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I have a customer who has a large volume of Authenticated Website licenses, which are used to do custom Sites logins to a fully custom website.

They have been told by their sales rep that Salesforce has done away with Authenticated Website licenses and the only equivalent now is Customer Community licenses (which cost an order of magnitude more than Authenticated Website licenses).

Is this really true? (Not being attached to the SF office, the local reps often get details like this wrong.) If so, is Salesforce actively discouraging the use of Sites-based custom user authentication, or are they just trying to massively increase the price of doing so?

It seems unjustifiable to charge the same amount of money for Customer Communities as just user authentication against a fully custom front-end.

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The User Licenses Overview no longer lists the license type, which may be evidence that they are indeed discontinued. Traditionally, license types that are discontinued are still available to current customers that have those licenses until they expire.

However, there's a new type of license called Platform Portal, whose description starts off as "Platform portal users have the Authenticated Website license, which is designed to be used with Force.com Sites." It's more likely that this license type is the appropriate replacement if you don't need the full Community access, and probably costs less.

There's also the Customer Portal licenses, which are (relatively) inexpensive, and, of course, the various Chatter user licenses. The former provides many licenses at one fixed cost, and the latter provides inexpensive licenses per-user. However, both of those types are less suited for Sites than either the Platform Portal or Communities license.

  • This looks promising, thanks! This customer has also been told unequivocally that they can no longer purchase "legacy" customer and partner portal licenses, is that also perhaps not the case?? – jkraybill May 28 '14 at 2:00
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    @jkraybill You'll want a second opinion, I think. Normally, the "available licenses" page I linked earlier includes all the licenses you can possibly buy at any given point in time. – sfdcfox May 28 '14 at 2:08

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