Microsoft TIP OF THE DAY.Visual Studio 2012 Licensing Overview

Visual Studio 2012 Licensing Overview

With Visual Studio 2012 there are essentially two things for which you purchase licenses:

  •   Users.
  •   The Visual Studio Team Foundation Server environment.


The primary way to license users is by purchasing the appropriate level MSDN subscription for each user who will be participating in software development projects. The software, services, and support included with MSDN subscriptions varies by level, so you should consult the MSDN subscription comparison to determine the right level for the needs of each team member. The Visual Studio and other Microsoft software that the MSDN subscriber can install and run is defined by what is available for that MSDN subscription level in MSDN Subscriber Downloads while the user’s subscription is active.
MSDN subscription options:

  • Visual Studio Ultimate with MSDN
  • Visual Studio Premium with MSDN
  • Visual Studio Test Professional with MSDN
  • Visual Studio Professional with MSDN
  • MSDN Operating Systems

Alternatively, for users who do not need to use any Microsoft platforms like Windows, Windows Server, SQL Server, etc. as part of their development efforts, who do not need use of Windows Azure, who do not need technical support, who do not need e-learning, and who do not collaborate with other development team members via Team Foundation Server, and who do not need access to new versions of the software, you can purchase a stand-alone Visual Studio Professional license.

The Team Foundation Server Environment

The Team Foundation Server environment is where the software developers, testers, project managers, stakeholders, and other participants in the software development team collaborate, manage source code, manage and prioritize work, generate builds of the application, and much more. You purchase Windows Server and Team Foundation Server licenses for each server in this environment, plus Windows Server and Team Foundation Server Client Access Licenses (CALs) for each user connecting to these servers. Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Standard is included with the Team Foundation Server license for use with Team Foundation Server.