Let’s pretend for a moment that I am a service provider. My SPLA reseller gives me a list of products to report off a price sheet. I have no idea what’s what and quite frankly neither does my reseller. I beg them to tell me the difference between SQL Web and SQL Standard. No one knows. I try to look it up to no avail. I’m finally at my wits end! So I pick the cheapest product; my friend SQL Web.
I will skip the technical differences between SQL Standard, Web, Enterprise, etc. I’m not a technical guy and this site is about licensing, but I will throw out a few questions to ponder. If you report SQL Web, is it supporting a public facing website? Does everyone have access or do people authenticate? Is it used to support an application? Hmmm…
Why would I ask? Because it is the most misunderstood product out there. No one (or very few) understand the licensing impact of incorrectly reporting this product. It’s loved only because it’s cheap. (SQL Standard is quite a bit more expensive than SQL Web). What would happen if Microsoft came knocking on your door 3 years after you deployed SQL Web, reported it, and some auditor politely tells you “Umm…sir…you were wrong?” Well my friend, time to get out the checkbook.
I’m not saying don’t report SQL Web, I am saying you need to make sure you understand the licensing rules before reporting it. How do you know if you should be reporting it? You could ask your reseller but that won’t work or else you wouldn’t be reading this in the first place. So let me make this easy. Is it a publicly accessible website? If the answer is “no” don’t report it.
I encourage you to read my blog post where I interviewed Sarah Barela- (Microsoft SQL Technical Specialist) and discussed SQL in greater detail including our friend “SQL Web” Check it out here
Thanks for reading,