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How Is SSRS Licensed?

The short answer is that every machine running SSRS has to be licensed as if it were running SQL Server. This means that any machine running SQL Server is automatically licensed for not just SQL Server, but for the entire Microsoft BI platform. This includes SSRS, SSAS, SSNS, and SSIS. This makes it really easy to get one's feet wet with SSRS. Just install SQL Server on one machine, and then install SSRS. On the flip side, if the choice is made to use the Enterprise Edition in a web farm scale-out scenario, every machine in the web farm must be licensed to run SQL Server.

Microsoft offers three ways to license SQL Server. Table 1.4 summarizes the licensing options for SQL Server. For more information and specific costing options, contact your Microsoft sales representative or reseller.

Table 1.4. Licensing Options for SQL Server

License Options


Per processor

Licenses are paid for each processor on the machine running SQL Server. This license is optimal for web-facing or business-to-business machines running SQL Server. It is also helpful for very large user populations.

Server license plus device client access licenses (CALs)

Licenses are paid for the machine running SQL Server, and for every device connecting to SQL Server. An ideal situation for this type of licensing (CALs) is kiosks for which there are multiple users per device.

Server license plus user CALs

Licenses are paid for the machine running SQL Server and per user accessing the machine. This is useful for enterprises in which every user can access the SQL Server machine for multiple devices.

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