In October 2009, Microsoft’s Product Use Rights (“PUR”) introduced the Self-Hosted Applications rule. This rule replaced the Service Provider License Agreement (“SPLA”) for organizations who did not fit the definition of service provider. Rather, these organizations author, deploy, and maintain applications that are accessed by their customers. Microsoft does not recognize these users as officially licensed to use the Microsoft products that comprise the organization’s applications.
Microsoft’s products have different licensing rules for their use in such situations. Windows Server, for example, may require an External Connector (“EC”) license for each server supporting the Self-Hosted Applications. SQL Server, on the other hand, may require licensing in the Per Core model.
Choosing the appropriate license model and carefully architecting the environment is important to not only a defensible license position, but also one that maximizes your investment.