Licensing How To: SharePoint Server 2013 Licensing Changes

Licensing How To: SharePoint Server 2013 Licensing Changes

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Summary: SharePoint 2013, like the new lineup of Office servers, has some fantastic new features and functionality. The licensing has changed from the last release so please take a moment to check out the differences. 

The Licensing How To series posts are provided by our Customer Service Presales and Licensing team members.  These scenario based licensing topics are written on trending topics and issues based on their interactions with customers, Partners and field sellers.  For more posts from the Licensing How To series, search the “Licensing How To” tag on this blog.

The release of SharePoint Server 2013 brings simplification to the licensing requirements.  As a result, we have been answering a lot of questions about these changes. This post points out the changes between SharePoint Server 2010 (and related products) and SharePoint Server 2013. To learn more about licensing SharePoint 2013 check out Licensing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013

Below we take three common SharePoint Server scenarios and compare the 2010 and 2013 licensing requirements side by side.  We also cover two additional frequent topics/FAQ’s we find ourselves discussing with customers and partners – the CAL Waiver for Users Accessing Publicly Available
Content, and downgrade rights.  Before we get started, here are a few definitions:

  • Intranet: Website hosting content, information, or software that is accessible inside the firewall to internal users only.
  • Extranet: Website hosting content, information, or software that is accessible inside the firewall to internal users and named external users only.
  • Internet: Website hosting content, information, or software that is publicly accessible to all users (internal and external).
  • Internal Users: Users who are the licensee’s or its affiliates’ employees and on-site agents and contractors.
  • External Users: Users who are not the licensee’s or its affiliates’ employees or on-site agents or contractors.

(Please note the below is regarding SharePoint licensing only.  Any underlying products, such as Windows Server and SQL Server need to be licensed based on their respective licensing models.)

Let’s get started.

 

Scenario 1 – Intranet Deployment

Your company sets up a SharePoint intranet site that managers and employees access.  It is also used for several onsite contractors (for CAL requirements onsite contractors are considered internal users).  Customers are denied access to the site.  Licensing requirements for SharePoint 2010 and 2013 in this scenario are shown below in Figure A.

 

Figure A – A SharePoint Server license is required for each running instance of SharePoint Server (and FS4SP in 2010).  The internal users (managers, employees and onsite contractors) each must be assigned a CAL.  The CAL requirement does not change if these users access the intranet site remotely. As an intranet site – no external user access is permitted.

 

Scenario 2 – Extranet Deployment

Your company sets up a SharePoint extranet site and in addition to employee access also provides access to specific customers (external users). This is ultimately an intranet and extranet scenario.  Licensing requirements for SharePoint 2010 and 2013 in this scenario are shown below in Figure B.

Figure B – There are two options to license this scenario in SharePoint 2010.  In option one, a server license is required for each running instance of SharePoint Server (and FS4SP if used), and CALs are required for each internal and external user.  In option two, SharePoint Server for Internet Sites (SPFIS) licenses can be used for each running instance of SharePoint Server.  Internal users do not need CALs in this scenario as long as all content is available to both employees and external users (if content is limited to employees, SharePoint Server licenses and CALs will be required).  In option two, CALs are not required for external users.  In SharePoint 2013, SPFIS has been discontinued, and the external users (your customers) require no additional SharePoint licensing – as external user access is permitted under the SharePoint Server 2013 license.

 

Scenario 3 – Internet Deployment

Your company sets up a public facing company website using SharePoint.  Your employees (or internal users) make all content, information, and applications publically available* to users via the Internet.  Employees, customers, or prospective customers anonymously access the site. 
Licensing requirements for SharePoint 2010 and 2013 in this scenario are shown below in Figure C.

 

*Note – If you have an Internet deployment, and you limit content to internal users and/or a set of your external users, then see requirements for Scenario 2 above. 

Figure C – A server license is required for each running instance of SharePoint Server software (and FS4SP in 2010).  In SharePoint 2010, an internet deployment where all content is available to all users (e.g. no content limited to internal users) can be licensed with SharePoint Server for Internet Sites and CALs are not required for internal or external users as access is provided by the SPFIS license(s). 

In SharePoint 2013, SPFIS has been discontinued and in this scenario the only license required is the SharePoint 2013 server license.  Access to internet sites that do not have content limited to internal users do not require CALs.  CALs are not required for internal users due to the “CAL Waiver for Users Accessing Publicly Available Content.” (For more info, see What is the CAL Waiver below).  Finally, CALs are not required for external users as the SharePoint Server 2013 permits external user access.

  

SharePoint 2013 Specific Information

What is the CAL Waiver?

The CAL Waiver exempts internal users from requiring SharePoint Server 2013 CALs when accessing content, information and applications that are publicly available to users over the internet (e.g. outside of the firewall).  For example: In scenario 3 (for SharePoint 2013) above, a SharePoint Server 2013 site has been setup which provides unrestricted content for both internal and external users, and is accessible over the internet.  Within the site, the content is the same for both groups – and there is no content that is limited to the internal users only.  In this scenario, the CAL Waiver for publically available content applies (please see the Product Use Rights for the exact language and reference).  In other words, SharePoint Server 2013 CALs are not required for your internal users.

What are my Downgrade Rights?

