15 June, 2010 · 3 minutes to read
SharePoint 2010 Licensing for Education – My Current Understanding
SharePoint licensing has always been a bit of a black art, but the release of SharePoint 2010 seems to have complicated it even more. This is my attempt at understanding it and may well be completely wrong! If nothing else it should help your understanding when talking to your Microsoft Education Partner who you buy your licenses from.
Dave Coleman posted a great blog on it at http://www.sharepointedutech.com/2010/05/19/licencing-sharepoint-2010-for-education-in-the-uk/, however on further investigation it has since come to light, and verified by Microsoft that he is missing a component which will in all likelihood double the price.
Forgetting the educational differences to start with, the different types of license which may or may not be required to run SharePoint are:
The server licenses break down into Standard or Enterprise and then again into intranet or internet options.
That the basics of SharePoint licensing. Now to consider the educational licensing:
You obviously need a server license per server. I’ll come back to internet or intranet later.
Each SQL Server which is used by SharePoint will need licensing in the normal way. Every user which access SharePoint is will need a license for SQL as well. If you’re using the same SQL server as for other applications, you may well already be covered, otherwise a per-processor license is usually cheaper than individual SQL Server CALs.
Then for each staff member who will be using SharePoint you need a full user CAL (£11.95). So far nothing complicated.
For students it’s where it gets different. For SharePoint 2007, you needed a student user CAL per student. Now if you refer to the licensing for SharePoint Server 2010 at http://www.microsoftvolumelicensing.com/userights/ProductPage.aspx?pid=320 it states
Student Only CALs (Academic Open License and Academic Select)
Student Only CALs are restricted to license student owned PCs or institution owned PCs dedicated to an individual student and are NOT for use in labs or classrooms.
So you will still need a student User CAL(£0.85) per student to cover them accessing SharePoint from home. However in addition to this you will need a full Device CAL (£11.95) for every classroom PC which is not dedicated to an individual student. This is where it could get really expensive. Microsoft estimates that there’s approximately 1 PC per 3.5 students in the UK, so using Dave’s figures of 1000 students, that’s about 285 machines which will cost £3,405.75, which is slightly more than the other licenses put together. Of course if you one of the fortunate schools who has issued on laptop per student you only need student CALS, and if you are on the Schools Agreement the core CAL should cover SharePoint access.
What if you want to use SharePoint to communicate with parents, feeder schools and prospective students? Ray Fleming has blogged on this at Licensing parents for SharePoint – what’s free and what isn’t. Basically for every student which is licensed for SharePoint, then their parents/legal guardians are also licensed for no extra cost. In addition if ALL of your students are licensed then you get a no cost External Connector license for
You can find out more details about these no cost licenses from Ray’s blog post and download the Parent/Guardian CAL Grant Letter and External Connector Grant Letter. In particular this should mean that you can host sites for your feeder schools with no additional license costs.
In my reading of the grant letters, they give you:
My reading of an External Connector License is that it only applies to authenticated/logged in users. So in a strict reading you would be licensed for parents (and your licensed students and staff of course) to access an internet site. You would not be licensed for anyone else to anonymously access an internet facing site as those groups above are only licensed to log on.
Arguably, the intent of Microsoft is to allow all those groups above access to your SharePoint, and you could argue that would include anonymous and logged in access. I don’t have an answer as to whether you are truly licensed for this or not, and neither is anyone I have spoken to, including Microsoft employees! If it doesn’t license you then you will need an internet edition of SharePoint, but if it does, then for the majority of schools their target audience for any anonymous internet web site is going to exactly be those groups above.
The release of SharePoint 2010 has only seemed to muddy the waters even more over SharePoint licensing. I have been told that Microsoft is looking at this area of Educational licensing for SharePoint and feedback is valuable so I would suggest emailing Ray via his blog and letting him know your thoughts.
Sorry about that Ray, but I hope you get lots of feedback!
Managing Director / Founder
Richard started SalamanderSoft in 2007 after a successful career as a software developer. Wanting to start his own company and with experience in integrating school systems he set out to build the best integration system for schools and to exceed customer expectations. He starting out on his own, doing all the coding, support and sales until finally the growing number of customers meant he needed to start growing the team. He is still heavily involved in coding the core Integration Suite product in addition to running the company and being the first point of contact for prospective customers.