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Possible Duplicate:
Can you help me with my software licensing question?

I have Microsoft SQL Server 2008 installed on a server. The license is 5 CAL

I have a three tier solution viz database <-> Windows Service <-> User

Multiple Users (More than 5) connects to the single windows service. The windows service than connects with the SQL server, grabs data and then passes it to the users.

Although there are more than 5 users, but only a single application actually connects to the SQL server.

Is this considered as a 1 CAL connection?


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marked as duplicate by Ward, ThatGraemeGuy, Iain, RobM, Smudge Nov 8 '11 at 9:09

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.

You need to read the documentation and/or talk with MS or an authorized reseller to get a definitive answer to this question for your situation. – Ward Nov 8 '11 at 4:54
I'd say not duplicate: licensing Adobe Acrobat (as per accepted answer) isn't the same a licensing an RDBMS The other question should be closed as too vague and imprecise: this one is very specific – gbn Nov 8 '11 at 5:52
@gbn: we don't deal with licensing questions. You should read the "duplicate" question. – ThatGraemeGuy Nov 8 '11 at 6:47
@Graeme Donaldson : I did tl;dr after the accepted answer – gbn Nov 8 '11 at 7:22
up vote 1 down vote accepted

It's hard to say exactly. And you best bet is to talk to your local Microsoft rep.

But based on previous experience, if the windows service is only proxying / multiplexing the connections (which it sounds like it is) then you will need a CAL for each user (or a CPU license etc)

If however the application connects to the database, performs a query, and then disconnects and holds the result in memory, and serves the users based on that in memory cache, then you will only need the one CAL.

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Thanks for the answer, this explains a lot. Cheers! – user1034912 Nov 8 '11 at 7:14

The licensing docs explicitly mentions multiplexing does not reduce the CAL requirement for end users.

Use of hardware and/or software that reduces the number of devices or users that directly access or use the software (multiplexing/pooling) does not reduce the number of CALs required.

n users = n CALs. If you don't know n then you have to go "per processor"

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Personally, I think it's all just smoke. The whole thing aobut software licenses is about permissions to copy the software, and nothing more. Vendors can go a little further because of court rulings that running software effectively copies it in RAM; CAL licenses are an extension of that. But if you're not doing anything that makes additional copies of the software, there's little standing ground and you'd have a strong defense in court. There's no copyright violation if you never copy the software. That said, I'm not gonna be the one to go up against Microsoft's legal team on the issue. – Joel Coel Nov 8 '11 at 6:00
@Joel Coel: and the point of your comment is? The question is about licensing, not the validity of the license Ts and Cs – gbn Nov 8 '11 at 6:27
Just a rant, I guess, venting some recent frustration on the issue. – Joel Coel Nov 8 '11 at 6:30
Rants are good... it gives the real picture of things, for the intuitive mind... rather than unrealistic perfect world dramas where everybody pretends to be in – user1034912 Nov 8 '11 at 7:13
Which at the end is also total useless`. Sorry, but ranting about whether CALs are morale is useless if you decide to live in a country where they are enforcable. Ranting in another peoples question is inpolite if the rant is irrelevant. – TomTom Nov 8 '11 at 8:45

Last time I read the license for SQL Server it specifically stated that any user who uses the data which comes from the SQL Server needs to have a CAL weather they connect directly or indirectly to the SQL Server. (I'm paraphrasing here.) In other words you'll need a CAL for each user or CPU licensees.

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easily confirmed in the link and quote in my answer... – gbn Nov 9 '11 at 5:42

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