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SQL Server 2014

SQL Server 2014 delivers mission-critical performance across all workloads with in-memory technologies built in, faster insights from any data with familiar tools like Excel, and a platform for hybrid cloud that enables organizations to easily build, deploy, and manage solutions that span on-premises and cloud.

Licensing editions

Compare features in all editions to determine the ideal solution for your virtualization and cloud computing needs.

Compare features in all editions to determine the ideal solution for your virtualization and cloud computing needs.

SQL Server 2014 has three main editions that are closely aligned with how customers use SQL Server across workloads. SQL Server 2014 delivers licensing that enables you to more easily take advantage of the benefits of public and private cloud through virtualization and license mobility. Our new model provides simplified licensing, flexibility and innovation, and industry-leading total cost of ownership (TCO).

Simplified licensing

SQL Server 2014 offers two licensing models: one that is based on computing power, and one that is based on users or devices.

SQL 2014 Editions

Flexibility and innovation

Cloud-optimized licensing gives you the ability to license a single virtual machine (VM) or to license a server for maximum virtualization, as well as the flexibility to move your VMs from server to server, to hosters or the cloud.

Industry-leading TCO

SQL 2014 continues to provide outstanding value at any scale among all major vendors. SQL Server 2014 offers compelling product features and capabilities within three main editions, with no costly add-ons required to run your mission critical and business intelligence applications.

How to buy

Learn about the benefits of the new licensing model and compare pricing and features for each edition.

Learn about the benefits of the new licensing model and compare pricing and features for each edition.

SQL Server will be available in three main editions, which are aligned with how customers deploy database solutions.

Enterprise Edition

Enterprise Edition delivers enterprise-class mission-critical and tier-1 database. With in-memory technologies built in across workloads, it accelerates performance for transaction processing, data warehousing, and business intelligence. Enterprise Edition is available through core-based licensing.

Business Intelligence Edition

Business Intelligence Edition delivers a comprehensive platform that empowers organizations of all sizes to build and deploy security-enhanced, scalable, and manageable business intelligence solutions. It enables large-scale self-service reporting and analytics. This edition is licensed in the Server + CAL model, so you can quickly scale out business intelligence solutions across servers as your business grows.

Standard Edition

SQL Server 2014 Standard is a complete data platform for departments and small organizations. It provides core data management functionality, limited business intelligence for operational reporting and functional data marts, and built-in developer tools. Standard Edition can be licensed in either the core-based licensing model or the Server + CAL licensing model.

Licensing by computing power: Core-based licensing

With the release of SQL Server 2014, the option for licensing for computing power will be core-based.

  • Enterprise and Standard are available under core-based licensing. Cored-based licenses will be sold in two-core packs. The Standard Edition is also available under the Server+ CAL licensing model.

  • To license a physical server, you must license all the cores in the server. A minimum of four core licenses are required for each physical processor in the server.

Licensing by users: Server + CAL licensing

The Business Intelligence and Standard Editions are available under the Server + Client Access License (CAL) model.

  • This licensing model can be used any time the number of users can be readily counted (for example, internal database applications).

  • To access a licensed SQL Server in the Server + CAL model, each user must have a SQL Server CAL that is the same version or newer (for example, to access a SQL Server 2008 server, a user would need a SQL Server 2008 CAL or a SQL Server 2014 CAL).

  • Each SQL Server 2014 CAL can provide access to multiple licensed SQL Servers, including the new SQL Server 2014 Business Intelligence Server as well as prior versions of the Enterprise Edition Servers.

Database virtualization: Cloud optimized licensing

With databases that use just a fraction of the compute power of a physical server, you can save by licensing individual database virtual machines (VMs).

  • To license a VM with core-based licenses, simply pay for the virtual cores allocated within the virtual machine (minimum of four core licenses per VM).

  • To license a VM under the Server + CAL model (for the Business Intelligence and Standard Editions of SQL Server 2014), you can buy the server license and buy associated SQL Server CALs for each user.

  • Each licensed VM that is covered with Software Assurance can be moved frequently within your server farm, or to a third-party hoster or cloud services provider.

  • Servers fully licensed with Enterprise Edition core licenses with Software Assurance allow you to deploy an unlimited number of database VMs on the server (or server farm) in a heavily consolidated virtualized deployment to achieve further savings.

Contact your local Reseller for more information and for assistance with purchasing.


Find answers to questions about features, licensing models, and determining which edition is right for you.

