SQL Server 2012 Licensing Announced

Although I’m pretty late to the news (almost a whole day!) I thought it would still be worth mentioning here that the details for SQL Server 2012 licensing have been announced:


Numerous people have already blogged about this in detail (Denny Cherry has a very good overview here); the big news from my point of view is the new BI Edition. Some people have been asking for a separate BI Edition for some time (although I was in two minds on the subject) and it will certainly have a lot of advantages: ok, it doesn’t support per-core licensing, only the server+CAL model, but in every other respect it’s the same as Enterprise Edition feature-wise so it will be a cheaper option for many BI projects. I’m a bit surprised to see Tabular didn’t make it into Standard Edition, though, which is unchanged in terms of features from SE in 2008R2 – I would have thought if Tabular was meant to bring SSAS to a wider audience then it should be positioned as the starting point for those who are new to BI; as it is only Multidimensional will be available in Standard Edition.

15 responses

  1. To me, the BI Edition is a waste of time. Not “Data Warehouse” functionality ie Partitioning, Compression and Tabular index. For any large WH, these are a must so that means using Enterprise.
    But, to use Enterprise, you can only use per core licensing, which means a massive increase in our fees as we have a relatively small number of users.

    I’m not happy with this at all.

      • Even before I had a chance to ask, Microsoft (who had seen your comment) sent me an email to say that there will indeed be a Developer Edition but details about what it will consist of haven’t been released. I’d be very surprised if it wasn’t the same deal as DE today, that is identical to EE in terms of features but not licensed to run in production.

  2. And they missed a trick here – bundling a copy of SharePoint/PerformancePoint, maybe with the restriction of only connecting back to the licensed SQL Server, would have been a great idea.

  3. “To me, the BI Edition is a waste of time. Not “Data Warehouse” functionality ie Partitioning, Compression and Tabular index. For any large WH, these are a must so that means using Enterprise.”

    Very disappointing indeed. Also very disappointing is the omission of Tabular models in Standard. I completely agree with Chris’s comments regarding its exclusion. Only logical explanation is to force PowerPivot models to exist on high end servers (SharePoint Enterprise, SQL Server BI Edition and above). That’s the price you pay for a “free” add-in.

  4. Pingback: SQL Server 2012 Licensing Reviews and Views - Ella Maschiach's BI Blog

  5. Hi Chris

    We have been looking at what features we use and need and a question has come up about SSAS Partitioning. I have read around and most people seem to imply that the Data Warehouse functionality applies only to the DB, not SSAS. I am not so sure. Do you know if partitioning will be in SSAS BI edition or still a EE feature?


    • Chris,

      Please tell me partioning is available in the BI edition as everything else I read from MS tells me it is not.

      If it isn’t then we’re dead with SQL. Will be a real shame as we’re just about to invest in SharePoint BI. I can make the business case with Enterprise at the CAL level. Enterprise at the Core level will blow our budget.

      I hope your right else our BI strategy will need to change in a huge way.


      • Everything I’ve heard is that BI edition and Enterprise edition are identical apart from the CAL/core difference. So that leads me to conclude that partitioning is available in BI edition. Where have you seen information suggesting it isn’t?

  6. Chris,

    We have a strange requirement that means we use both types of partitioning. However, I understand we’ll be okay to upgrade to EE under software assurance. Panic over, for now.

    Thanks for clarifying.


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