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Can you help me with my software licensing question?

In the UK the predominant operator of School Management Information Systems have product called Learning Gateway that is expressed as WebParts their use case is SharePoint, and they recommend MOSS 2007 Standard to run all of the schools Web-Publishing and Document management needs, etc.

I have been getting conflicting information from other schools, our licensing provider and the software vendor as to the licensing of SharePoint for use as:

  • An Extranet to allow parents to access data about their children
  • A Virtual Learning Environment used by staff and students from both home and within school
  • A document management system for publishing policy and governance documentation by the leadership team to the staff.
  • A school wide landing page (home page) with links to commonly used resources service status, announcements etc.
  • Potentially the School Website (which will effectively be Announcements + Online Prospectus)

My plan is to start with a two server setup with one WFE and one SQL Server, at present I have not considered search. This will service 2100 students, 300 staff and 1600 parents. A similar installation in another comparable local school has proven these hardware requirements in principal.

From what I have been told by our supplier and the information available through Microsoft I believe I need the following:

  • 2 x Windows Server 2003 R2
  • 1 x Windows 2003 External Connector (We have Device CALs for all internal devices)
  • 1 x SQL Server 2005 Server Licence (No CALs)
  • 1 x SQL Server 2005 External Connector (To cover external users)
  • 1 x MOSS 2007 Standard Internet Licence (To cover external users)
  • 300 x MOSS 2007 CALs (for internal staff use, students are covered by the Internet Licence)

Is this accurate? We have been informally told that other schools have implemented similar with SharePoint for less than £2,000 in licensing, all schools in the area are under the same Volume Licence Agreement as us. Several people have told me that I only need External Connectors for SharePoint, SQL and Windows, but the Microsoft Website seems to suggest that if you do that you can not store publish internally.

Any help appreciated, and other comments about server setup or capacity management would be welcomed in the comments.

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marked as duplicate by voretaq7 Feb 11 '12 at 4:17

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.

This is a question for "School Management Information Systems" and Microsoft. Ask the vendor for a contact with one of their customer sites where you can ask questions about their experience and what they bought. This is a common request when spending a good chunk of change on something very few of your other IT colleagues will be running. – labradort Nov 3 '09 at 12:32
The vendor of the management information system, licences their WebParts seperately from Windows/SQL/SharePoint. This is more of a question about SharePoint deployments, I have spoken to Microsoft Licencing unfortunatly the person I got through to didn't really understand. – Richard Slater Nov 3 '09 at 12:41
up vote 3 down vote accepted

From your listing I think your are correct with licenses and amounts. However the price for schools depends on your contract. You are in UK, so I think you should contact Emma Healey, she works for Microsoft UK and runs a very good licensing blog Emma explains Microsoft Licensing.

(try to repost your findings here or something so that we have as future reference)

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Will do, thanks for your comment. – Richard Slater Nov 3 '09 at 18:39
In the end we were quoted prices ranging from £10K to £25K, in the end we stuck with WSS and bought external connectors. – Richard Slater Apr 14 '11 at 9:54

Microsoft Licensing can be some what of a dark art, often the answer you get from 2 sources can be completely different. Microsoft have made it difficult for them selves by having so many licensing options.

From what you have written it looks like your idea of what you need is about right, however I'm no licensing expert so I can't say for definite. You say you have already contacted Microsoft, I would suggest calling again, its a bit of a lottery when you call them, sometimes you get a really useful person who is able to get exactly what you want, sometimes you experience what you did. I'd call again and see if you can get someone more helpful. I would also check with the licensing specialists at the vendor your going to buy the software from ( if they have one). Obviously they are going to want to sell you stuff so you may want to take their recommendation with a pinch of salt, but you could use this to compare with what MS gave you and get a better picture.

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Thanks for your advise, I have e-mailed them with the above this time. Hopefuly if they don't understand they have the opertunity to pass it on to someone who will. I have had this concern about Licence Resellers for a long time, unforutnatly I tend to find they give you the most black and white answers. – Richard Slater Nov 3 '09 at 13:48

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