Licensing

  • SQL Server 2016 Developers Edition Features

    SQL Server Developer Edition Features & Pricing

    SQL Server Developers Edition is a full featured edition of Microsoft SQL server. Developers prefer this version because it is a fully unlocked version of SQL at no cost. Wondering if Developer's edition is right for you? There are many different ways to price & license SQL server. Keep in mind Developer's edition is primarily for building and testing. Learn more about the features and highlights below.

    SQL Server Developers Edition Vs Standard

    SQL Server Developers Edition comes with all the bells and whistles of Enterprise Edition but in a non-production environment. This means those looking to run applications will need to opt for the standard version. SQL Dev Ed is used for the production, building and demonstration of applications. This version includes the full feature set of the Enterprise Edition. Moreover, Microsoft offers developer edition with no cost whatsoever with Visual Studio. Developers edition allows user to build web/mobile application for various data types.

    SQL Server Licensing

     

    SQL Server Developer's Edition Features & Highlights

    ENCRYPTION

    SQL Server comes with an always encrypted feature. With this feature enable, your database is always encrypted with the SQL Server. Access of the database is restricted to the devices calling SQL Server only. This allows the data owner to control who has access to the database and stop the nosy Administrator from poking around. This is a welcome security edition.

    JSON SUPPORT

    SQL Server Developers Edition also supports JSON (Java Script Object Notation) just like the enterprise edition. JSON support enables you to exchange JSON data between applications and SQL database engine. Moreover, Developers can turn the relational data into JSON formatted data.

    QUERY STORE

    With the query store feature, SQL Server saves historical execution plans for the queries. It also saves the query statistics that go along with these historical execution plans. This great edition will help you to track performance of queries over time.

    ROW LEVEL SECURITY

    SQL Server comes with row level security which allows database engine to restrict access to rows based the SQL Server Login. Implementing this feature will exempt application developers from maintaining code to restrict data access to some logins.

    TEMPORAL TABLES

    A temporal table hold the old version of the records within a base table. SQL Server Developers edition now automatically manages moving old row versions to the temporal tables whenever the records are updated.

    R- SUPPORT

    Microsoft incorporates R-programing language in SQL server to support advance analytics against big data sets. This allows the Database administrators to run their existing R code inside the SQL Server database engine, thereby eliminating the need for exporting the database to perform these advance analytics.

    PolyBase

    PolyBase is a nifty feature that allows user to query distributed data sets. By using polybase user can write adhoc queries which join relational data from SQL Server with data stored in Hadoop or SQL Azure blob storage.

    DYNAMIC DATA MASKING

    This feature allows to obscure confidential columns in a database from users which are not allowed to view the. Dynamic Data Masking allows you to identify how to obscure the data. For instance, By using this feature you can define a mask that can limit a user’s view to only some digits of Credit Card Number.


  • How to License SQL Server 2016 - The Comprehensive Guide

    How To License SQL Server 2016 - The Comprehensive Guide

    SQL server is a relational database management system (RDBMS) developed by Microsoft. It is a feature-rich database system designed to compete against Oracle and MySQL. Microsoft offers SQL server in several editions, each with their different set of options and features. Database Administrators prefer the Enterprise Edition because of its features; while organizations tend to prefer Standard Edition due to the lower costs.

    These editions come with their own licensing and pricing options.

    • Standard: Developed for small and medium size organizations. Offers basic database, reporting, and analytics capabilities.
    • Enterprise: Designed for large corporations with complex data sets and requirement. Has all functionalities/features. Contains all the basic features of Standard Edition plus tools for analysing business and financial data, mission-critical applications, and data warehousing features
    • Workgroup: Targeted towards small organizations.
    • Express: Free for distribution.

    Licensing Models

    Licensing has always been one of the more puzzling aspects of any new product. SQL server is no exception. Selecting the proper licensing model can prove to be a daunting task; with so many different types of licensing to choose from, one can easily get confused. Microsoft basically offers two types of paid licenses for SQL server. The client access licenses(CAL) are offered for Standard edition. It is usually used when the number of clients are pre-determined.

