What is multiplexing, and how does it work?
The word “multiplexing” refers to software licensing; this idea and vocabulary have been around for a long time, but I first learnt about it when working on an enterprise programme a few years ago. A situation or conversation in which the customer was attempting to use Dataverse (formerly known as Common Data Service – CDS) as a data source for agents who were not full-time employees but contractors working through another MVC application.
Anyone who hasn’t worked in sales, licensing, or purchasing enterprise applications may be unfamiliar with the phrase multiplexing. The licence guide for Dynamics 365 is defined as follows in Microsoft.
Multiplexing is the process of pooling connections, rerouting data, or reducing the range of devices or users who may directly access or use the [X] service using hardware or software. The number of subscription licences of any kind necessary to access the [X] service is NOT reduced by multiplexing. “Any user or device that directly or indirectly accesses the [X] service must be appropriately licensed.”
[x] Any Microsoft-provided or supported service or software. We use Dynamics 365 in our scenario. The Microsoft website can be found here. Dynamics365LicensingGuide.
An Easy Example
To help you understand, I’ll walk you through a simple situation. Assume you’re a customer service representative who uses the Field service app to meet their demands. They are offering another service option or a way to gain revenue while conversing with the customer. Obviously, you require LEAD, as you are aware. Employees must be licensed in order to establish a new lead record (SL).
We may put all of the information in a custom entity called “Potential Customer.” Then, to connect data from this custom database to the Lead table, we can develop a workflow/power automate. This is known as multiplexing, and it is used to get rid of the licence.
Requirements for Licensing
The important word in the Microsoft handbook is “Multiplexing does NOT lower the number of SLs of any type necessary to access the Dynamics 365 service,” implying that multiplexing cannot be used to avoid licensing. The following is a link to the instructions, which specifies that the licence is required.
“For users or devices that directly input, query, or view data from the Dynamics 365 service, Dynamics 365 SLs are necessary.” Similarly, Dynamics 365 SLs are necessary for users or devices who utilise a pooling device to enter, query, or display data from the Dynamics 365 service. Pooled connections in Dynamics 365 make use of a non-interactive user account that can access the system but only through the web service layer. Regardless of whether they are set up as a Dynamics 365 user in the service, internal users and devices accessing Dynamics 365 data indirectly through a portal or via an API to a separate service such as Microsoft Outlook must be properly licensed.”
End-users (Internal & External)
In the handbook, there is no complete definition of what an internal user is. Internal users, according to my understanding, are “workers, contractors, or agents of the customer or its affiliates.” To put it another way, someone who works for the company. Internal users who access data for any purpose must be licenced for both the software they use to access it and the underlying software from which the data originates or integrates.
External User’s Guide to Microsoft:
“External users are not the customer’s or its affiliates’ employees, contractors, or agents (i.e. a separate company, an independent contractor). External users are the organisation’s or its affiliates’ end customers and third-party users who do not require SLs to access Dynamics 365.
Furthermore, external users include off-site providers who are not employed by the organisation or its affiliates (e.g. IT help desk support vendors serving multiple customer organisations).”
Make sure to read the Microsoft Guide to Licensing and discuss it with your team to better understand how to create a complaint-free architect project.