Licensing SQL Server Management Studio

SQL Server Management Studio is a very useful set of tools for managing SQL Server Databases. It is based on the Visual Studio user interface and has been around since SQL Server 2005. In our Software Asset Management practice we detect SQL Server Management Studio at a regular basis. After discovery and asking customer for the license we here even so often: ‘It is only SQL Server Management Studio’, with which these customers seems to say: ‘No license needed’.

It does need a license
When we talk about SQL Server up to the 2014 edition the hereafter described is true. do need a license for ‘additional software’ for SQL Server, and such for SQL Server Management Studio. Take a look at the picture below …


Quexcel SQL Server Management Studio license


SQL Server Management Studio is marked as ‘additional software’ for a licensed SQL Server. So you are allowed to install and use SQL Server Management Studio at ‘any device’ as long as it is used to manage a licensed SQL Server (Enterprise or Standard edition). When you install and use any additional software for management of an unlicensed SQL Server you dó need a SQL Server license for the server where SQL Server Management Studio is installed and used.

Free of use as of SQL Server 2016
With the introduction of SQL Server 2016 Microsoft has made the SQL Server 2016 Management Studio a free download (still you need a ‘license’ and agree with the terms, but you do not have to pay Microsoft any money).

Additional Software
The Microsoft Volume License Product Terms has- for most server products – a table under the chapter ‘additional software’ where the additional software is mentioned which you may install and use any device as long as it is used ‘in conjunction’ with the licensed server.


Quexcel Microsoft Product Terms additional software


Do you have any doubts if you have licensed your SQL Server Management Studio or any other ‘additional software’ compliant with your Agreement and Product Terms? Give us a quick note and we will help you promptly.

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