    Core-based licensing is offered for the Enterprise as well as the Standard Edition. Majority of users opt for core based licensing since CAL rarely fits every database model and is one more thing to manage. Core based licensing requires customers to purchase licenses for all the cores in the system for a physical server.

    Core licensing

    Core Licensing is an option for the SQL Server 2016 Standard edition and is a requirement for the SQL Server 2016 Enterprise edition. With the release of SQL Server 2016, Microsoft shifted from per Processor licensing to Per Core licensing. Such licensing can be availed for both physical and virtual servers. Core based licensing is appropriate when you are unable to count the users/devices using the program. A minimum of four core licenses are required for each physical processor on the server.  If you are using SQL server on a physical server, enough copies of the licenses are needed to cover all the cores in the system you plan to use.  Hyper threading is not considered – only the physical cores are counted. There is no need for CAL alongside with Core licensing. Microsoft offers these licenses in packs of two. Here is more information on the SQL Server Core vs Cal licensing model.

    When to use core-based licensing?

    • Preferably used when deploying to the Internet or Extranet.
    • When counting, users is impossible/impractical.
    • Mandatory use with Enterprise
    • When Comprehensive performance from demanding database is required.

    When to use CAL?

    • Deploying standard edition
    • Deploying SQL Server BI
    • Utilizing numerous SQL Servers within the organization

  • The Risk Factor: Cheap Software VS Pirated Software

    Software companies such as Adobe and Microsoft have built their brand on the vision of creating products that can be used by creators and innovators to curate content that can be distributed to whatever market they wish to serve. This vision can be seen manifested on the screens of millions of computers globally. Programs such as Photoshop and Office Suite have become industry standards.

    Pirated Software Costs Companies

    The most marketable skills for a potential employee are often founded on the ability to master the tools found in these programs. Adobe and Microsoft have become mainstays and their products, must-have tools of success and creation. Because of this software is expensive, placing it out of reach for many users. Piracy and cheap software seem like legitimate solutions to the market gap, but can have consequences that ultimately cause the company to loss profit.

    Cheap software in particular can offer a legal solution to those who cannot afford the alternative with pros and cons. Cheap software sold through third party vendors can be 18 to 22 percent less in licensing fees and up to 50 percent of the initial annual fee. While reducing costs is often the goal of budget conscious companies, with this potential benefit comes potential pitfalls. Third-party vendors cannot fully replace vendor support programs. This means that you will not get any software updates as your software is essentially frozen.

    You may also face reinstatement fees if your company grows and you need to return to the direct vendor.

    Despite of these disadvantages of cheap software, the consequences of using pirated software can be far graver. Using pirated software, like using cheap software, means no official vendor support, potential viruses and malware, no official builds or updates, and slowed computer performance due to modifications to make the program more authentic. Unlike the purchase of cheap software, pirated software is illegal, and thus, a crime. If a company is found guilty, they can face fees up to or exceeding $250,000 in fines.

    If financial resources are limited, cheap software can be a good alternative for beginning users or smaller companies, but overall it is recommended in the long term to invest in original software sold officially by the vendor that owns the original copyright.

     


  • Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite Is Catching Up to Competitors

    Enterprise Mobility Suite Brings Device Management To Enterprises

    Organizations all around the world are finding it increasingly difficult to cope up with the phenomenon of BYOD (bring your own device). Employees are bringing in their own devices into the corporate network and store not just personal data but also work-related data on it.

    Managing such a variety of different devices and platforms becomes quite a challenge for any IT department. There is also the question of ensuring privacy, i.e. where do you draw the line in separating personal data from work-related.

    As a solution to this problem, software vendors have rolled out what are popularly known as MDM or mobile device management solutions. For example, Symantec, BlackBerry and IBM have such solutions. Likewise, Microsoft too has one, which goes by the name of Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite.

    This offering was announced in 2014 and leverages the capabilities of Windows Intune as well as Microsoft SCCM. It also utilizes certain Azure-based services behind the scenes. The tool's main purpose is to facilitate controlling the different portable devices that are deployed in a company network using a single administrative console. It also enables certain security scenarios such as being able to remotely lock a stolen device and reset / wipe its data as necessary.

