Included features and their limitations
Most Salesforce subscriptions (e.g. Sales Cloud, Lightning Platform, Marketing Cloud, etc.) provide the right to make use of certain included features. To name a few, this includes the right to make use of custom objects, custom apps, API calls, storage, contacts, automations. Many of these features can be used for free, but only up to a certain amount. The limitation mostly depends on the cloud service, edition and subscription type you purchased.
When reviewing your license compliance position for Salesforce, you may tend to focus more on the number of users who have a certain subscription. The fact that you should also be checking the consumption of the features included is often forgotten. Some of these features are technically restricted (and you can’t use more than you purchased) but some of them are not, allowing you to use more that you should.
Let’s look at an example:
You may have the right to deploy a certain number of custom objects within your organization, as per your agreement. When you reach the maximum limit, you won’t be able to deploy more custom objects, unless you either remove (some of) the existing ones, or you purchase additional custom object subscriptions. In this case, the best approach is to review what custom objects can be removed from your organization before you purchase additional subscriptions. As per Salesforce’s program documentation, you should however be aware that certain custom objects do not count towards the organization’s limit, depending on their source and type. A similar situation is applicable for many other features. Knowing which custom objects count towards your organization limit is not an easy task. Nevertheless, identifying those can reduce your requirements.