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Licensing SQL Server Client Tools

Licensing SQL Server Client Tools

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Ever since I have been using SQL Server you have had the ability to manage SQL Server from another machine, so back in the day I used enterprise manager and query analyzer on my PC to do stuff on a server hidden in a basement somewhere. 

At some sites an enterprising software compliance guy would quiz me on whether or not it was OK to install the client tools on my machine.  I would point out that what matters is the license to connect to the server SO provided that the server I was connected to had a CAL assigned to me or it was CPU licensed then all is well, as the client tools aren’t licensed themselves. That usually sent him away, and I had a smug look on my face until the server team applied a service pack to SQL and then I needed to service pack my PC/laptop to get working properly again.

But  is this correct? In a word yes, the EULA you agree to when you download SQL Server has this clause in it:

a. Running Instances of the Additional Software. You may run or otherwise use any number of instances of additional software listed below on any number of devices. You may use additional software only with the server software directly, or indirectly through other additional software.

  • Analysis Services Shared Tools
  • Business Intelligence Development Studio
  • SQL Server 2005 Books Online
  • Connectivity Components
  • Legacy Components
  • Management Tools
  • Notification Services Client Components
  • Reporting Services Report Manager
  • Reporting Services Shared Tools
  • SQL Server 2005 Shared Tools
  • Software Development Kit
  • SQLXML Client Features
  • SQL Server Mobile Server Tools
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  • Great News, but perhaps you could explain the FAQ answer at

    Q. Do I need a separate license to run the SQL Server tools and analysis services?

    A. No, a separate license is not required. However, any device that has SQL Server tools or technologies installed must have a valid SQL Server license.

    A bit vague, is the license refered to a CAL?


  • Yes and no!  

    Yes if you have a CAL licensing model

    No if you have CPU licensing on the server you are managing as you are licensed to access from any machine/user.

  • You don’t have to install all of the full SQL Server client tools to get connectivity to SQL Server or

  • The software components of SQL Server 2012 cannot be separated for use in more than one OSE. If these

    components are running on a separate server than the main database server, then they still require an additional

    license for each additional OSE in which they are installed.

  • What about MSDN licenses and SPLA licensing?

    It's my understanding that when you have an MSDN subscription you have 200 SQL CALs bundled in. This is what MSDN support have just advised me.

    They also advised me that if we have a developer that does NOT have an MSDN subscription, and he / she wants to use SQL Management Studio to manage a colleagues MSDN Dev SQL server then BOTH the developers will need an MSDN subscription!

    Is this correct?

    Also, what if the developer wants to manage a SPLA licensed SQL Server?



  • If I install sql server 2008 r2. will this include Business intelligence development studio

  • Vikas

    That's going to depend on what edition of SQL Server you are using, e.g  Express Standard Enterprise etc

    For production I would NOT put these tools on my servers, they should be installed on client machines used by BI developers, DBA's and so on


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