    Enterprise Mobility Suite

    Most MDM solutions are licensed on a per-user model and Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite is no exception to it.

    Features of the EMS include for example, geo-location capabilities. The fragmentation and lack of a native management API in Android may also be a hurdle. Microsoft's sincerity to treat all of the different platforms similarly may be considered to be questionable by some vendors, because unlike competitors like Symantec and VMWare which have no mobile platform of their own, Microsoft does have one. Also, Microsoft is highly keen on presenting Windows as a unified platform across the PC, tablet and the phone, unlike how Apple clearly differentiates between OS X and iOS.


  • Sharepoint Online Cloud Migration

    What Are CAL's for SharePoint?

    SharePoint is a free add on to Windows Server 2003/2008/2011 OS which supports extranet, intranet, and Internet applications from any single, integrated platform. As such, accessing SharePoint is bound by Microsoft Server licensing for the server it’s installed on. If you’ve a server in the business then you’ll probably have all the required CALs (Client Access Licenses) for your staff to access the Windows server – and by definition, SharePoint CALs. You may, however, need to consider external, remote and or mobile staff who may not have a SharePoint CAL to the server but due to SharePoint’s simple remote access features will begin to connect and use the Windows server infrastructure.

    Sharepoint online cloud

    When purchasing a Microsoft SharePoint Portal server (or other Microsoft servers like SQL, Exchange, Windows, Windows Terminal or Systems Management), a license is needed for each copy of the installed server software. Besides, a SharePoint CAL (client access license) is needed, for the same Microsoft server version, for each device or user (or combination of both) which uses or accesses the server software. The only time you don’t need a SharePoint CAL is if:

    • Access is to a server that runs Windows Server 2003 Web Edition
    • Access is through the Internet and is unauthenticated
    • Use or access is by an external user and instead of CALs, External Connector licenses are acquired.

    With the release of the Windows 2003 Servers, there’re now 2 types of SharePoint CALs available, a user-based and a device-based CAL. This means you can acquire a Microsoft CAL for every named-user accessing your Windows servers (from any device), or you can acquire a Microsoft CAL for every device (utilized by any user) accessing your Windows servers. Although both device CALs and user CALs are available under the Select agreement, only device CALs are available under the Microsoft Campus agreement. A Microsoft SharePoint Server Enterprise (MSSE) user CAL can be used only in conjunction with a Microsoft SharePoint Server Standard (MSSS) user CAL. It authorizes the user to access extra features in Microsoft SharePoint-Server from any device (for instance, when a staff accesses the server from a PC at work and another at home).


  • Microsoft Open Licensing

    Big Business Tools At An Entry Level Price

    Microsoft Open Licensing is an entry-level volume licensing program for small to mid-sized companies with between 2 to 250 personal computers (although it can accommodate companies with up to 750 computers). Microsoft's latest service offering allows corporate, charitable, academic, or governmental organizations to obtain volume license schemes for Microsoft products. Microsoft Open Licensing is generally a better value when compared to traditional licensing methods (i.e. - retail, or individual license purchases). Open License provides a simple, yet flexible and cost-effective approach to buying the latest Microsoft technology, maintaining said technology, and standardizing licensing methods to meet your company’s needs and budget.

    The Microsoft Open Licensing Model Is Designed To Simplify

    • Open Value – Specifically designed to offer you simplified license management, lower software management costs, and greater control over your IT investment. This option includes Software Assurance, an improved maintenance program from Microsoft which provides you access to added benefits such as training, software upgrades, deployment planning, and product support. The Open Value program has 3 options: company-wide, non-company-wide and subscription; each designed to meet diverse business needs and applications.
    • Open Value is designed for companies that want to boost their up-front order or purchase amount in one-or-more product pools to take advantage of group s. These options use a system of product pools as well as product points to set up purchase minimums for discounted prices.
    • Open Business – Ideal for organizations looking to pay for Microsoft Software Licenses as they add resources. This program gives your company the flexibility to grow as your business licensing needs increase.

