SAMexpert Microsoft Licensing Experts

SSIS component requires a full SQL Server licence.

I am seeing an epidemic of SSIS being deployed all over the place across multiple estates, sectors and company sizes.

Not sure what is causing it so, let me kindly remind you that even if you have no SQL Database running on a server, the following are not "we only have free components deployed", and you have to have a full SQL licence to install them on their own:

  • SQL Server Analysis Services

  • SQL Server Integration Services

  • SQL Server Reporting Services (unless installed with/from SQL Express)

  • SQL Server Master Data Services (requires Enterprise edition)

The list above is not complete. These four components are just the most frequently deployed by Microsoft SQL DBAs, causing compliance issues.

How do you know what you can install and use for free, such as SQL Server Management Studio? There are three ways:

  1. Check Product Terms, Additional Software.

  2. See if SQL Express includes the desired component or service. And then install it from the SQL Express package.

  3. If something is available for download from the Microsoft website, check the EULA. Even if it is a free download, it may be restricted.

SQL Server Data Quality Services (DQS)

It is a grey area, so please comment if you know a solid solution.

It is listed only against SQL Server Enterprise here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/master-data-services/master-data-services-and-data-quality-services-features-support?view=sql-server-ver15

However, SSIS, which also comes with SQL Standard, includes DQS components. And I see it installed with SQL Standard quite often.

SQL Server Data Tools

"But I installed SSIS with SSDT, so it's free in that case, isn't it?"

No. It may only be used as a part of SSDT if you comply with this:

"You may install and use any number of copies of the software on your devices to design, develop and test your programs." (click for the entire EULA)

You're covered as long as you aren't running it in a production environment. Deploy it to a production OSE (Operating System Environment), and you've got yourself into trouble.

Call to action

  1. Use any good discovery tool and look for all instances of licensable SQL Services. Pay special attention to those installed or running on their own, separately from the database ("SQL is not running" is not an excuse). Uninstall or license.

  2. Uninstall SSDT from production machines.

  3. Educate your DBA and development teams.

If you would like to discuss your SQL Server license compliance, please drop us a message below.