I am trying to get a solution for an internal company request. We have a set of reports that are used throughout the company, and we want to track who/when(maybe where) downloaded one of these Excel based reports from a SharePoint Library page.

We have been given push-back from the SharePoint Admin team, saying that turning on Auditing would cost too much in extra licensing to be allowed.

Is this really a separate module or piece of software that would have to be paid for? I have read many sites, and questions on Stack Exchange as well, laying out the process for setting up an Audit log, I just don't have the admin level privileges.

Thanks in advance for pointing me in the correct direction.

  • 1
    Three main editions: Foundation, Standard and Enterprise. Foundation, which is basically included with Windows Server, does not include auditing. The other two editions cost considerable money and include it.
    – Brian
    Jul 24, 2014 at 16:58
  • @Brian Not really sharepoint.stackexchange.com/questions/13399/…
    – Benny Skogberg
    Jul 25, 2014 at 5:41

2 Answers 2


You are correct, and they are correct. There are both paid and free versions of Auditing in SharePoint 2010.

  • Auditing, as it ships with both the free and paid versions of SharePoint, is deeply flawed. There are many situations that are not audited at all or incorrectly audited.
  • The audit data is stored in a very cryptic way. Even using the reporting facilities that come with the 'paid for' versions of SharePoint, the information is difficult to interpret. Also reports time out / cause errors more often than not.

From the accepted answer on How do we activate auditing in SharePoint Foundation 2010.

So yes, you can have Auditing in Foundation, Standard and Enterprise - but the result you're after may not be there. But you should most definitely try the free version at first to see what you get.

But if you can't audit on out-of-the-box things, then your say-no team needs to be convinced on why you need a third party tool for auditing.


Depends what you paid for. It is not licensed separately, but there are different versions of Sharepoint and you likely have one without the enterprise features. And yes, there is a significant price difference.

  • I understand that there is a price difference. I was just curious if the stuff that seems to come standard (according to my research, which may be bad) like Auditing and Report Viewer are actually included with all versions. Or are those only standard in Enterprise? This is mainly due to the department giving us, "Can't do it, license cost to much," for anything we ask them for. We have SharePoint on some level. Everything we ask for cannot be Enterprise only.
    – JHStarner
    Jul 24, 2014 at 18:10
  • Define standard. You may run on Foundation - which is free - and in this case would have to upgrade to the Standard edition to get a feature not in the free version. There are 3 versions, and I would somehow bet you guys paid nothing (i.e. run on the foundation version, free with Windows Server).
    – TomTom
    Jul 24, 2014 at 18:12
  • That may be my mistake then. We are a large company (30k+ employees) but I could see someone making the decision to stick with Foundation. I guess if I find out that we use Foundation, then I have my answer. If I find out we use Standard, are they just BSing at that point?
    – JHStarner
    Jul 24, 2014 at 18:36

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