Do we need license for SQL 2016 Dev Ed ?

  • Hi 
    We are planning to use use SQL 2016 Dev Ed. in dev and test enviroments. I have not found out what is needed regarding licensing if we use Dev Ed. 
    I have read that people connecting needs to have MSDN account, but also that is free for all to connect .... 
    What is the right answer ?? 

    With regards

  • Licensing for Non-Production Use

    SQL Server 2016 Developer Edition provides a fully featured version of SQL Server software—including all of the features and capabilities of Enterprise Edition—licensed for development, test and demonstration purposes only.

    Customers may install and run the SQL Server Developer Edition software on any number of devices. This is significant, because it allows customers to run the software on multiple devices (for testing purposes, for example) without having to license each non-production server system for SQL Server.

    A production environment is defined as an environment that is accessed by end-users of an application (such as an Internet website) and that is used for more than gathering feedback or acceptance testing of that application.

    SQL Server 2016 Developer Edition is now a free product, available for download from the Visual Studio Dev Essentials program. For more information on free Visual Studio Dev Essentials program, including how to register, visit:

    That being said and the usual answer is speak with Microsoft directly or your Microsoft reseller to confirm your intentions and ensure you are following Microsoft's rules, also you ensure you get the answer in writing as the answer will change depending who you speak to as licensing is a minefield.

  • While advice is still to contact Microsoft I am sharing an email I exchanged with them (licensing team) last year.

    For SQL Server Dev edition and because it is now licensed under a Visual Studio Subscription one need to consider both the specific SQL Server licensing terms and the Visual Studio one - while they are very similar in substance there are tiny differences that matter so both need to be read and understood.

    Main things taken from both the licensing documents and from the answers below are

    Registration with VSDE is mandatory (except for UAT - User Acceptance testing)
    - This includes the IT personnel that does the installation of the software

    The Sql Server Dev tools (instance, Agent, SSRS/SSAS/SSIS) can not connect to any production environment (this applies to both VSDE/MSDN licensing)

    My advise here is to to have everyone that may access the SQL Server instance directly or indirectly and keep all registration emails alongside with the subscription ID for VSDE on a central safe location so one can prove the registrations.
    - store user ID and Name, subscription ID, date, registration email (where available as users may have registered before and email no longer available)
    Note that this registration is a once off thing - it is then valid for the user to access any server with SQL Dev on it

    ----- email ----
    Finally got a preliminary response from Microsoft re SQl Developer- see MS response below in blue:

    1-      How to get a license to install on a server that will then be used by other developers/testers. A server isn’t an individual so registration on Web Essentials makes no sense.

    SQL Developer has always been licensed on a per user model- this hasn’t changed with the free access, licence is still per user. The older licensing:

    SQL Server Developer Edition
    SQL Server 2014 Developer Edition is a full-function version of SQL Server software—including all of the features and capabilities of Enterprise Edition—licensed under the Developer Tools model, which is a “per user” model. One license is required for each person that accesses or uses the software. Customers licensing APS appliances for non-production use are also able to license the included SQL Server 2012 PDW software under the Developer Tools model.

    2-      Can those with a 2008 R2 developer license connect legally to a 2014 Developer license instance or do they need to get a new 2014 developer license.
    - they need to access via Studio Dev Essentials
    3-      Same way can someone that downloads an SQL 2014 developer license connect legally to a 2008 R2 developer instance.
    - previous version rights are included in Dev sub.
    4-      How should a company keep track of the 2014 developer licenses? Having people go through registration and download process on Visual studio Dev Essentials does work fine for small companies but not for big ones.
    - this is a matter for the SAM team to comment on.
    5-      Is the license on Dev Essentials only available to be used while the software is there to download or can it still be used once it is made unavailable to download?-
    6-      How does it work the new license for cases where 2 individuals work on the same computer – does it need 2 registrations on Dev Essentials or just one?
    - licensing is per user.
    All MS developer tools (incl. MSDN etc.) are licensed per developer and there is no change to this.

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