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Can you help me with my software licensing question?

I have a client that would like to upgrade MS Access on his TS to 2010. From the research I have done, it appears that he needs to actually buy a $160+ copy of MS Access for every single user that logs onto the Server? This seems a little ridiculous to me. Prior to 2010 it was possible (although I'm not sure about legal) to install a retail version of any of the Office suite and away you went!

I just today tried installing a retail version of MS Access on their server and was greeted with a nice little message saying that I couldn't install this on a Terminal Server.

I am aware of the Runtime edition of Access and maybe that is the route we will have to go. I could install the full version on a client computer and use it there.

Do I really need to purchase a license for every single user?

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marked as duplicate by Scott Pack, voretaq7 Feb 11 '12 at 3:30

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Licensing questions should be directed to your vendor/reseller for an appropriate answer. – MDMarra Aug 24 '10 at 1:36
Not sure where you got the impression that you could use a single retail license in a TS environment... AFAIK that would be a license violation. Volume licenses are required.. – Zoredache Aug 24 '10 at 2:31
Runtime version might work just fine on the TS although I have NOT read the EULA for that scenario. The other problesm might be for a few power users who need to create queries to export data to Excel for analysis and or sending to clients. Also these power users might possibly be creating basic reports. – Tony Toews Aug 25 '10 at 2:56
up vote 2 down vote accepted

There are two moving parts to licensing for running Office apps on Windows Terminal Server:

  1. the client workstation license

  2. the WTS CAL

The first rule is that workstations running Terminal Server sessions have to have a license to the software they are running. Before Office 2007, this was very, very loosely enforced, but with Office 2007 (and 2010), things have been tightened up significantly. For one, you have to install the Enterprise version of Office on the Terminal Server. Secondly, it really won't allow a connection if the client workstation doesn't have the appropriate licenses.

The WTS CALs control how many connections to the Terminal Server, independent of what apps are being run. They are just like your standard CALs for any Windows Server software. They can be assigned per user or per device. It used to be that the licensing software worked reliably with one and not reliably with the other, but I've forgotten the details (it was more than 5 years ago that I encountered the issue).

If you're trying to support users who don't have Access or Office installed on the devices they are connecting to the Terminal Server from, then you are better off engineering your Access application to use the runtime on the Terminal Server, because that eliminates any software licensing issues (though not the CAL requirement).

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You need a volume license copy of any Office application or suite in order to install it on a terminal server.

As far as the number of licenses, Office is licensed per device, not per user. You need a license for each device that will be accessing the terminal server. If you have devices that already have licenses for Access, you do not have to repurchase them for the terminal server but they need to be licensed to use the version that is installed on the server.

It is probably best to bring up these licensing types of questions with your supplier or Microsoft. They will have much more authoritative information than anybody here is able to provide you.

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+1, This information is correct; and you need to contact a MS Licensing Partner to buy the volume license anyway, so it's best to talk over your specific situation with them before buying. – Chris S Aug 24 '10 at 2:18
Thanks for the input. I'm not exactly an IT pro. (just trying to be for this one company that doesn't want to pay someone that actually knows) Your answer is basically what I was expecting and answers all the question I have. Thanks. – Icode4food Aug 24 '10 at 13:34

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