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Anya Ciecierski, CAL Business Solutions

Microsoft Announces Pricing Changes to SQL Server Licensing for Microsoft Dynamics GP


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    When you buy a Microsoft Dynamics ERP product, Microsoft licenses a Runtime version of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard or Enterprise Edition that is meant to ONLY be used with that Microsoft Dynamics ERP product. (Including Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics SL or Microsoft Dynamics NAV). What you might not realize is that you are NOT allowed to use this license with any other application, including Microsoft Dynamics CRM. It might be tempting to do this, but we have had at least one client tell us recently that Microsoft surprised them with a licensing audit.

    Microsoft SQL Client Access Licenses (CALs) are licensed per named user or per device and are NOT licensed for concurrent use. Customers must license a CAL for each named user accessing Microsoft Dynamics GP. (Unless the user only accesses the application from a device that already has a license).

    As of October 2012 Microsoft has announced a change to this SQL Server arrangement with Microsoft Dynamics:

    As per Microsoft SQL Server license terms, customers must have a valid Microsoft SQL Server license for each deployed server. Starting in October 2012 Microsoft Dynamics GP customers will be required to have the appropriate number of server licenses based on their server configuration.  These licenses will be free until December 31, 2012. Starting Jan 1, 2013 the Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Runtime License (price per server) will cost $6 per Standard Edition and $51 per Enterprise Edition for US Customers.

    Why does Microsoft Dynamics need to do this?  I heard it had to do with anti-monopoly type regulations.  Microsoft can’t give it to Dynamics ERP customers for free if they don’t give it to SAP and Sage and other competing products too. So to be fair they will charge a nominal fee.

    Existing Microsoft Dynamics GP Customers:

    Existing Microsoft Dynamics GP customers who have licensed Microsoft SQL Server Runtime CAL’s from Microsoft Dynamics prior to October 1, 2012 will be automatically granted a number of servers based on the number of CAL’s owned as of October 1, 2012. These customers will be given the appropriate version, either Standard or Enterprise, based on their system. These customers will also be granted 1 additional version appropriate Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Server License per 25 CALs.

    These licenses will automatically be put into your customer account in VOICE during the first half of calendar year 2013.  But your Protected List Price (PLP) will not be impacted. (So you will not pay additional enhancement fees annually).

    New Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Customers:

    Customers who purchase Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 will be required to select a Microsoft SQL Server option when they license the Starter Pack. This choice is binding as long as you remain on the same version of the product. If you would prefer to license Microsoft SQL Server from Volume Licensing you will simply select the “No Microsoft SQL Server Runtime” option.

    Frequently Asked Questions and answers from Charles Ray, Senior Systems Specialist, CAL Business Solutions.

    Q: What is the difference between a Server License and a Client Access License (CAL)?

    A: You must license the SQL Server software to install on your server (a piece of hardware). Then you must buy Client Access Licenses (CALs) to give users the right to connect to SQL Server from their desktop or Citrix connection. You need a CAL to access data off the server.

    Q: When would a company need the Microsoft SQL Server R2 Runtime License Standard Edition vs. Enterprise Edition?

    A: Our clients would most likely use the Standard Edition.  The Enterprise Edition is not needed and is several times the price of Standard for not much in features unless you’re clustering servers in a HUGE environment. You’re paying for scalability.

    Q: What is the approximate retail list price of these SQL Server licenses, if someone bought on their own from volume licensing?

    A: SQL 2008R2 Standard Edition with 10 CALs (retail) is approximately $2,300.00   Additional CALs are $100.00 each.  By the way, SQL 2008R2 Enterprise Edition with 25 CALs is approx. $14,000.00.

    Q: Is the Runtime version the same as the SQL Express version?  

    A: No

    Q: What is SQL Express?

    A: SQL Express (which used to be called MSDE) is a scaled-down version of SQL Standard Edition, made primarily for workstation use. SQL Express can be downloaded from the Microsoft Download Center at no charge and it does not require CALs. But it has limitations. It has a per-database size limitation and no SQL Agent or Transaction Log backup availability, so recovery options are limited as well.  One other note on SQL Express – although SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) is available for SQL Express, SQL Reports and BI Dashboard integration for Dynamics GP do not and will not work.

    Microsoft partners can read the full announcement here: Microsoft SQL server runtime-licensing clarification and announcement of changes

    If you have any questions about your SQL Server licensing as it relates to Microsoft Dynamics GP, contact CAL Business Solutions. Get more information on Microsoft Dynamics GP Hardware Requirements and Costs.

    By CAL Business Solutions, Connecticut Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner

    2 Responses to “Microsoft Announces Pricing Changes to SQL Server Licensing for Microsoft Dynamics GP”

    1. Mo says:

      If I require 10 cals , run time is free what additional cost is required

    2. Good article on a sometimes confusing subject. Thanks