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Can you help me with my software licensing question?

I have read up online, and through some threads here like this one. But I'm still confused and need to see if anyone can shed some light.

My company is deploying a clickonce application that will be on multiple computers (about 50). It will be accessing an SQL Server database and I was wondering what kind of SQL Server licensing should I/need to have?

The application currently logs in via SQL Server authentication using one SQL Server user.

It seems logical that I would just need one user CAL and even through there will be up to 50 connections it should all still work.

Am I right?

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marked as duplicate by Skyhawk, Mark Henderson Nov 14 '11 at 5:19

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.

Nope. You have one SQL user, but you have 50 seats hitting the box. Last time I ran through this sort of scenario, the magic number for CALs was just about 50 where it became more economical to get the per-processor license.

That said, if you don't have more than 4gb of data and don't need that much horsepower, SQL Express could be a good place to start. Biggest downside is generally you don't have the SQL agent so you need to manage backups and such through scheduled tasks and sqlcmd.exe. But that isn't unmanageable if you your scenario isn't horribly complex.

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+1 for mentioning use of sqlcmd.exe as an almost replacement for SQL Agent. – ThatGraemeGuy Jun 23 '09 at 3:24

For CAL based licensing, you'd need one per user or computer that will be accessing the database. Microsoft's licensing is pretty explicit about multiplexing users thru a single user, so even if your users are submitting to a webservice that is the only "user" that directly hits the database, you'd still need to license each user.

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+1 Agree, multiplexing is probably the most common missuse of sql licensing:… – Joakim Backman Jun 23 '09 at 6:10

See this question on

The upshot is, yes, you'll either need client licenses (CALs) for each of the 50 computers it is deployed on, OR you'll need a per-processor license.

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I work for a small company and we have deployed a clickonce app a couple of months ago. For now we are using SQL Express on an XP Pro virtual machine. This setup is working for us. The only annoyance I've run into is the lack of the ability to schedule backups with the database. But I haven't fully looked into what my options are for automating that just yet. For now I have a maintenance window which I use to back up the entire virtual machine.

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If you want to automate the backing up of SQL Express, the following article should help you out: and – Sean Earp Jun 23 '09 at 3:37
Thanks I've bookmarked it and will give it a try. I'm such a Linux admin I always feel like a fish out of water when dealing with Windows based stuff. – 3dinfluence Jun 23 '09 at 4:09

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