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Mapping services licensing for Microsoft CRM

Everyone agrees that Microsoft CRM integration with maps is very attractive. And there are ways to do it with either Live Maps or MapPoint or Google maps. However, as John O'Donnell mentioned in comments:

Virtual Earth is free for development purposes but will require licensing for production systems.

While the statement is not, strictly speaking, correct (production system != commercial), both Microsoft and Google place non-commercial use restriction on their free services.

From Virtual Earth™ Platform API Terms of Use, non-commercial use section:

Your Application and content in your Application must be available publicly without restriction (for example, login or password must not be required).

Google Maps API Terms of Service is a bit more vague but still:

The API may be used only for services that are generally accessible to consumers without charge. Accordingly, You may not use the API for any service that requires a subscription or other restricted access, or for which a fee is charged.

User access to Microsoft CRM is restricted and does require a login so using either mapping service in your CRM deployment without appropriate licensing is in violation of respective terms and conditions. Commercial licensing is available from both Virtual Earth and Google Maps but, as with any product where pricing information is not publicly available, do not expect it to be cheap. Do the right thing and advise your customers that, while there may be a plethora of free lunches available, commercial use of mapping services ain't one of them.

Posted by: George Doubinski
Last revised: 05 Dec, 2012 05:25 PM

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