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Summary: Following the release of the productivity servers; Lync 2013, Exchange 2013, and especially SharePoint Server 2013 a common question that crosses our desk is, “how do I license Office Web Apps Server for the new 2013 products?” In this post, we will be covering the basic licensing of the new Office Web Apps Server.
Office Web Apps Server provides updated versions of Word Web App, Excel Web App, PowerPoint Web App, and OneNote Web App. Users can view and, if they are licensed appropriately, edit Office documents by using a supported web browser on both computers and various mobile devices. In addition to new features in Office Web Apps, the architecture and the deployment method have also changed, which enables Office Web Apps to provide support for Exchange Server 2013, and Lync Server 2013. However, the primary component which enables the web based Office app functionality is the Office Web Apps Server. Of course, as a licensing blog, we will be focusing on the licensing requirements of Office Web Apps Server.
For technical details, including features and functionality, head over to TechNet, or the Office Team Blog announcement.
Office Web Apps Server is a free download from the Microsoft Download Center and may be installed and used on any number of servers that are required to support your Office Web Apps Server deployment. Other licensing considerations after downloading the server are based on who will be accessing the server, if the content is public facing, and how they will be using it.
Type of User
Type of Content
Internal and External*
Public and Private
Viewing and Editing
Volume License Customer
Volume License Customer – The primary user of an Office licensed device** can access the Office Web Apps Server software to edit content
Volume License Customer – Any user can access and edit content/documents that is made publically available to users via the internet.
*“External Users” are users that are not either your or your affiliates’ employees, or your or your affiliates’ onsite contractors or onsite agents. External users may access Office Web Apps to view or edit documents using Office Web Apps without additional licensing requirements.”
**Office Standard 2013, Office Professional Plus 2013, Office for Mac Standard 2011 (or any successor version), Office Professional Plus User Subscription License (SL), Office 365 ProPlus User SL, Office 365 Plan E3-E4, or any plan which includes E3-E4, Office 365 Plan A3-A4, or any plan which includes A3-A4, Office 365 Plan G3-G4
Here is the general guidance outlined in the table above:
Finally, any internal user – with or without one of the above licenses under the Internal User bullet may access the Office Web Apps to view and/or edit documents and content that you make publically available to users over the Internet (as long as your company has some type of Volume License Agreement).
For example, let’s say you deploy an Office Web Apps Server to support a SharePoint site that’s accessible outside of the firewall and it is used by customers to upload a Request for Proposal. Both, your customers and employees can view and edit those documents without any additional Office licensing requirements.
For those of you who may have been familiar with the prior licensing model previous Office Web Apps, you will notice that this approach is much more flexible. It enables additional scenarios for Volume Licensing customers which may not have been practical in the past, due to licensing requirements – particularly when providing access to external users. As always, be sure you read and understand the appropriate licensing documents.
In this case, it will be the EULA which is included with the Office Web Apps Server software. Of course you can work with your reseller, partner, or account team for additional details.
This page was very helpful in trying to understand WAC server licensing from an official source.
This was very useful. Could you provide a link to the actual Office Web Apps Server EULA? I'm having trouble finding the correct one.
Thanks, now it's more clear!
Is there a way of licensing OWA editing via SPLA does anyone know? I work for a Services provider and it is something that I could do with clarifying....
There is no OWA SPLA license. Since SPLA is designed for leasing the server software, vs. OWA which is licensed at the client, as a services provider you can only license your customers under SPLA, you can still install OWA for them for read only, but it will be their responsibility to commit to the volume licensing of the client software if they want to be able to enable editing within the Farm.
This is only for dedicated environments also. It is not possible to use OWA in reselling multi-tenant SharePoint to your customers because of the volume licensing requirement (with no individual OWA licenses available for purchase). It is a fairly overt attempt at MS shutting out competition with O365 where they practically give away OWA editing rights.
Oh my god Thanks man. I easily get confused about Licensing because i could download and install Office Web Apps Server without any required Serial Number.
We're looking to set up a hosted SharePoint infrastructure with Office Web Apps for a client and we’re considering SPLA licensing. The question I have is, if the client doesn't have Volume licensing for Office already, does every user need a SAL (Subscriber Access License) for Office to view documents in OWA or just those who will be editing documents (which could be everyone)? Also, my reseller tells me that every Office SAL requires and Remote Desktop Services SAL even if we're not using RDS. Something about how the Office SAL is written. Is that true?
I shared the link to your post with my colleagues at <a href="www.scnsoft.com/.../mobile-development-services">mobile app development company</a> as we also considering SPLA licensing. The article is very handy, indeed! Thanks a lot.
Would someone from MS Licensing please contact me about an ISV who is interested in hosting OWA as a part of a SaaS solution for document management and compliance. We are in need of a more detailed understanding of what is required v what is prohibited. JohnSand
Thanks @ms-licensing for this great article. good to konw that the external users have been kept out of the licencing requirement, which simplifies stuff.
@ms-licencing, the definition of "Internal Users" for web app editing excludes SPLA.
[Users who are the primary user of a device with the following volume licenses (not including SPLA) may access the Office Web Apps Server to edit Office documents from any device:]
Does this mean Volume licencing is the only way and SPLA Office SAL will not fit?
What about if the customer has Office 2010? Can employee edit documents in the browser with the Office 2010 license?
For SharePoint Server I'm trying to new-spbinding to get the external link it's gives me try to connect to WAC server
What does "Volume License Customer" refers to? Volume License of what software/service? Office 365?