Coffeehouse Thread

19 posts

SQL Server Licensing Costs

Back to Forum: Coffeehouse
  • bshankle

    I really get spoiled by having an MSDN Universal subscription. And I realize how spoiled I am when I try to ensure my finished work is licensed properly.

    If you develop a web site of any practical size using MS tech, you're likely to want to use SQL Server...until you start pricing it - $4999 per cpu for the cheapest retail verison.

    And the 'free' MSDE just isn't an acceptible solution for my uses because I am likely to have enough traffic to activate the 'governer'. Plus it's useless without management tools.

    I mean, to me, the price of SQL Server is just so hard to digest when free software like PostGres can be made to work with a little effort ( it literally took me 1 day to set up a Linux box and get Postgres working with my .Net based web site).

    Don't get me wrong...I think MS SQL Server is great, I love it. And I know the SQL team has to eat.

    But so do I.

    Would Microsoft every consider releasing an uncrippled version of SQL Server for a monthly usage fee or something more digestible than coughing up $5k / cpu?


  • tiernan

    even a monthly usage fee would be expencive. a cheaper retail copy, costing about $700 for a 2cpu edition, would be good, and a $350 for 1 cpu. i have my website running on a linux box, and im thinking of moving it to ASP.NET on a windows box. i will more then likly still be using MySQL either on a seperate linux box or on the windows box the site is run off. MySQL, being free, open, etc, has some sweet features that dont come with SQL Server. i had it running on my Dual Athlon workstation while testing version 4.0 over version 2. it ran no problem dual processor and no license was needed. i tried getting it working with ASP.NET too. think it may take a little longer. i only did it for about an hour. I know SQL Server is cool. i use it every day. i have the standard one in work and the MSDE at home, but its too damn expencive.

  • bshankle

    I think MySQL is the reason MS changed the licensing terms of the MSDE to be 'more attractive'. The pressure of competing with free stuff has to be on the minds of the SQL team...if not them, the people who set the prices.

    It is my hope that channel9 lets someone at MS know that when a developer is reading this document of the approriate uses of MSDE, it's easy to just throw your hands up and say, "screw it, I'm using PostGres, or MySQL".

    Do you hear us Microsoft? We WANT to use SQL Server for our pet projects and upstarts...but you're overcharging us and the crippled MSDE just doesn't cut it. OK, for me at least anyway...When I get rich, I won't care Smiley

  • mykoleary

    One thought that comes to mind is licensing tiers based on site traffic. 

    ASCAP and BMI do this type of licensing when they license music for public performance and charge by the capacity of the venue, site visitors if used online, etc...

    It's late so I can't fully think out anything better (or to be honest say that this suggestion is suck proof) but I'm the type to throw ideas out there for consumption.

  • Tolo

    Exactly the same is happening here. We develop our Products primarily for SQL-Server, which we love. But many of our customers, especially small and medium companies, are not buying our product because they have to buy an expensive SQL-Server license as well. They are demanding PostGre or MySQL, especially for the smaller solutions. MSDE is only part of the solution due to the lack of administration tools. I Think they would be happy to spend up to 1000$ for SQL-Server, not more.

    There really should be a license especially for application deployments where SQL-Server is the base for just this solution, and not an open platform for all. This very often is not required. What we need is a SQL-Server license to just be a part of single solution or a small set of collaborative solutions – in a closed set, bound to the application.

     

    Best wishes

     

    Tolo

     

  • jcarlisle

    My memory is very fuzzy on this but wasn't there a license out there for SQL server that permitted you to use it only for a particular application (your app and the SQL license were tied together) that allowed you to use SQL server at a greatly reduced cost but the client could not use it for anything other then your application? I would have sworn I saw this somewhere ... anyone remember this?

    I do agree with the sentiment though, I love SQL server, I use it all day at work but when I get home I want to use it for my projects/small clients but it's just too expensive and MSDE doesn't cut it...

    Josh

  • Shining Arcanine

    bshankle wrote:

    I really get spoiled by having an MSDN Universal subscription. And I realize how spoiled I am when I try to ensure my finished work is licensed properly.

    If you develop a web site of any practical size using MS tech, you're likely to want to use SQL Server...until you start pricing it - $4999 per cpu for the cheapest retail verison.

    And the 'free' MSDE just isn't an acceptible solution for my uses because I am likely to have enough traffic to activate the 'governer'. Plus it's useless without management tools.

    I mean, to me, the price of SQL Server is just so hard to digest when free software like PostGres can be made to work with a little effort ( it literally took me 1 day to set up a Linux box and get Postgres working with my .Net based web site).

    Don't get me wrong...I think MS SQL Server is great, I love it. And I know the SQL team has to eat.

    But so do I.

    Would Microsoft every consider releasing an uncrippled version of SQL Server for a monthly usage fee or something more digestible than coughing up $5k / cpu?




    That is why a friend of mine who does webhosting uses Linux over Windows.

  • jcarlisle

    without even touching the linux/windows debate I think most providers today of any size do offer both services because there are different types of customers out there.


    As for licensing for SQL server for web host providers its a different licensing scheme and the costs of SQL Server can often be balenced out by the multitude of developers/customers who want to use SQL server. There is no doubt if you want to host a small/medium site and use SQL server using a web hosting provider that has SQL server is the better way to go...

