Posted by: Murray Gordon | March 23, 2010

SharePoint 2010 Licensing Explained


Lots of questions lately from partners and customers about SharePoint 2010 licensing. So here’s an overview of what each version contain:

SharePoint Foundation Server 2010  is the free offering replacing WSS 3.0. and will have the usual limits of SQL Express and Search Express.

The Standard  SharePoint functions will be base around Collaboration, Enterprise Search, Document and Content Management, Social Computing (Wikis, My Sites), Digital Asset Management (including Silverlight) and Records Management. Standard edition is basically all unstructured data.

The Enterprise  functionality is a long list:

  • Excel Services
  • Performance Point Services
  • Advanced Charting
  • Visio Services
  • Access Services
  • InfoPath Form Services
  • Client line of business integration and web parts
  • Custom Reports

In addition, server licenses can be upgraded to use FAST search.

With FAST, the server licenses break into Standard and Enterprise as before but this time there are both intranet and internet versions. Added to this is the aforementioned FAST server license which comes in both flavors too. So when you add this to the Foundation Server you have a total of seven types of SharePoint.

Note that the SharePoint for Internet 2010 Standard Edition is designed for small to medium concerns and will retail at about half the price of the current MOSS for internet. It will be artificially throttled around content size.

For intranet solutions the Client Access Model remains with the need to buy both a Standard  and Enterprise CAL  to access Enterprise features. For FAST although the license upgrade is for the server users utilizing it will need an  Enterprise CAL.

SharePoint 2010 Online for intranet will continue with the current User Subscription License based on Enterprise, Standard and Desk-less (read and form filling only). It will also have an Internet and Partner Access versions. Partner Access is effectively an extranet option.

Here’s some more related technologies:

SharePoint Workspace (the app formerly known as Groove) comes with Office 2010 PRO+ (which sounds like a caffeine tablet)

Office Web AppsOffice 2010 but do need SharePoint Foundation 2010  to work.

Project Server 2010 – needs a Project CAL  and a SharePoint Enterprise CAL

SQL Server Power Pivot  – SQL Enterprise Edition  if exposed only in office then an Office 2010 to be surfaced in SharePoint an Enterprise CAL  is required.

Just for completeness there is also a non-SharePoint version of FAST Fast Search Server 2010 for Internet Business.

Thanks to Coline Napier for most of this content. He had a great post around SharePoint 2010 Licensing.

Thanks for checking out this post!


Murray Gordon
ISV Architect Evangelist
Microsoft Corporation
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  1. You mention Foundation will have “the usual limits of SQL Express and Search Express” that WSS 3.0 does. WSS 3.0 is not limited to using SQL Express. WSS can use SQL Standard or Enterprise. And what is the “usual limit” of having “Search Express?” That whole sentence confuses me.


  2. […] I posted a blog recently about SharePoint 2010 licensing. It was titled SharePoint 2010 Licensing Explained. I have since had lots of questions about “SharePoint 2010 for Internet – Standard” and […]

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