Understanding Salesforce User License Types

Salesforce has many license types which can get confusing.  To keep things straight, we’ll start with a brief summary of license types and then give more detail below.

Salesforce’s different user licenses give users different access to your data.  (The license type determines which profiles and permission sets are available to the user.)

To view a list of the active user licenses in your Salesforce org,  click Your Name | Setup | Company Profile | Company Information

Here’s the summary of Salesforce user license types:

Salesforce
Full access to standard CRM, custom apps, and AppExchange apps.
Salesforce Platform
Custom apps & core objects (Accounts, Contacts, etc) only; no CRM (no Opportunities or Forecasts).
Force.com – One App
One custom app & read-only for accounts and Contacts; no CRM.
Knowledge Only User
Salesforce Knowledge app only.
Chatter Free
Access to Chatter for people in your company without a Salesforce license.  No additional cost.
Chatter External
Allows your customers to use Chatter groups.  No additional cost.
Chatter Only (aka Chatter Plus)
Access to Chatter for people in your company without a Salesforce license PLUS access to accounts & contacts.  Additional cost.
Guest User
Create a public website for your organization using Force.com Sites.
Gold Partner
Partner portal access.
Authenticated Website
A type of high volume customer portal license used with Force.com Sites. A modest fee allows for certain number of logins per month to your portal / website.
High Volume Customer Portal
Unlimited logins to your Service Cloud Portal to access customer support information.
Customer Portal Manager Standard
Contacts can log into your Customer Portal to manage customer support.
Customer Portal Manager Custom
Contacts can log into your Customer Portal to manage customer support (with more access than Customer Portal Manager Standard).

Now, here’s more detail on each of the Salesforce user license types.

If you want, you can wade through the full detail here.

Salesforce

Full access to standard CRM, custom apps, and AppExchange apps.

  • See the editions – Group, Contact Manager, Professional, Enterprise, and Unlimited – comparison chart (PDF) here.
  • See edition pricing and sign up for a trial here.

Salesforce Platform

Custom apps only; no CRM.

Custom apps are apps developed in your organization or installed from the Force.com AppExchange.  Can use core platform functionality such as accounts, contacts, reports, dashboards, documents, and custom tabs.  Can NOT use forecasts and opportunities.

Force.com – One App

One custom app; no CRM.

Same rights as Salesforce Platform users, plus access to 25 custom tabs. However, users are limited to the use of one custom app (defined as up to 10 custom objects), and they are limited to read-only access for Accounts and Contacts.

  • See the Force.com platform editions – One App, Enterprise, and Unlimited – comparison chart (PDF) here.
  • See platform edition pricing and sign up for a trial here.

Knowledge Only User

Salesforce Knowledge app only.

Access to the following tabs: Articles, Article Management, Chatter, Chatter Files, Home, Profiles, Reports, custom objects, and custom tabs.

Chatter Free

Access to Chatter for people in your company without a Salesforce license.  No additional cost.

Access standard Chatter people, profiles, groups, and files. NO access to any Salesforce objects or data.

Available for Unlimited, Enterprise, and Professional Editions.  You can upgrade Chatter Free licenses to Salesforce licenses, but you can NOT downgrade Salesforce licenses to Chatter Free.

Chatter External

Allows your customers to use Chatter groups.  No additional cost.

Customers are users outside of your company’s email domain ( your email domain is the part after the @ sign:  name@email_domain.com).

Chatter Only (aka Chatter Plus)

Access to Chatter for people in your company without a Salesforce license PLUS access to accounts & contacts.  Additional cost.

Access standard Chatter people, profiles, groups, and files. PLUS

  • View Salesforce accounts and contacts
  • Use Salesforce CRM Content, Ideas, and Answers
  • Modify up to ten custom objects

Available for Unlimited, Enterprise, and Professional (with Profiles enabled) Editions.

Guest User

For each Guest User license, you can develop one public website for your organization using Force.com Sites.  Websites created using Force.com Sites are hosted on saleforce.com’s servers.

Guest User licenses are included with Developer (1 website), Enterprise (25 websites), and Unlimited (25 websites) Editions

Gold Partner

For Partner Portal users – access to Salesforce using the partner portal only.

Access to the Documents tab, My Account Profile, Leads, Custom Objects, Approvals, Accounts, Cases, and Opportunities (depending on feature license and user permissions).

The following are Flavors of Customer Portal User Licenses.

Additional detail on customer portal licenses is here.

Authenticated Website

For Platform portal users – used with Force.com Sites (ie public websites hosted on saleforce.com’s servers).  A type of high volume portal license.

  • Unlimited logins to your Platform Portal to access customer support information.
  • Read & create access for ideas, questions & answers.
  • Read-only access to documents, knowledge, price books, and products.

The Authenticated Website high-volume portal user license is specifically designed for use with Force.com sites.

Overage Authenticated Website – Same as the Authenticated Website license (for Platform portal), except that users do NOT have unlimited logins.

A modest fee allows for certain number of logins per month to your portal / website. (For example $XX allows for 1000 logins per month).

High Volume Customer Portal

Contacts enabled with unlimited logins to your Service Cloud Portal to access customer support information.

Access accounts, assets, cases, contacts, custom objects, documents, ideas, and questions, (depending on their permission settings).

Intended for organizations with many thousands to millions of portal users.

More info About High-Volume Portal Users (Service Cloud Portal Users)

Overage High Volume Customer Portal – Same as the High Volume Customer Portal license, except that users do NOT have unlimited logins.

Customer Portal Manager Standard

Contacts can log into your Customer Portal to manage customer support.

Customer Portal Manager Custom

Gives contacts unlimited logins to your Salesforce Customer Portal to manage customer support.

Give more access than Customer Portal Manager Standard – designed for “Enterprise Administration” users (ie can receive the “Delegated Portal User Administrator” permissions).

Hope this post helped you understand the differences between Salesforce user licenses.

If you have any questions of comments, please feel free to contact us!