Testing and Demo of SQL – MSDN, Technet or ISV?

 James left me a GREAT question on testing/eval/non-production solution options


This is a very helpful thread. I have a similar question that I wonder if you can help with. I produce a software product that has a SQL Enterprise database on the back end. When deployed in customer production environments the end customer buys the appropriate per CPU SQL Enterprise licences across all the servers on which the solution is deployed.What I would like to do is to be able to put a demonstration system in our partner’s labs that uses a SQL Developer Edition license instead. This will be so they can demonstrate and hopefully sell our (and by association, Microsoft’s) software to their end customers. This will NOT be in a production or live environment and will only be used to demonstrate the product.

Does this count as ‘demo’? If not – what would you suggest as a low cost licensing option for this scenario?




There are a number of options, so I want to cover off a couple below


The first thing to do is repost the MSDN v TechNet, this is a really good table, covering what you should use each offering for



Additional option!


If you plan to offer SQL as a unified solution, which it would seem is the case from the info provided J you could also become part of the ISV Program, as part of agreement terms, you would be permitted to provide to the end customer, under specific conditions, example outlined below, the SQL eval/testing/demo rights as part of that program



“Customer” above is in reference to the ISV partner signing the agreement, not “end customer” recieving the service






  1. The interesting thing about this table (TechNetPlus vs MSDN) are the three items where TechNetPlus is Yes and the more expensive MSDN is No.All three items seem to be more than covered by items further down the list where TechNet = No and MSDN = Yes.Is this therefore just semantics? It certainly looks like that as you can interpret those later lines as giving MSDN users the same as TechNetPlus users PLUS more.

  2. Thank you very much for your response. The ISV model doesn\’t fit for us as our end customers (and our partners end customers) are usually large organizations with existing procurement arrangements for Microsoft licenses that they want to leverage. Also I spoke with the ISV team a few days ago and they told me that ISV does not fit for our approach if the demo kit is not on our premises (although the reference to 3rd parties in your T\’s & C\’s snippet could arguably conflict with that).The MSDN vs Technet table states that we can use MSDN for demo. That would be perfect as we already have MSDN licences for all our developers. Can we use those licenses to put a demo system in a partner (not end customer and not production) lab purely for demo purposes, and where the demo would be presented by the partner?Thanks for your help.

  3. I\’m fairly sure that a brief look at an MSDN license will tell you that it is for the use of the individual MSDN holder only. Otherwise a single MSDN license would be all that you would need for a company and my company has many people with their own company-bought licences.Letting someone from a completely different company use MSDN-sourced software must be impossible, surely.

  4. Pingback: Software Licensing Made SimpleDemo License

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