SharePoint Licensing – Beware!

    I have had several conversations recently which has led me to write this short article, around the different applications and hence licensing requirements for "SharePoint Technologies".

    Much of the confusion tends to be the issue of ‘free’ Windows SharePoint Services (WSS V3.0) which is licensed against your Windows 2003, or Small Business Server and is downloadable from Microsoft. Many people think this is SharePoint in its entirety. It is not!It is however licensed by your Windows 2003 or Small Business Server, so if you’re licensed for this, you can download/install and use it without any additional licensing.

    The above is not to be confused with its bigger ‘brother’ Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS 2007), which encompasses WSS V3 plus brings with it a whole series of other very powerful features and in particular other server based products, including but not limited to the following:

  1. Web Content Management

  2. Collaboration

  3. Enterprise Search

  4. Business Intelligence

  5. Portals

  6. Business Process and Forms.

    It’s licensing is also a tad confusing which is why I have posted this article by John Stover, which gives more details:


    In addition, a Microsoft Overview of their licensing and products with MOSS 2007.


    In short, MOSS is licensed per server/client access license (CAL) for ‘standard features’ and is around £3-4k per sever, plus £30-£50 per user CAL . But if you want to use Forms/Excel/BCM Services you will need the ‘Enterprise CAL’ which will set you back another £30 per user CAL on top!

    Both the WSS and MOSS installation will need Microsoft SQL 2000/5 licenses as well…though in some cases you can get away with the lower cost inbuilt database – SQL Express. This is fine for smaller businesses or demo environments only, but not so for everyone else.

    In addition, if you want to make your SharePoint deployment public facing, i.e. use MOSS for your organisation’s web site, much of the above ‘web content management features’ will mean you need £20k plus for the Internet Connector license. Surprised

    So, when you add together costs of your hardware, a WSS deployment isn’t going to be that expensive, especially if it is just used for internal document management and collaborative workspaces. However, introduce MOSS and you’re looking at around £10k minimum in hardware/software alone. Plus then add on other elements means your deployment will soon start costing you 10′s of thousands more in licensing costs, plus potential consulting fees and ongoing support costs.

    All of the above figures assume little or no special licensing that you may have with your software provider, so could come down, in particular for the larger customers or charities/public sector whom have volume or special pricing.

    So, the advice I am giving to my customers is to look carefully at the business case of deploying WSS/MOSS. Identify cost savings to help this business case. In addition, you may find you can gain a tremendous amount from just deploying WSS based solutions or indeed outsource the whole deployment of WSS to someone else whom will look after the backup/support of this environment.

    Before unnecessarily getting into complex Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007 design topics, it is important to note that the document management and collaboration needs of many organisations can be satisfied with the Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) 3.0 client, is available as a free download from Microsoft. WSS 3.0 deployments are single-server deployments with SQL Server 2005 Express as the integrated database, in most cases, and so they do not require a complex design session.

    If basic levels of functionality are required, or simply to demonstrate SharePoint 2007 technologies in an environment, installing and using WSS is ideal and affordable, especially if chosen via a hosted ‘pay as you use’ model.



    Technorati Tags: , WSS,

    Update:  Great article by Emma Healey from Microsoft UK licensing team provides a useful pictorial representation of some common SharePoint licensing models. For those whom wish to deploy internally as part of an intranet perhaps, or those with more complicated intranet/extranet scenarios sharing information with none staff members.

    A complicated area we all need to read more about!

    Link here:http://ladylicensing.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!87F95F1B5B21B01E!575.entry

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