The Microsoft CRM External Connector is nothing more than a license and is NOT a product or a tool that needs to be installed. I have blogged about the External in the past http://blogs.msdn.com/mscrmfreak/archive/2006/10/27/microsoft-dynamics-crm-3-0-external-connector.aspx and I just wanted to do a follow-up post, since there is still a lot of confusion going on. Please read my previous posting including the comments. When you are done continue reading here....

Below a short synopsis I received from a colleague and wanted to share with you guys. Please keep this in mind when engaging with your customers.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM User CALs are required for users who directly input into, query, or view data from a Microsoft Dynamics CRM database. Similarly, Microsoft Dynamics CRM User CALs are required for users who input data into, query, or view data from a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server database through a pooling device. This includes users who view data through Web-based applications or enter information into a database through an intermediary product.

This is true no matter how many tiers of hardware or software exist between the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server and the client devices that ultimately use its data, services or functionality. An exception to this includes the manual transfer of data from employee to employee. For example, if an employee sends an Excel version of a report to another employee, the receiving employee does not require a CAL (as long as the report does not access a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server in some way).