains subject to the requirement that the Base licence must be the highest priced.
  • Several Dynamics 365 add-on products will not be available as an Attach licence such as Customer Insights.

Professional Licences

In 2018, Microsoft introduced a new Professional licence SKU for Dynamics 365 Sales and Customer Apps, providing core capabilities for these roles at a lower monthly rate.

Professional licences can be used in the new licensing model and these reflect a lower Base price compared to their Enterprise equivalents. It is important to note that an existing condition still applies whereby Professional and Enterprises licences cannot be mixed and matched among users on the same Dynamics 365 environment.

For example, the following licensing scenario would be supported in combining full Dynamics 365 sales capabilities with core customer service and case management functionality:

Base Licence: Sales Enterprise + Attach Licence: Customer Service Professional

However, by equipping at least one user with Customer Service Professional, it would not be possible to select Customer Service Enterprise as either the Base or Attach licence for any other user in the same Dynamics 365 environment.

Finally, where a Professional licence is selected as a Base licence an Enterprise or Field Service licence cannot be attached.

Dynamics 365 for Marketing

Dynamics 365 Marketing is a tenant-based licence so the per user Attach licence model does not apply for this app. As a result, the Marketing app can only be used as a Base licence.

With the demise of the Customer Engagement Plan, Microsoft also withdrew an entitlement whereby Dynamics 365 customers with 10 or more Plan users can access the Marketing app for up to 2000 contacts.

A separate SKU enables customers with 10 or more full Dynamics 365 licences to licence Dynamics for Marketing at £565.60+VAT per tenant / month.

The regular rate of Dynamics 365 for Marketing from October 2019 is quoted @ £1131.20+VAT per tenant / month.

Read more about Dynamics 365 for Marketing licensing.


Licensing Questions?

There are several ways that Preact can help you manage this process and evaluate the most effective mix of licenses for your users.

Our free license check service will review the usage of each Dynamics 365 user within your environment to confirm what licence(s) each person should be equipped with. For example, this will highlight potential savings that could realistically be achieved by moving individuals from the Customer Engagement Plan to a single app.

Request a call back now to discuss your licensing requirements and receive advice from our licensing experts. We'll help you make sure you have the most cost effective licensing for each user, and check compliance with Microsoft's licensing terms.

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