    Going back to my previous post the following is a link to what I was referring to. It's a SQL server runtime lincense:

    Details:
    http://members.microsoft.com/partner/licensing/Programs/ProductIntegration/sqllicensing_faq.aspx

    Looks like a 50 pack is going for like $4500 which break down to $100 license. (BTW I just googled and got this link... I don't know anything about this company)
    http://www.superwarehouse.com/50PK_EMBED_SQL_SERVER_2000_RUNTIME_M_L_CAL/C30-00031/p/263700

    Josh

  • bshankle

    OK, the SQL Server runtime license page you've pointed to is interesting, but it doesn't make it clear if the program is suitable for web-based applications that access SQL Server. I mean, I think it does, but I'm not sure. Why am I left in doubt? Does this program apply to that? Also, how much is it going to cost?

    If I navigate thru those pages, I ultimately end up having to apply to be a member of the embedded solution program, fill out a huge form of legal-speak (which is scary), mail duplicates to MS, and wait. And I still can't find the pricing!

    Does this mean I have to apply to be a Microsoft partner now in order to get my answer?

    And "IF" I am accepted to the program I am required to present my users with a "breaking the seal" popup windows that echos that agreement and supposedly binds them to it as well and open us all up to being audited.

    Does MS really expect me to jump thru all these hoops? My point is, if the answer is yes, so be it, but I want to convey that it's frustrating to the point of just using another solution for web development.

    SQL Server team are you there? Speak up.




  • bshankle

    A co-worker just read this thread and summarized my thoughts quite well: I'm frustrated by the complexity of parsing Microsof't Licensing system.

    Here's my situation:

    1. I want to use SQL Server to build web site back-ends, I think it's great.
    2. But I want to be legal and not use pirated software, even though without product activation, it's easy to do that with SQL Server (and trust me, the price makes it soooo tempting).
    3. But I don't have a lot of money, I'm never gonna put down $5k for it even if I had it; instead I could put a nice down payment on a car for my wife.
    4. By the time I'm done building my solution and selling it, I'm very likely to have a bitter taste in my mouth in regards to this whole SQL licensing scheme and will have become a proponent of an open-source/free relational engine.

    In essence...my situation is turning me towards non-MS products, as I stated in the original thread.

    And I doubt I am the only developer out there who is working in a similar set of circumstances. Right?

    -Bruce Shankle

  • jcarlisle

    I agree completely. I think everyone agrees that SQL server is great to develop with but unless your a decent size company it's not really affordable. This has concerned me enough lately that most of my applications that I'm currently developing are using a data provider pattern (recent MSDN article, dotnetnuke 2.0 uses it,etc) where I develop the application completely on SQL Server but once thats complete I create a port for my data layer to mysql and postgress (well kind of I"m still learning them lol). This is a lot of extra work IMO but gives me more flexibility when it comes to potential customers who may or may not have the money for SQL. From a business perspective I think it's a smart thing to do but I would still very very very much like to see a better licensing scheme for small shops or small web sites(please don't say MSDE lol) and if I don't want to do all that and truly just want to target SQL Server there should be an option out there...


    As for license agreements I always scan them for key words such as "first born" and "soul" before I even consider spending the time to read them Smiley

    Josh

  • Alex Keizer

    Being able to change the database that's being used is one of the benefits of using a layered architecture. I've done projects where we have used SQL Server as the development-database; testing and deployment were done on Sybase. It does create some extra work to be done, but having the flexibility is a real plus.

    Although I must admit not having used the actual product, my understanding about MSDE was that is an actual SQL Server-version. The difference with the 'real' thing is the maximum size of the database (2 Gb?) and a maximum of 8 concurrent requests. Theoretically this should work for small and medium-sized apps. Are there other limitations?

    Alex.

  • darklotus

    I hate to admit it but for lots of applications i write i end up using MySQL. I prefer MSSQL but the costs are too much for my budget. At work we use MSSQL where i develop enterprise apps and use MSSQL as much as i can, its a great product, it just costs too much for a small (or no) budget.

  • thor

    OK,

    Just to be sure. We are going to need a SQL server license to run a course management system on a web server.  Do we need a per-processor license (and we have 2 processors Sad )  or will two CAL's do the job since access is managed through IIS and that (possibly) counts as one user....

    Thor


  • lars

    bshankle wrote:

    In essence...my situation is turning me towards non-MS products, as I stated in the original thread.
    And I doubt I am the only developer out there who is working in a similar set of circumstances. Right?



    I hear ya. When I use MySQL it isn't because I like it. I use it because I have to. I guess the only way to go is to try to get more active in improving open source MySQL administration tools.

    /Lars.

  • GooberDLX

    Lars,

    As stated in numerous other threads (scary) but once again I have to agree with you

    jake

    p.s. im not stalking you

  • lars

    GooberDLX wrote:
    p.s. im not stalking you


    That's okey. Just bring the babes in your Avatar. Smiley

    /Lars.

  • qwert231

    The app I'm currently working in does not need managment tools. Infact, the users wouldn't use them if they were there. I use Personal Edition to develop my DB in, but the apps install puts MSDE on the users system.

    I also use MSDE for our 2 sites. Only 1 real database is up yet (for one site) the other site will be getting it's db soon.

    Again, I use my Personal edition at my desk to connect and manage the MSDE install.

    Hope that's right, it's what the licensing seemed to say.

    Check this out:
    http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/sql/2000/all/reskit/en-us/part2/c0361.mspx

Comments closed

Comments have been closed since this content was published more than 30 days ago, but if you'd like to continue the conversation, please create a new thread in our Forums, or Contact Us and let us know.