Find answers to questions about features, licensing models, and determining which edition is right for you.
  • SQL Server 2014 will provide mission-critical performance, with in-memory built in across all workloads with greater scale and availability, all backed by enterprise-grade mission-critical support. It offers a complete business intelligence solution that delivers faster insights from any data, big and small, using familiar tools like Excel in Office and Office 365, with access to business insights on mobile devices. Plus, SQL Server 2014 will enable new hybrid cloud solutions, with an easy onramp and a complete and consistent data platform from on-premises to cloud.

  • There will be three main editions: Enterprise, Business Intelligence, and Standard.

    • Enterprise for mission critical applications and data warehousing

    • Business Intelligence for premium corporate and self-service business intelligence capabilities

    • Standard for core database capabilities, reporting, and analytics

  • Enterprise, Business Intelligence, and Standard will be the main editions. The Web Edition will be offered only to hosters through the Services Provider License Agreement (SPLA). Developer and Express editions will also continue to be distributed without changes in licensing or pricing. We also offer the new Analytics Platform System appliance which includes SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse as a component.

  • There are two licensing updates for SQL Server 2014 that are applicable to high-availability and business intelligence scenarios.

    • For new SQL Server 2014 licenses, a passive secondary instance is permitted only on a license covered by Software Assurance.

    • SQL Server 2014 Business Intelligence comes with relaxed multiplexing rules for “pooled” data sources. The CAL requirement is waived for those data sources.

  • The CAL waiver for SQL Server Business Intelligence applies immediately to both the 2014 and 2012 versions. Other licensing changes will take effect when SQL Server 2014 is generally available. If you have licenses for prior versions with active Software Assurance, refer to the Product List for additional information.

  • SQL Server 2014 will provide a variety of virtualization and cloud benefits that will help you save money on database licensing and retain flexibility in your database deployments. With SQL Server 2014, you can:

    • License individual virtual machines (VM), and when licensing per core, buy core licenses only for the virtual cores assigned to the VM.

    • License for high VM density by buying Enterprise Edition core licenses and Software Assurance for all the physical cores on the server (or server farm) and deploying an unlimited number of VMs on the licensed hardware. Without Software Assurance , VM density is limited to one VM per Enterprise Edition core license.

    • License for VM mobility across private and public clouds. VM license mobility is a Software Assurance benefit. Without Software Assurance, licenses can be moved from one server to another only once every 90 days.

  • Enterprise Edition includes the full capabilities of SQL Server 2014, so if you want to license a Business Intelligence Server on a per core basis, you can do so by buying Enterprise Edition. Enterprise Edition will be the preferred way to license advanced SQL Server Business Intelligence capabilities when users are uncountable (for example, external-facing workloads) or when the number of users is very high.

  • Yes. With SQL Server 2014, a single CAL provides access to all the server editions.

  • No. All licenses under Software Assurance will be able to upgrade to SQL Server 2014 at no additional cost.

  • Licenses purchased with Software Assurance will upgrade to SQL Server 2014 at no additional cost. If you are an Enterprise Agreement/Enrollment for Application Platform customer, you can continue buying processor licenses until your next renewal (after general availability of SQL Server 2012 ). At that time, processor licenses will be exchanged for core-based licenses sufficient to cover the cores in use by processor-licensed databases (minimum of four core licenses per processor for Standard and Enterprise editions, and minimum of eight Enterprise Edition core licenses per processor for Datacenter) . Please refer to the Product List for further migration path details.

  • You can perform a “self-inventory” of your environment at the end of the Software Assurance term that will provide the basis for the core licenses you will own and for which you are eligible to renew Software Assurance. We will provide access to the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit as one way to help track and document deployments. This tool can help you plan the transition from processor-based licenses to core-based licenses by counting both processors and cores across your deployments. If you are not able to document your SQL Server deployments, we will exchange processors based on a standard conversion ratio. We encourage you to work with your Microsoft or Partner representative to determine an optimal transition plan.

  • No. Enterprise Edition is no longer available in the Server + CAL model for SQL Server 2014.

  • Yes. All existing licenses of the Enterprise Edition in the Server + CAL licensing model with Software Assurance can be upgraded to SQL Server 2014, and Software Assurance can be maintained to provide access to future software updates. These licenses will continue under the Server + CAL licensing model.

  • Existing Enterprise Edition licenses in the Server + CAL licensing model that are upgraded to SQL Server 2014 and beyond will be limited to server deployments with 20 or fewer cores. This 20-core limit applies only to SQL Server 2014 Enterprise Edition Server licenses in the Server + CAL model and will still require the appropriate number/versions of SQL Server CALs for access.

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