The SharePoint licensing model for anything other than intranet-only implementations was confusing. Even Microsoft representatives were prone to providing incorrect or inconsistent licensing requirement information.
With 2013, Microsoft has vastly simplified the SharePoint licensing model:
- All SharePoint implementation scenarios (for anonymous users and/or internal users) require a SharePoint Server license.
- A client access license (CAL) is still required for each user, in deployments that include internal users. A standard CAL comes with about roughly half of SharePoint functionality. The enterprise CAL provides full functionality.
This change carries two significant implications:
- A drastic reduction in licensing for SharePoint 2013 in Internet-facing, web-content management. The onerous and expensive Internet Connector license is no longer required. You can now deploy enterprise-quality web-content management features about 70-80 percent less expensively than in 2010. We have built many great Internet-facing web sites on previous versions of SharePoint and our clients love them. The new model is an unqualified game changer for the web-content management market and a must-have for any SharePoint shop considering a website refresh.
- The murkiness associated with licensing extranet deployment is gone. All you need now is a SharePoint Server for anonymous users, and CALs for internal users accessing your portal.
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