Changes to Bing Maps Keys

This week we’re simplifying the way developers and customers choose Bing Maps Keys for their respective mapping applications. We’re changing from the deep single list of keys to a matrix of keys and application types. Moving forward you will only need to select one of three Bing Maps’ Key types: Trial, Basic or Enterprise. Each of these is described below:

Trial Key: A Trial Key is meant to be used for testing access and application development of Bing Maps controls and services. Trial keys will expire automatically after 90 days and are limited to a small set of transactions during the 90-day period (currently, 10k transactions for every 30-day period). Once 90 days or 10k transactions is reached, the key will become invalid and will no longer process requests.

Basic Key: A Basic Key is meant to be used for free Bing Maps applications as governed by the Bing Maps terms of use. Did you know Bing Maps is free? Under certain conditions, it certainly is! Currently, users can get 500,000 transactions for free on their public or non-restricted applications. Also, public-facing Not for Profit, Education and Broadcast applications fall under this key type for free use. The idea of a Basic key is for users who don’t need an Enterprise agreement and are comfortable having their user rights managed by the public Bing Maps terms of use.

Enterprise Key: An Enterprise Key is used by our licensed customers. We’re eliminating the confusion around which key to select or having your trial key shut off in your production application because you chose the wrong key. If you have a license to use Bing Maps, you’ll want to select an Enterprise Key for most of your development.

The second part of the matrix is around application type. Let’s say you’re building a Windows Store application. Right now the only option is to use a Trial Key (Windows 8 Beta Key). I’ve been asked by many customers “What happens to my Bing Maps services when Windows 8 releases?!?” Well, right now, all Windows 8 Bing Maps keys will expire in January, 2013. What you’ll want to do is select a Trial Key with a Windows Store App type if you’re developing Windows Store applications; a Basic Key with a Windows Store App type if you’re comfortable with the public TOUs governing your use (read them!); or, an Enterprise Key with a Windows Store App type if you’re building a non-public facing or restricted application and have a valid Bing Maps agreement. The list of application types will grow over time as we continue to add application types that leverage Bing Maps.

As always, you should read the Bing Maps terms of use to ensure you’re in compliance with your use case. Our lawyer spent a lot of time cleaning them up and simplifying them, so she’d appreciate the love – and, you don’t want her spending a lot of time with you. Smile