Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 – External Connector

Just a small story on the External Connector that is available for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0. It seems that a lot of people including myself are getting confused on this item over and over. I hope that this blogpost keeps you and myself on the right track now!

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 – External Connector
This is a license only, and does not include any physical software components.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 – External Connector can be used to provide access to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 data to customers, partners and suppliers through any application/graphical user interface (GUI). External users should not be using the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 applications & GUIs directly. External Connector license is a per-server license, and hence must be purchased for each server that hosts an application that provides external access to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 data.

External Connector

The license type cannot be used for providing access to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 data to internal employees, external users acting in an internal capacity, external users using the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 Outlook or  Web Client. ALL such employees must have a Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 CAL in order to access/interact with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 data. 

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 – External Connector does not include licensing for any other Microsoft products. If external scenarios integrate with Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Office SharePoint or any other product license rights for these must be established separately.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 – External Connector enables deployments and solutions to be build and implemented in ways that was not possible with Microsoft CRM 1.2.

Comments (23)
  1. Seth Kircher says:

    Aside from the picture in your post can you provide some scenarios of other user-interfaces that may be used to connect to CRM using the external connector.  My original understanding is that external users would access CRM directly but apparently that is not the case?

  2. yewint says:

    If you want to share Microsoft CRM data with external users such as your customers or partners, you can purchase an External Connector Lisens that allows you to share Microsoft CRM data with an unlimited number of third-party users and systems. By using the External Connector License, you do not need to purchase a user license ( create an Active Directory Account) for each external user. For example, you can create and external Web Site that lets customer log on and retrieve Microsoft CRM data real time. You could also create a special Web site for your partners to enter and update Microsoft CRM data. You need and External Connector license for every server required to support external access.

    (Microsoft Press, Working with Microsoft  Dynamic CRM 3.0 – 2006, Mike Synder, Jim Steger)

  3. Glen Ansell says:


    Thank you for the great post. What if yo9u created a helpdesk of say 50 CSR’s that sit in a call centewr that will use CRM, but there is another 1000 employees in the organisation that could log a self service call via a browser. Literally a page with Topic, Subject and Details. Would all 1000 need to have a full CRM license ?

  4. Gerhard says:


    If I understand this licensing thing correctly, such an external connector license is necessary for the following scenario:

    Anonymous users fill a webform on an external website. This webform saves data in a file.

    Somehow this file comes to internal network and to the crm-server.

    A windows-service is picking up this file and creates a crm-lead with the data included.

    So: does Microsoft really want to have 13000 $ for this very simple feature?

    (technically just the windows-service user account needs to have a "normal" CRM-license.

  5. Michal says:


    I am looking for an answer for this question:

    Is it forbidden (by the licence agreement of the external connector) to give our partners access to the Microsoft CRM application itself?

    We do not want to create partner portal for them, because it is extra cost of course.

    Our CRM can be accessed from the internet, so partners are able to log in.

    How is security handled for partners, when they use the partner web portal?

    Thanks for any reply.

  6. mennotk says:

    You can give your partners access to your CRM application by buying enough CRM licenses and give your partners a license. If you dont want to buy licenses for all your partners then the external connector is an option. This connector can be used when building some kind of a portal to gives acces to CRM data, not the application!

  7. Donna says:

    If I am not creating an Active Directory Account for each user with the External Connector license, does that mean they are not entered as users in the CRM system?   If they are entered, can they own records such as activities that can synch out to the Outlook Calendar?

  8. mennotk says:

    They would not be entered as an AD user and they cannot own records. To own records you need a regular license.

  9. Kit says:


    Can you please give me a definition of ‘External User acting in an Internal Fashion’.

    I have a situation where we sub-contract part of our case management service delivery to 3rd party suppliers and do some in house.

    I would like these suppliers to be able to update case info on CRM through a web portal that we will write (and license with an External Connector license). Is this allowed under the license agreement?

  10. gabby says:

    What if i have an external website and i want to pull information from my crm cal based station from the website to the server ..does this say i need the 13K connector ? and i do it once a month …not online ot realtime even



  11. mennotk says:

    I am not sure what you are trying to do Gabby. Are pulling/exporting information of your workstation and then publish this on an external website?

  12. Eric says:

    What if we include a unsubscribe or sign up URL in email of marketing campaign!? (the URL will unsubscribe the email or sign up an event) Should I buy the External Connector?

  13. mennotk says:

    Hi Eric, and no you should not need the External Connector. We offer the unsubscribe link option in Microsoft Dynamics CRM itself.

  14. Eric says:

    thx mennotk and nice feature of MSCRM. but we also would like to provide the feature for clients who are not using exchange.

    For the case, we will include a URL in the marketing email, capture the customer’s URL response and update related information in MSCRM.

    Does the license required? thx in advance.

  15. Shaun says:


    This post is great and clears a few things up.  However, I need to create a ‘Contact Me’ webform on our public facing website so that a customer can register their details, and request a call back.  The contact record and a phonecall activity wiould be created.  Would this functionality require an external connector license?



  16. mennotk says:

    Shaun, please take a look at my latest posting!

  17. The Microsoft CRM External Connector is nothing more than a license and is NOT a product or a tool that

  18. Kiran says:


    Do we have any difference in access permissions between a user using an external client and and a crm user.

    I mean can a webuser access all the CRM entities/data using an external connector like that of a normal CRM user.

    Thanks in advance.

  19. Justin says:


    From what Glen Ansell said above – We want to do exactly this with a new client. Would our new client have to have just 1 Connector License to CRM even if they have 100+ Customers logging cases in CRM?

    Thanks Justin

  20. Whoopie says:

    If will need to create a Windows App which will interact with CRM 3.0. It is my understanding that to be able to do this, my app has to talk to the web service of CRM 3.0. And the corresponding web service is only available ( or enabled?? ) if external connector is purchased.

    Is this correct?

  21. Conor says:

    Can someone tell me where this can be purchased? Can it be bought directly from microsoft?



  22. mennotk says:

    Conor, please work directly with your Partner, they should be able to help you with this request.

  23. Taha says:


    I need to know if i have an external connector will i be able to allow my cistomers to view the status of the case through our portal.

    Does this connector helps my customers to update the existing case and view the history or knowledgebase articles in CRM application.

    Our requirement is we are building a portal and we need to allow our customers to open a Case record in CRM through our portal and even check the status of the ticket.

    we also need to allow them to check the knowledgebase articles for FAQ.

    Can anyone please clarify my request.


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