The SQL Server 2012 release will simplify your options with three main editions that are closely aligned with how you use SQL Server across workloads. SQL Server 2012 will also deliver licensing which enables you to more easily take advantage of the benefits of public and private cloud through virtualization and license mobility.

Simplified New Licensing, Complex Transition Process

SQL Server 2012 will offer two licensing options – one that is based on computing power, and one that is based on users or devices (see table below for the mapping of the new licensing options per edition). While this new model simplifies SQL licensing for customers moving forward, the complex transition to this new model can be either an opportunity or an exposure. That’s where SoftwareONE’s experts step in. We will help you answer critical questions to help you maximize your entitlements and optimize your renewal strategy.

  • How can your organization ensure that you have maximized your ‘Free License Grant’ for Processor to Per Core Licensing Metric?
  • Within your current Renewal Strategy, how do you approach optimizing your underlying Server Infrastructure and SQL Consolidation Strategy as well as take advantage of Product Licensing, Procurement Model(s) and Global Sourcing Options?
  • What SQL features do you NEED?
  • What are the implications of leveraging a vMotion (VMware), High Availability environment?
  • What does a ‘Tipping Point’ analysis of your organization look like across important Licensing Metrics?

Don’t be caught out at renewal stage when you have to move from per processor to per core licensing for SQL Server. SoftwareONE will help ensure that you are protected from any potential financial exposure, and in some cases, help you identify additional licensing entitlement for your SQL Server estate.

SQL Server 2012 Editions
Three main editions, namely Enterprise, Business Intelligence and Standard, will be available:
• Enterprise for mission critical applications and data warehousing
• Business Intelligence (new) for premium corporate and self-service Business Intelligence capabilities
• Standard for basic database capabilities, reporting and analytics


The Business Intelligence edition will include all of the Standard Edition’s capabilities, and Enterprise will include all of the Business Intelligence Edition’s capabilities.
With the release of SQL Server 2012, the following three editions will be retired:
• Datacenter – its features will now be available in Enterprise Edition
• Workgroup – Standard will become our edition for basic database needs
• Standard for Small Business – Standard becomes the sole edition for basic database needs

Key licensing changes with SQL Server 2012
With SQL Server 2012, we will offer the following licensing options:
• Core-based Licensing for Enterprise
• Server + CAL licensing for Business Intelligence
• Choice of core-based licensing or Server + CAL licensing for Standard

The table below shows a feature comparison among the three main editions.

SQL SERVER 2012 CAPABILITIES​ Enterprise​ Business Intelligence​ Standard
Maximum Number of Cores​ OS Max*​ 16 Cores-DB OS Max-BI​ 16 Cores ​
Basic OLTP​ x​ x​ x​
Programmability (T-SQL, Spatial Support, FileTable)​ x​ x​ x​
Manageability (SQL Server Management Studio, Policy-based Management) ​ x​ x​ x​
Corporate Business Intelligence (Reporting, Analytics, Alerting, Multidimensional BI Semantic Model)​ x​ x​ x​
Enterprise data management (Data Quality Services, Master Data Services)​ x​ x​
Self-Service Business Intelligence (Power View, PowerPivot for SPS)​ x​ x​
In-Memory Tabular BI Semantic Mode​ x​ x​
Advanced Security (Advanced auditing, transparent data encryption)​ x​
Data Warehousing (ColumnStore, compression, partitioning)​ x​
High availability (AlwaysOn)​ Advanced Basic**​ ​Basic**
*SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Edition server licenses – whether newly purchased or upgraded with Software Assurance – will be subject to a 20 core per server license maximum.
**Basic includes 2 node Failover Clustering.

Contact a software licensing expert today!