    Does Your Business Qualify?

    To qualify, the initial purchase is to be no less than five licenses (of any product combination); there are some exceptions whereby a single product qualifies (for instance SQL Core licenses and Visual Studio with an MSDN Subscription).

    Office 365 Through Open License

    If your business has met the initial eligibility requirements, the program will run for two consecutive years (further licenses can be added to this plan a-la-carte as desired). This offer does expire, albeit the licenses bought are perpetual and may be used repeatedly. Licenses include all commercially-available Microsoft software products; Check out the Microsoft Open License page and learn more!


  • Why Is Microsoft Offering 1TB of Free Cloud Storage?

    Microsoft is making changes to sweeten the deal on its cloud storage service, especially for customers who use Microsoft's OneDrive or Office 365. On June 23, 2014, Microsoft increased the storage space for all Office 365 users to one terabyte, extending the offer it released to OneDrive for Business customers back in April. Continue reading


  • Adobe Cloud: Good for Investors, But Is It Good for Consumers?

    Adobe went all in with cloud apps not long ago, changing their business model from offering products on physical discs to a subscription-based model where users can access their products via the Creative Cloud service. Consumers and professionals have been frustrated, but Adobe’s stock has soared, rising 63% in the last 12 months. At the same time, net income is down to $47 million, a 28% drop from last year. This apparent disparity can be explained in part by the overall success of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) industry, given prominence by leaders like Salesforce and now Adobe. Continue reading


  • Guide to Microsoft's Open License Progam

    Microsoft’s different bulk software licensing options provide a lot of flexibility for choosing the bulk license type that’s right for you. Depending on your business’ type, size, and limitations, the different purchasing models allow any business to get the bulk licenses for Microsoft Office they need. Microsoft Open License is a great licensing program option if you are a businesses, government organization, educational organization, healthcare organization, and non-profit/charity organization that wants to pay as you go. Because you pay for the licenses as you need them, you get maximum flexibility to grow with your organization’s increasing and changing business needs. Continue reading


  • Microsoft Open License vs Open Value vs Enterprise Agreement

    Many people assume that the only way to purchase Microsoft Office is to buy it off the physical or virtual shelf. Small business owners may not realize that you don't need to purchase hundreds of copies to qualify for volume licensing discounts. Microsoft offers many programs that are flexible and affordable starting with as few as 5 licenses. Microsoft open license and open value programs helps make the software license more affordable, scalable, and accessible. Enterprise Agreement is designed for larger volumes and offers larger savings. Factors like how many licenses you need, how much up-front capital you have to buy licenses, and for how long you’ll need the software will all determine which license purchasing type is best for you.

    There are three main categories of license purchasing types: Open License, Open Value, and Enterprise Agreement.

    Open License

    Microsoft Open License is the most straightforward license purchasing where you simply purchase the license up front and own it forever. Software Assurance can be added, but is optional. Open license is ideal if you have the money to spend on a license, and are purchasing a smaller amount of licenses. Pricing depends on what kind of organization you’re with. The different organization pricing tiers include:

    Open Value

    Microsoft Open Value licensing is similar to Open License, where you pay for the software and completely own it after you purchase it. However, with Open Value, the cost of the license is spread out over three annual payments and you own the license after that. Software Assurance is included. Unlike Open License, the pricing for Open Value does not depend on the type of organization.

    Similarly, Open Value Subscription allows you to access the same software at an annual subscription fee. You don’t, however, own the software – and if you stop your subscription at any time, the software can no longer be used.

    Enterprise Agreement

    Microsoft Enterprise Agreement is a program for large companies who need to buy more than 250 licenses at a time. This allows companies to access bulk licenses at an affordable rate, and the price per license is dramatically lower than purchasing individual licenses. Software Assurance can also be added to Enterprise Agreement licenses at an additional fee.

    The Volume Licensing Advantage

    The varying types of license purchasing options from Microsoft is intended to help different sized organizations access Microsoft Office in a reliable and scalable way. Whether your organization chooses to pay for licenses up front, or needs license on a subscription basis, there are plenty of options to help you access the software you need.