Licensing editions FAQ

Licensing editions

SQL Server is offered in two main editions to accommodate the unique feature, performance and price requirements of organizations and individuals:

  • Enterprise Edition is ideal for applications requiring mission critical in-memory performance, security and high availability.
  • Standard Edition delivers fully featured database capabilities for mid-tier applications and data marts.
Two main editions
Server + Client Access
License (CAL)3




1Customers who require a massively parallel processing data warehouse 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.

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

3Client access licenses (CALs) are required for every user or device accessing a server in the Server + CAL licensing model. See the product terms for details.

Related resources

SQL Server 2019 product page

SQL Server 2017 licensing guide

(PDF, 1.48 MB)
Download detailed information about licensing SQL Server 2017.
SQL Server 2017 product page
Get details on how to evaluate, purchase, and deploy SQL Server 2017.
SQL Server 2017 licensing datasheet
(PDF, 1.35 MB)
Read an overview of licensing information for SQL Server 2017.
Introduction to per core licensing and basic definitions
(PDF, 790 KB)
Download definitions of key terms related to server licensing and learn the basics of the per core licensing model.
Licensing Microsoft server products for use in virtual environments
(PDF, 2.14 MB)
Download information about licensing models for using Microsoft server products with virtualization technologies.