Microsoft Volume Licensing Blog

  • Licensing How To: SharePoint Server 2013 Licensing Changes

    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. 

  • Licensing How To: Using Office 365 user licenses to meet CAL requirements

    Summary:  If you deploy workloads into Office 365 and maintain existing on premises workloads, or in some cases, deploy additional on premises servers to support a hybrid configurations- how do you maintain access to on premises servers.  It really doesn’t matter if your long term goal is to move to the cloud entirely, or maintain a hybrid configuration going forward – the licensing is the same.  In this Licensing How To post, we cover a concept sometimes called “on premises access rights,” “dual use rights”, and “on premises use rights.”  There really isn’t an official term, but the overall use right is to leverage your Office 365 licenses to access on premises servers, instead of buying CALs.

    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.

    A frequently asked Office 365 licensing question that we address on our Team is: what happens if I buy Office 365 but continue to run on premises workloads for certain products? We’ve seen Office 365 Community Forums and other sites light up with something called “dual use rights,” “on premises use rights,” or “on premises access rights.” What does this mean, and how does it apply to me?  Well, the short answer is, it depends.  The basic licensing concept is if you’ve purchased a User Subscription License (User SL, or USL) for an Office 365 Service, that user is licensed to access the equivalent workload(s) running on premises.  While the applicable application server CALs are not included in the Office 365 User  subscription License, a CAL equivalency use right is included to access the on premises application server. 

  • How to License Office Web Apps Server

    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.

  • Licensing How To: When do I need a Client Access License (CAL)?

    SUMMARY:  Knowing who, when, and what needs a Client Access License (CAL) is a great question and one our team answers often. Under most scenarios, CAL requirements are generally straight forward, however, there are several specific scenarios which we address below.   In this Licensing How To post, we cover the basics of Client Access Licensing, and recap a few common scenarios which may apply to you.

    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.

    It’s a question we answer daily, “I have scenario X, Y, or Z. Do I need a CAL?”  Server software licensed via the Server / CAL licensing model always requires some sort of server license (which may be per instance or per processor depending on the Product) as well Client Access Licenses (CALs) for users and/or devices to access the server software.  However, the question of who or what needs a CAL, along with any noted exceptions, varies by product. 

  • New Version Rights with Software Assurance Explained

    Summary: A common question we get, especially as excitement builds for the launch of a new version of a product is, “I have active Software Assurance (SA) coverage on my licenses and a new version is going to be released.  If my SA expires, or is about to expire, do I have rights to this new version?”  In this Licensing How To post, we cover New Version Rights: when and how you know what rights you have.

    Among other advantages, “New Version Rights for Software Assurance (SA)” can be an attractive and valuable SA benefit.  As outlined in the Product List, for any licensed Product covered with active SA, you are given the right to upgrade and run the latest version of the Product that is made available during the coverage term. You may ask yourself, “What do they mean by Made Available?” The term refers to the earlier of either the date that Microsoft makes the Product available for ordering, or the date that the Product is available for download from the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) website.