I'm trying to figure out the exact licensing and costs i need for a client that wants to run Sharepoint Foundation.

Here is the scenario

  • 1 Server Running Windows Server 2012 + Sharepoint Foundation
  • 1 Server Running SQL Server 2012

There are 300 users that will need access to the information in SharePoint through web services of a third party application. From what i've already read i do not need server or CAL Licensing for Sharepoint Foundation but each user will need a Windows CAL?

Also 1 added note is the fact that they are using an Open LDAP Directory that Sharepoint will authenticate users with.

So here are my questions:

1) Do i need a Windows Server CAL for each user? 2) Do i need a SQL Server CAL for each user? 3) Can Sharepoint connect to an Open LDAP Directory?

Thanks in advance, Adam

1 Answer 1


You need a Windows User CAL to leverage SharePoint Foundation (doesn't matter how your users authenticate to it), that is how Foundation is provided "for free" (it isn't free).

For SQL, it depends on how you license it. SQL Express is "free", there are no specific license terms/CALs but there are serious limitations with the product.

For SQL Standard/Enterprise, you have the CAL model and Core model. The CAL model would require you to purchase N number of CALs, where N is the number of users (300 in your case) that are accessing the application that is leveraging SQL Server). The Core model is for how many cores are in the physical server (doesn't matter if you assign them all to SQL or not, you must license all of them) or in the VM.

As always, talk to Microsoft Licensing or a VAR. Never take licensing details from The Internet. Especially with SQL Server, you don't want to end up in a multi-thousand dollar unexpected expense because you improperly licensed it.

  • Thanks Trevor for your quick answer. Do you have any recommendations on how you contact a microsoft licensing specialist? Do you need to purchase a support plan to speak to a licensing specialist?
    – adha409
    Jun 16, 2014 at 19:03
  • You don't need a contract to contact Microsoft. microsoft.com/licensing/servicecenter/Help/Contact.aspx
    – user6024
    Jun 16, 2014 at 22:49

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