If we implement SharePoint Foundation, what are the licensing requirements and implications to have it setup as an Extranet environment?


2 Answers 2


The key question is: Are the users authenticated in any way? If the answer is 'no', then you are OK because SPF requires no user license. If 'yes', then keep reading.

I am not a licensing expert, but here’s what I've been able to piece together:

  1. SharePoint Foundation requires no additional licenses (CALs or External Connector), only what is required by the OS
  2. An authenticated user must be licensed in some way to connect to the server including SQL Server and that means a CAL or through the External Connector License
  3. If the user is not authenticated in any way, then Windows Server does not require the External Connector - Windows Server 2008 CALs, which states:

Every user or device that accesses or uses the Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2 server software requires the purchase of a Windows Server 2008 Client Access License (Windows Server CAL) except under the following circumstances:

  • If access to the instances of server software is only through the Internet without being authenticated or otherwise individually identified by the server software or through any other means
  • If external users are accessing the instances of server software and you have acquired a Windows Server 2008 External Connector license for each server being accessed

More info: Windows Server Licensing FAQ

  • The SQL options would rather be per user vs. per processor. I don't think "External connector" license exists for SQL. May 23, 2011 at 7:52
  • "External connector" = "CPU" license May 23, 2011 at 10:55

Here is detailed guidance on licensing SharePoint products:


For internal users they must have a valid windows server license. In most scenarios this is true for all users otherwise you are not allowed to connect to any windows server box (fileshare, ...). Thats why SharePoint Foundation is mostly referenced as "Free".

Companies using SharePoint Foundation must be properly licensed for Microsoft Windows Server

If external useres (not from your company/organization) are using sharepoint they need a valid license if they have an AD account. so there is no real difference:

Can also be used for external users if they are countable and CALs can be assigned to specific people.

If anonymous users or user authenticated against SQL or other sources a Windows Server External COnnector license is required: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/external-connectors.aspx

I don't see the need for a "SharePoint Server 2010 for Internet Sites" (FIS) license.

You can check the licensing portal for some sample prices. Select guided quote and from the drop down "server" for all sharepoint options. http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/mla/product.aspx

Or: http://community.bamboosolutions.com/blogs/sharepoint-2010-price-calculator/default.aspx

As long as you go with SQL Express no additional license is required. If you upgrade to a bigger SQL license you will need a CPU license if you need a externeal connector license :-)

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