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When creating or editing a Salesforce User, there is a picklist field that lets you assign a specific User License. In my Developer org, there are several options, two of which are confusing to me: Salesforce and Salesforce Platform.

What is the difference between these two license types?

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    Hey and welcome to salesforce on Stack Exchange! Just FYI, I found a great answer in the form of the docs by a google search :-) na15.salesforce.com/help/doc/en/… Commented Feb 26, 2013 at 22:32
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    Thank you! That was perfect! That article actually answered my follow-up question about whether or not Accounts and Contacts would be accessible. Seems like they're not so much a CRM function as a "core platform" function. Now I need to figure out if Person Accounts can be accessed by "Salesforce Platform" users. Commented Feb 26, 2013 at 22:37
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    Cool! Feel free to repost that link, I'll upvote it and you can mark the question as answered. @VivekMChawla Commented Feb 26, 2013 at 23:22
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    Thank you! I wrote up an answer, but I don't have the rep to post it for another 6 hours. I'll post it tonight once the waiting period expires. Thanks again for helping me out! :D Commented Feb 26, 2013 at 23:28
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    @user10014 Access to Leads, Opportunities, and Forecasts would be lost to any users who do not have Salesforce licenses. If you do purchase the licenses, you will have access to all of them. Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 20:02

2 Answers 2

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My thanks to @mattandneil, who found this Salesforce.com Article for me to reference.

Salesforce licenses are designed for users who require full access to standard CRM and Force.com AppExchange apps. CRM apps are anything that requires access to Standard Objects like...

  • Leads
  • Opportunities
  • Forecasts
  • Cases
  • Solutions

Salesforce Platform licenses are designed for users who only need access to custom apps, and NOT the standard CRM functionality. Salesforce Platform users DO have access to the "core" Salesforce Standard Objects and functionality, like...

  • Accounts
  • Contacts
  • Reports
  • Dashboards
  • Documents
  • Custom Tabs

So, if a user only needs to access custom Force.com or AppExchange apps, it's OK to assign them a Salesforce Platform license. On the other hand, if a user needs access to any CRM functionality (eg Sales or Service Cloud), they must be assigned a Salesforce license.

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    So just to confirm, a user with a Salesforce Platform license wouldn't be able to create/update user records? Trying to figure out how to configure a platform license for external connections to update user, account, and contact.
    – user13433
    Commented Nov 27, 2014 at 17:33
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    @Dannycheeko I did some digging, and it would appear that you're right. Standard Platform users can not create / update user records. If you take a look at the Object Settings for the "Standard Platform User" profile, you'll see a number of objects that have a "--" where the Object Permissions would be. It's not saying "No Access". It's more like "This doesn't exist for you, move along". :-) Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 2:28
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    @Dannycheeko Quick update: It turns out that a Platform User CAN edit portions of their OWN user record (makes sense...they should be able to change their basic info). They can also see other user's User Record, but no editing. Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 2:38
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    @YsrShk - In that case, the CEO's Salesforce (ie. CRM) license would give them full access to both the Sales Cloud app and any custom apps that are built in the org. Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 15:08
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    @Robs - No. Orders are a CRM object and require a Salesforce license to access. Commented Jun 6, 2019 at 13:06
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In addition to what Vivek said, Salesforce licences have much more administrative permissions than Salesforce Platform licences. These include:
- Ability to manage internal users
- Authoring Apex
- Managing Package licences
- Managing sharing
- Managing login access policy

There are many more administrative rights. Go to the profiles and compare Administrative Permissions tab on the two licences for a more detailed/updated comparison.

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  • Great point, DavidJ! Thanks for the additional Info :-) Also, welcome to Salesforce Stack Exchange! Commented Nov 20, 2014 at 19:24

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