Crystal Server 2016 Licensing – All change!

This all happened 6 weeks ago, but with holidays and work commitments, it’s taken until now for me to write. I’d hoped SAP would produce a nice simple guide that I could just link to, but that would be too easy. The only other mention I’ve seen is a rather fanciful interpretation by another reseller that suggests savings of thousands.

There’s been some interesting developments since this was first written. For details of some of the oddities of the new licencing, see Crystal Server 2016 – July Update.

For details of what’s new, take a look at SAP BI4.2/Crystal Server 2016 What’s New

First of all, let’s have a quick review of the licencing for Crystal Server 2008 through to 2013. You could buy:

  • Crystal Server Named User Licences (NULs) in blocks of 5
  • Crystal Server Concurrent User Licences (CALs or CS) in blocks of 5, with discounts at 10 and 20
  • Crystal Server Mobile Licence (only useable with NULs)
  • 2 versions of Maintenance on the above to receive new releases and service packs
  • Crystal Reports (viewable by all users)
  • Crystal Dashboard (only viewable by users with NULs)
  • No maintenance available on the designers – you had to buy upgrades
  • Report Publishing for emailing dynamically generated reports to users with CALs
  • Upgrade licences for any of the above if maintenance had lapsed

Yes, a typical sale would involve 6 different line items.

Ignoring the complexity, there was the problem that much of this was just a paper or ‘honesty’ licence. Nothing wrong with that, provided people know it exists! Many customers used mobile access without having named or mobile licences. Similar issue with concurrent licences being used to view Dashboards. Every time I picked up a new customer with Report Publishing, it had been mis-sold.

For Crystal Server 2016, this has been simplified to:

  • Crystal Server Named User Licences (NULs) in blocks of just 1.
  • Crystal Server Concurrent User Licences (CALs or CS) in blocks of 5 (must had at least one NUL)
  • 2 versions of Maintenance on the above to receive new releases and service packs

Much simpler, with the added benefits of:

  • All named users have rights to design Crystal Reports and Dashboards
  • Every user whether named or concurrent can view Dashboards
  • Every user whether named or concurrent can use Mobile
  • Maintenance now covers the designers giving you upgrades to Crystal Reports and Crystal Dashboard
  • Very low entry point of just one Named User
  • No (official) discount breaks on Concurrent Licences

The eagle-eyed will have noticed that you can now start with just a single named user licence of Crystal Server and that gives you both the designers too, all for less than the price of a copy of Crystal Reports and Crystal Dashboard.

Now for the downside:

  • Concurrent licence limit has been reduced from 250 to 50
  • Prices have changed (some increases, some reductions)
  • Upgrade licences for server products no longer available (you may be able to backdate your maintenance though)

For the pricing, whether you win or lose really depends upon the install size. Here are some scenarios:

  • Small installation of Named Licences with a high proportion using Crystal Reports and Crystal Dashboard – big reduction
  • Any installation using Crystal Reports, Crystal Dashboard and Mobile – big win. Can now use concurrent licences instead of just named. No need for additional mobile licence.
  • Medium sized installation with mixture of named anc concurrent – depends on the mixture and functionality in use. Review your usage and licensing before upgrade.
  • Large installation of concurrent licences only viewing Crystal Reports, no Dashboards or Mobile – sorry, price increase, but you do have the option to use a lot more products for greater functionality. Should take a look at what Crystal Dashboard has to offer
  • Any installation without a valid maintenance agreement – probable loser as the upgrade licensing is no longer available. If it’s only just expired, let us know quickly; we can probably help.

One last point: you can upgrade over an existing 2011 or 2013 installation. So far, the upgrade routing looks very smooth. However, your existing licence key will not be valid so everything will just stop working. Make sure you have a valid key for 2016 before you start.

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