Click here to monitor SSC
SQLServerCentral is supported by Redgate
Log in  ::  Register  ::  Not logged in

Software Licensing Cuts - Database Weekly (Mar 16, 2009)

By Steve Jones,

Software AssuranceI saw an article earlier this year that talked about how the economic downturn might lead to less software purchases this year. It also mentioned that some software companies might look at stepping up enforcement of their licenses to ensure that their profits didn't tumble. Thankfully I haven't seen reports of any company doing this, but you never know as sales continue to fall.

This week I noticed that Microsoft is taking a different approach, at least with some of their software. They're offering discounts on Software Assurance (SA) contracts, including  CALs for server software. The idea is to retain customers that might be thinking of dropping the maintenance to reduce their costs. Many larger companies that have Enterprise or Open license agreements are required to keep SA, which can be expensive.  This move helps to lower the chance that Microsoft would lose those agreements from their larger customers.

Along with what seems like the shortening of release cycles for all products to fit inside the SA windows, this is a good idea. Sacrifice some short term profits and deliver more value for your customers. My guess is the push to get Windows 7 out by November is to fit in inside the 3 year window that many SA agreements used to cover. I'm not sure if that's still the timeframe, but it was a complaint for many SQL Server 2000 customers that purchased SA and didn't get a new version covered in their agreement.

I've always felt that software licensing wasn't the major cost of using software in most environments, but that doesn't mean it's an insignificant cost. Every company still needs to evaluate the benefits and costs of any licenses to determine what best fits their situation.

For SQL Server this means the cost of CALS declines a bit, but the cost of those server licenses doesn't change. However with the new capabilities and power of SQL Server 2008, you might want to do some checking to see if you can consolidate databases onto fewer servers, possibly saving some licensing in the future.

Steve Jones

Steve's Pick of the Week

Job Search Techniques - From SQLBatman, AKA Thomas LaRock. We have a good summary of some things that you might want to think about trying in order to get that next interview.

The Voice of the DBA Podcasts


The podcast feeds are now available at to get better bandwidth and maybe a little more exposure :). Comments are definitely appreciated and wanted, and you can get feeds from there.

Overall RSS Feed: or now on iTunes!

Today's podcast features music by Incompetech. Kevin Macleod has some great compositions in all genres of music. Check him out at

I really appreciate and value feedback on the podcasts. Let us know what you like, don't like, or even send in ideas for the show. If you'd like to comment, post something here. The boss will be sure to read it.

Total article views: 74 | Views in the last 30 days: 1
Related Articles

Licensing Question?

Network inventory software licensing


Easy Licenses

Software licensing can be complex and confusing. Even in Windows and SQL Server, where hard limits a...


SQL Server Podcasts

Great news, I have decided to do some podcasts on the fundamentals of SQL Server, my aim is to help....


Licensing SQL Server Dev/Test Environments

I was recently at a client site and we started talking about SQL Server licensing, specifically for ...


Better Licensing for SQL Server

Why is SQL Server licensing so complex? Today Steve Jones asks the question and wonders if Microsoft...

database weekly