Another question we end up answering frequently is, “how do my downgrade rights work?” Customers are allowed to deploy a prior version of the software in the place of the version licensed. For example, you may downgrade to, and deploy SharePoint Server 2010 instead of SharePoint Server 2013.  SharePoint Server 2013 also permits downgrades to FAST Search Server for SharePoint 2010 (FS4SP).  If you want to deploy an instance of SharePoint 2010 and an instance of FS4SP, you would purchase two licenses for SharePoint Server 2013. See the December 2012 Product List (or later) for all language on downgrade rights for SharePoint Server 2013.

With external user access now covered as part of the SharePoint Server 2013 license, customers who downgrade to SharePoint Server 2010 will now have external user access without the requirement to acquire SharePoint Server for Internet Sites (SPFIS). When you license SharePoint Server 2013 and downgrade, your rights under the SharePoint Server 2013 license “follows” your downgrade to SharePoint Server 2010, effectively providing external user access without additional licensing requirements.  In other words, you do not have rights to downgrade SharePoint Server 2013 to SPFIS 2010, however you can downgrade to SharePoint Server 2010 and keep the use rights for SharePoint Server 2013 which permit external user access. See our other blog post “How do I know which Product Use Rights to use?” to better understand this concept.

As always, you should consult your Partner, Reseller, or account team for additional questions.  Additionally, the PUR and Product List cover all licensing requirements, including license grants for Software Assurance customers.  For added information Licensing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013
is a great resource. 

This is one scenario and licensing situation. Each customer scenario can vary by deployment, usage, product version, and product use rights.  Always check your contract, and the current Products Use Rights document to confirm how your environment should be fully licensed.  The blogging team does not warrant that this scenario will be the right licensing solution for other similar cases.

 

 

Comments
  • Hi, Thank you for this.

    There is still one scenario regarding internet licensing that I believe is still not covered in any of the posts I have so far seen on this subject.

    Do I need to purchase a cal for external users (not employees or affiliates) if they authenticate and for example just comment on a blog post? It would seem very expensive to have to register such users at circa $80+ just for this type of contribution. Same goes for forum/community comments too.

    This appears to be a grey area. I'm reluctant to spend thousands of dollars on a server license only to find I can't afford to allow folks to register and comment.

    Any guidance on this?

    thanks

  • I should add that the scenario mentioned above is for an Internet facing server with all content visible to anonymous users.

  • I totally agree with CCDW. In the SharePoint Licensing brief you can find the following information regarding restricted access and if a CAL is required or not.

    Extract from this licensing brief:

    "Restricted” refers to content stored inside the firewall for internal access and possibly limited, identified external user access."

    --> When you look at the decision tree, than a CAL is also required for this "restricted" access.

    Why is Microsoft writing "... AND POSSIBLY... EXTERNAL USER access"? When you read this blog than you would assume that a CAL is never required for external users.

    @ Microsoft: In what scenarios is a CAL required for EXTERNAL Users or please let us know an example for this wirred sentence in the SharePoint 2013 licensing brief.

    Thanks

  • Hello @CCDW. In SharePoint 2013 CALs are not required for external users, regardless if they authenticate or not.

  • Thanks @ms-licensing - That is good news.

    I am going to screen grab this page just in case I get challenged in the future :)

    Thank you!

  • Thanks for the article. I shared the link to your blog with my colleagues, as I find it handy for web app developers.

  • Hi,

    My quetion is for Extranet scenario and its similar to the quetion raised by @CCDW. We create user credentials for our External Users (Our Customer). And then they use this credentials to access thier information. These users are not our employee. So my understanding here is that  I also do not require CAL license.

    And I think below line in your post says the same thing:

    "In SharePoint 2013, SPFIS has been discontinued, and the external users (your customers) require no additional SharePoint licensing – as external user access is permitted under the SharePoint Server 2013 license"

    Please confirm as if this is true then we want to immediatly migrate SharePoint 2010 to Sharepoint 2013.

  • @Atul Khalate.  Correct.  As long as these users are not either your or your affiliates’ employees, or your or your affiliates’ onsite contractors or onsite agents – they are considered external users and will not require SharePoint Server CALs.

  • "@Atul Khalate.  Correct.  As long as these users are not either your or your affiliates’ employees, or your or your affiliates’ onsite contractors or onsite agents – they are considered external users and will not require SharePoint Server CALs."

    In the Extranet case, do they require a Windows Server CAL since the Windows Server OS supports Sharepoint?

  • Furthermore, in the Extranet case, do they require a SQL Server CAL?

  • Hi,

    In Internet and Extranet case, do we require to have Windows Server and SQL Server USER CALs ?

  • In an Extranet scenario: 1)  User CAL license requirement is waived  2) There is no need to "name" each external user - if so how is this done? 3) There is no need to install an External Connector on each server in the farm?

  • Hi @DanTheManXX, the external connector is no more required to be configured for SP 2013 Server.

    Refer page 38 of Microsoft Product User Rights Oct 2012. Link below

    www.microsoftvolumelicensing.com/.../Downloader.aspx

    External Connector has been omitted from the requirement of External User Access.

    It clearly mentions: Licensed with Server

  • What is the actual limit of external users?

    For a small business plan on Office 365 external users can be 'up to 500'. The wording here could suggest the actual number is less based on some other criteria or requirement. Does anything restrict the number of external users? I have a O365 SB and I am the only user. Theoretically can I have 500 external users?

  • Does anyone can tell me if the user licenses are issued permanently or are they allocated for a defined period.

    If yes, what is this period ?

    Thank in advance.

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