November 2014 Visual Studio and MSDN Licensing Whitepaper

There’s an updated (November 2014) Visual Studio and MSDN Licensing Whitepaper, so here’s a summary of those November changes and you can download the document here:

  • There’s a section added for Visual Studio Community 2013 which is the new collection of the Visual Studio Express SKUs. It’s free to download and any individual developer can use it to create their own free or paid apps. Businesses are also allowed to use it with various restrictions in place for commercial activities, but all organisations are able to use it for a classroom learning environment, for academic research, or for contributing to open source projects. There are a couple of useful scenarios on page 10 to clarify the usage rights
  • There are some changes to the licensing of the Release Management solution. Previously, each node or endpoint to which an application was deployed needed to be licensed with either Visual Studio Deployment 2013 Standard or Datacenter. However, from 1 January 2015, target servers receiving automated deployments from Release Management Server will no longer require a Visual Studio Deployment licence as per page 32

The last time we reviewed this document was July 2014 and there were further releases (it transpires) in August and October 2014, so the following changes may also be interesting to you:

  • Visual Studio Online: there is clarification on page 6 showing how the different MSDN subscriptions correlate to the various Visual Studio Online plans, and confirmation that an unlimited number of stakeholders can join a Visual Studio Online account to carry out tasks such as entering and editing work items and submitting feedback. Details on purchasing Visual Studio Online via an Azure subscription are also confirmed on page 12
  • The MSDN Cloud Use Rights are updated throughout to allow the running of MSDN software on Azure VMs only rather than also on VMs run on shared servers owned by third parties – previously known as Qualified MSDN Cloud Partners. See page 16 for example
  • There are some enhancements to the rules around assigning MSDN subscriptions to external entities on page 22 and new text states that customers must track assignments for all external entities and could be asked to provide a “Declaration of MSDN Licenses” amendment that is signed both by the customer and its outsourced entity
  • There is also clarification throughout that MSDN Subscriptions obtained as benefits of the Microsoft Partner Program can’t be used for direct revenue-generating activity and that organisations must purchase subscriptions – see page 22 for example
  • And finally there is some relaxation of the rules for when a Team Foundation Server CAL is required: page 26 confirms that one is not required for entering, viewing or editing any work items (previously it was just ones you had created) and on page 32 the requirement for having a CAL for anyone triggering the release pipeline sequence is removed