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Can you help me with my software licensing question?

What is the licensing situation with Small Business Server 2003 and allowing other people and companies to connect and use the services?

I also want to run Windows SharePoing Services (the free version) on there and allow access to this by clients to use as an intranet. Do I need to get additional licensing for this?

Kind Regards

marked as duplicate by Skyhawk, Mark Henderson Nov 14 '11 at 2:32

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.


In case you need to allow external users to your server you should use Windows Server 2008 (2003) External Connector (EC) license, as described here, and this covers both scenarios you mentioned.

However you cannot use this license with Small Business Server and it seems there is no similar license for it. Here is the full list of available EC licenses.

Please note: Additional licensing fees might apply if you plan to use Microsoft Office SharePoint 2007 or SQL Server 2005/2008 as database backend.

  • It mentions that it's not for a hosting provider situation, do you know how I would handle that scenario? i.e. us providing WSS to them as a hosted service. Cheers – Kieran Jun 3 '09 at 15:30
  • In that case special pricing applies. It is different in each country/region so the best way would be to contact your Microsoft Partner. – Toni Frankola Jun 3 '09 at 15:49
  • How about if this is running on hyper v provided by a third party ISP with no connection limitations on their service? This is so confusing! – Kieran Jun 25 '09 at 15:46

The rule is that any user that authenticates with your domain requires a Client Access License (CAL). Unfortunately this does limit what you can do with products like SharePoint in terms of providing external access to non-employees.

The EULA also says that you're not supposed to provide services to other companies (i.e. you can't use your license to become a service provider). Microsoft has another type of license for that, called SPLA - Service Provider License Agreement. Under SPLA, you can provide services and you have to report usage to your licensing provider and pay a monthly per-user fee.

What you can do with SharePoint is to provide access using Forms Authentication and using the ASP.Net Profile services. Andrew Connell has some good advice on using forms authentication on his blog.

  • Interesting comment Tim, so FBA does not in effect authenticate the user inside of Windows? – Kieran Jun 25 '09 at 15:47
  • It depends on your authentication provider. ASP.Net Profile service by default uses a SQL Profile Provider, so there is no authentication with Active Directory. This is a bit of a grey area and you should make your own informaed decision on this but IIRC I think the license states that a CAL is required for any user who authenticates with Active Directory. If you're using the SQL Profile Provider, then that's not authenticating with AD, so some people interpret that as not requiring a CAL. Again, you need to read the license agreement and come to your own interpretation. – Tim Long Jul 12 '09 at 4:55

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