Be careful when licensing Microsoft products.
14 Jan

Caution with the licensing of Microsoft products

In the SAP Business One environment, you often find a lot of Microsoft software. Licensing this correctly is not always easy.

There is no getting around Microsoft

SAP is getting ready to start with HANA a very powerful alternative to other databases to establish itself. For SAP Business One, however, it is true that most existing installations still use the Microsoft product MS SQL Server use. In addition, other products from the Redmond software giant are usually required in the interaction of ERP software for SMEs. This starts with the operating system, continues with the MS Office The programme also includes Outlook and sometimes involves the use of additional programmes such as Visio or MS Project.

MS SQL SERVER - "The Server's Core

Now SAP Business One offers a simple way to MS SQL Server licence. With a per-user licence, each SAP B1 ? user is simply assigned a corresponding database user.
With many users (more than 20), however, this can be the more expensive option. It can be cheaper, MS SQL Server with a Microsoft Server licence. From then on, however, it becomes complicated. SQL Server 2014 then requires licensing according to processor cores. At least 4 cores must be licensed.

Microsoft CALs - Who , when, about what

The licensing of Microsoft products with client access licences (CALs) for Windows Server is a science in itself. Firstly, there is the distinction between

Device CAL: A device CAL licenses a device for use by any number of users who may access instances of the server software with this device. These are divided into device CALs and user CALs. One licence is for access from a licensed device by multiple users. The user CAL authorises access from several devices by one user.

The licences are version-dependent. With a CAL for Windows Server 2012 you can access lower versions. However, you cannot operate a higher version with a licence for Windows Server 2008 R2, for example.

But that is not the end of the story. There are also variations of CAL licensing: CAL suites, Core CAL suites, Bridge CAL User ?

Virtual is different again

Those who now want to use the possibilities of virtualising software have to take even more into account. For services such as RDS (Remote Desktop Services) and/or VDI (virtual desktop infrastructures), other rules apply again. For this, one should deal with the Microsoft volume licences.

MSDN Subscription - Trial Only

Now some IT companies thought they could escape the licensing jungle. There is an MSDN subscription that entitles you to use almost all Microsoft products. However, only for test and demo purposes. With every ?productive? The user violates the licence right.

Caution with information and audit!

This is only an excerpt from the shoals into which one enters if one wants to correctly license all Microsoft products for a medium-sized company. Anyone who thinks that this is an issue that can only threaten larger companies is mistaken.
The last initiative launched by Microsoft to check licences affected more than 15,000 SMEs in 2015 alone. The manufacturer first provides the companies with an Excel sheet (Deployment Summary), which should be completed and returned. If you do not comply with the request, you can expect more pressure from Microsoft. However, you should not enter anything in the Excel form that could give rise to suspicion of under-licensing. This could lead to the right to a software audit. Such an audit must be based on the law. The following paragraphs can be consulted here 101 and 101a UrhG. Accordingly, a watchmaker can only demand information if 'an infringement is sufficiently probable'.

Of course, the issue of 'incorrect licensing' does not only apply to Microsoft licences. SAP Business One can also be used in a way that does not correspond to the licence purchased.

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