How to license SQL Server

SQL Server licensing makes choosing the right edition simple and economical. Unlike other major vendors, there’s no having to pay for expensive add-ons to run your most demanding applications—because every feature and capability is already built in.

Read the SQL Server 2016 licensing datasheetRead the SQL Server 2016 licensing guide

SQL Server pricing

SQL Server 2016 editions

Ideal for …Licensing modelChannel availability Open no level price (US$)
EnterpriseComprehensive, mission-critical performance for demanding database and business intelligence requirements. Provides the highest service and performance levels for Tier-1 workloads.*Per core**Volume licensing, hosting$14,256***
StandardCore data management and business intelligence capabilities for non-critical workloads with minimal IT resources.Per core**Volume licensing, hosting$3,717***
Server + CAL****Volume licensing, hosting, retail FPP$931***
DeveloperFull-featured version of SQL Server software that allows developers to cost-effectively build, test, and demonstrate applications based on SQL Server software.Per userFree downloadFree
WebSecure, cost effective and highly scalable data platform for public web sites. Available to third party software service providers only.-Hosting onlySee your hosting partner for pricing
ExpressFree entry-level database that's ideal for learning, as well as building desktop and small server data-driven applications of up to 10 GB.-Free downloadFree

SQL Server 2016 editions

Enterprise
Ideal for …

Comprehensive, mission-critical performance for demanding database and business intelligence requirements. Provides the highest service and performance levels for Tier-1 workloads.*

Licensing modelPer core**
Channel availability Volume licensing, hosting
Open no level price (US$)$14,256***
Standard
Ideal for …

Core data management and business intelligence capabilities for non-critical workloads with minimal IT resources.

Licensing modelPer core**
Channel availability Volume licensing, hosting
Open no level price (US$)$3,717***
Server + CAL****
Volume licensing, hosting, retail FPP
$931***
Developer
Ideal for …

Full-featured version of SQL Server software that allows developers to cost-effectively build, test, and demonstrate applications based on SQL Server software.

Licensing modelPer user
Channel availability Free download
Open no level price (US$)Free
Web
Ideal for …

Secure, cost effective and highly scalable data platform for public web sites. Available to third party software service providers only.

Licensing model-
Channel availability Hosting only
Open no level price (US$)See your hosting partner for pricing
Express
Ideal for …

Free entry-level database that's ideal for learning, as well as building desktop and small server data-driven applications of up to 10 GB.

Licensing model-
Channel availability Free download
Open no level price (US$)Free

*Customers who require a massively parallel processing data warehouse now have access to a parallel data warehouse through their Enterprise Edition core licenses with Software Assurance. Parallel data warehouse is part of the Microsoft Analytics Platform System.

**Editions sold in the per-core licensing model are sold as 2 core packs.

***Pricing represents open no level (NL) estimated retail price. For your specific pricing, contact your Microsoft reseller.

****Client access licenses (CALs) are required for every user or device accessing a server in the Server + CAL licensing model. See the product use rights for details.

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