Limited Users in Dynamics NAV 2013 Explained

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Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 Limited Users

I have found there has been a lot of confusion in the Dynamics NAV world since the new Limited Users were released with Dynamics NAV 2013.  The latest Directions conferences in Austria and the United States has provided some much needed information, which is valuable to understanding how they work.

The most important point is that these users are concurrent users, not named users, which means that you could have a pool of fifty limited users but only need five or six Limited Users to cover your access requirement.  If you use a user requirement with a large difference between the number of potential users and users actually on the system at one time, the Limited User license represents a huge cost savings over the old Named Users previously available.

It is useful to note that customers can be given free access to your system by designating them as external users, which does not impact the number of Full or Limited User licenses.  This is not true for other users such as vendors, which will require a concurrent license.  The explanation we received is that while you have no control over when or how many customers may access your system, you can control access by vendors and therefore it is possible to purchase an appropriate number of Limited Users for them.

Perhaps the most confusion has been around the restricted ability of the Limited User to update tables within Dynamics NAV 2013.  Originally we were told that there would no ability to update certain tables such as the general ledger entry table, which effectively disables posting capability, and the users would be able to enter other information such as timesheets without any restrictions.  The users would potentially have full read access but could update up to three other tables outside the permitted range of tables.  The confusion centered around how those three tables would be determined.  Some suggested that each user would have three designated tables but that idea has turned out to be inaccurate.  The user session will dynamically track the number of tables updated that are outside the approved list and not on the excluded list.  When the user hits three updated tables, the user will be prevented from updating any additional tables.  By logging out and logging back in again, the user could theoretically access a new set of three tables, which may not be a very practical solution if you are trying to avoid purchasing more full user licenses.

The natural question was how much could you actually do with being able to update only three tables?  As it turned out, it is a fair amount.  I will provide a few role examples later in this document but examples include being able to create or modify customers and sales quotes.

Sample roles include remote salesman, warehouse worker, light purchase agent, and a consultant needing to enter timesheets and manage projects.  The ability of the Limited User to potentially have full read access gives the user the ability to retrieve key operating and financial information.  Other users such as accounting managers, accounts payable supervisors, and manufacturing planners will need the Full User license.

An additional point to note is that Microsoft has made a commitment to ISV partners who have developed products that impact normal roles where a Limited User would make sense but now require updates to more than three tables.  For example, an extension to a sales quote that required updating three Dynamics NAV and one ISV table can be accommodated by having the ISV request to have the ISV table added to the list of tables accessible by the Limited User.

When I first heard about the new Limited User, I was excited about the concurrency aspect of the change.  Once I found out all of the details, I have to say that the Limited User in most situations is a brilliant alternative to the Named User problems we dealt with in the past.  With the Limited User price set at 20% of the Full User price, it becomes a very cost-effective way to distribute access to the Microsoft Dynamics NAV system.

If you have any questions about this topic, please feel free to contact me.

by Malcolm Roach, Open Door Technology, Inc.

6 thoughts on “Limited Users in Dynamics NAV 2013 Explained”

  1. Hi Malcolm,

    In the article, you mention that ISV's can have Microsoft add their tables to the limited license table range. Do you know the process for this? (ie. Who to contact, or what forms to complete?)



  2. When users are set up in NAV, they are identified as being either full or limited users. As soon as they login, whether by user name and password or by Windows authentication, the system automatically knows the user type and related limitations, if any. The good news is that these users are concurrent users so if a user can get in with different id’s at different time, they could have different rights. So they could login with a full user after hours and a limited user during the day to free up a full license for operations or accounting.

  3. For a company with a number of full licenses already, wanting to add an additional 5 or so limited licenses, how does NAV know which user to allocate the full license to?

    can a employee use a full licence for some job roles, and a limited license for other roles to free up the full license?

    NAV is installed on a Terminal Server with RDP access and Windows Server, and NAV uses windows users.

  4. The Limited User is useless.
    NAV is an integrated system, making good use of 10 of tables for simple operations.

    The three-table limit is not viable in the long run.

  5. Microsoft has a list of tables that do not count towards the three table limit, the most notable of which are timesheet entry. The three tables do not have to be specified ahead of time and are determined during the login session of the user. As they update tables that are not included in the permitted range, a process increments their table counter until they hit three. Any attempt to update a fourth non-permitted table will be rejected. Apparently, this table is reset if the user exits for at least two hours.

    The limited user is not permitted to update the GL ledger entry table, which means that the user will not be able to post as virtually all post functions update this table. I am not sure without further investigation whether the limited user can enter unposted general ledger entries.

    Three tables is apparently enough to create or modify a customer, sales order, etc.

  6. Thanks for that info.
    However we have been setting up Nav Dynamics. We have a 3 user license.
    But we require more users to interface with the system. Would that mean we go for limited user licenses and if so. who determines the 3 tables because for the financial bit we have to post in the G/L accounts.
    Please help me clarify that because we are in a middle and we need to make a decision on this really fast.

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