SQL Server + CAL Licensing

SQL Server + CAL Licensing

When licensing SQL Server software under the Server+CAL model, customers purchase a server license for each server and a client access license (CAL) for each device (Device CAL) and/or user (User CAL) accessing SQL Server or any of its components. A CAL is not software; it is a license granting users and devices access to the SQL Server software.


How to License SQL Server 2012 Using the Server+CAL Licensing Model

Under the Server+CAL licensing model, each Operating System Environment (OSE) running SQL Server 2012 software or any of its components must have a SQL Server 2012 server license assigned to the physical server hosting the OSE. Each server license allows customers to run any number of SQL Server instances in an OSE, either physical or virtual. Note: When running SQL Server software in a physical OSE, each hardware partition or blade is considered to be a separate server for licensing purposes.
To access a licensed SQL Server, each user or device must have a SQL Server CAL that is the same version or newer than the SQL Server software version being accessed. For example, to access a server running SQL Server 2012 software, a user needs a SQL Server 2012 CAL. Note: Devices not operated by humans require device CALs, even when connecting to SQL Server indirectly. For human operated devices such as PCs or hand-held terminals, a user CAL or device CAL may be used.
SQL Server CALs are version specific. Each SQL Server 2012 CAL provides access to any number of licensed SQL Server instances (SQL Server 2012 or earlier) in a customer’s organization, regardless of the platform (32-bit, 64-bit or IA64) or product edition, including legacy SQL Server Workgroup and SQL Server for Small Business edition servers. Note: Use of hardware or software that reduces the number of devices or users that directly access or use the software (multiplexing/pooling) does not reduce the number of CALs required. For details on how to license SQL Server in a multiplexed application environment, refer to the Advanced Licensing Scenarios section of this guide.

The Server+CAL licensing model is appropriate when:

Deploying the SQL Server Business Intelligence Edition.
Deploying SQL Server Standard Edition in scenarios where you can easily count users/devices and the total licensing costs are lower than using the Per Core licensing model.
Accessing multiple SQL Server databases and/or planning to scale out use of SQL Server by adding new servers over time. Once you have purchased the necessary CALs, you only need to purchase low cost server licenses for new server system deployments.
Accessing “legacy” Enterprise Edition Servers in the Server+CAL licensing model. For more detailed information on this topic, refer to the Additional Product Information section of this guide.

Office 365 Small Business Premium

Office 365 Small Business Premium

Get virtually anywhere access to Office, including Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Excel. Plus enterprise-grade email, a public website, HD video conferencing, and more services. Plus the ease of managing it all simply, without IT expertise.

Work better together, even on the go

Access your work through a browser, and find all your settings and documents just as you left them on your desktop—whether you’re using your tablet, smartphone, or another device.

  • Stay up to date with everyone’s changes in the same document, even if changes are made at the same time.
  • All your files are automatically backed up online, even the ones on your PC.
  • Away from your PC? Stream a full-featured version of Office on any Internet-connected

Get big business IT—no expertise needed

Deploying, managing, and safeguarding Office 365 couldn’t be simpler with an easy-to-use, web-based admin console, industry-leading virus and spam protection, and a financially backed 99.9% uptime guarantee.

  • Install and deploy Office quickly.
  • Get updates automatically.
  • Easily administer email accounts and set document-sharing and other access rules from virtually anywhere.

Look as professional as you really are

Showing the world how professional your business is has never been so easy. Create documents that will get you noticed, build an eye-catching website, host your own domain for email, and much more.

  • Design customized marketing materials that fit your brand and customers.
  • Market your business with a website that’s easy to set up and update—with no additional hosting fees.
  • Meet customers and partners online with HD video conferencing and screen sharing.

Office 365 Small Business Premium plan includes:

Familiar Office tools

Office suite included Always have the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook1, OneNote, Publisher1, and Access1.

  • Capture your ideas however you work best—using a keyboard, pen, or a touchscreen.
  • Easily format information in Excel with tools that recognize your pattern and auto-complete data.
  • Easily incorporate content from PDFs to create your own great-looking Word documents.
  • Design customized marketing materials that fit your brand and customers.
Office on more devices Experience Office on your PC, Mac, Windows tablet, and other select devices. Visit for compatible devices.
Office on any PC Stream full versions of Office programs on any PC with Office on Demand.2


Plus these online services:

Email and calendars Use business-class, web-based Outlook, including a 25 GB mailbox per user, shared calendars, and task-list tools.
Public website Design and maintain your own public website with no additional hosting fees. Use your own domain name to promote your brand.
Team sites Enable easy access and sharing of documents with 10 GB baseline storage plus 500 MB of storage per user.
Web conferencing Host online meetings with audio and video using one-click screen sharing and HD video conferencing.
Instant messaging Simplify how you connect with instant messaging and Presence (your online status).
Reliability Get peace of mind knowing your services are available with an industry-leading, financially backed 99.9% uptime guarantee.
Security Your data is yours. We safeguard it and protect your privacy.
Administration Deploy and manage Office 365 across your company, no IT expertise required. You can add and remove users in minutes.
Support Microsoft Support provides telephone and online answers, how-to resources, and connections with other Office 365 customers for setup and quick fixes.


What’s changed or removed in Office 2013

The following table contains information about what’s changed in Outlook 2013.

Title Scope Type of Change Description
Outlook Meeting Workspaces Outlook Removing the feature The Meeting workspaces feature is removed from Outlook. The entry point commands to create Meeting Workspaces is removed from both the Quick Access Toolbar and the Ribbon.
Outlook Exchange Classic offline Outlook Removing the feature Offline mode is being removed from Outlook.
Remove /Cleanfreebusy switch and code Outlook Removing the feature Users can no longer start Outlook by using the /cleanfreebusy switch. If they try this, they will receive the following message: “Cannot start Microsoft Outlook. The command line argument is not valid. Verify the switch you are using.”
Command Bars object model (OM) Outlook Modification The Command Bars OM is being changed so that built-in Command Bar objects cannot be accessed through programming.
Outlook Direct Booking Outlook Removing the feature Direct booking of resources in the calendar no longer exists.
Import/Export to Applications Outlook Removing specific file-format support from the Import/Export wizard in Outlook The ability to import/export Outlook data to legacy file formats.
Journal Module and Journaling Outlook Removing the feature The Journal Module is being removed as a top-level module, and auto-journaling is also being removed.
Outlook Links Collection Office Removing the feature Links Collection object model is removed.
Notes and Journal customization Outlook Removing the feature Notes are now only yellow and medium size.
Legacy Contact Linking Outlook Removing the feature The capability to link arbitrary Outlook items to Outlook contacts. This contact linking existed only for displaying information in the Activities tab of the contact, which is a feature that is also removed for Outlook 2013.
Outlook Activities tab Outlook Removing the feature The Activities tab on contact forms is not available for Outlook 2013. The Activities tab used to aggregate all Outlook items (e-mail, meetings, tasks, and so on) associated with a contact.
Outlook Mobile Service (OMS) Outlook Removing the feature Support for the Outlook Mobile Service protocol, which is used for sending and receiving text messages from Outlook, is being removed.
Suggested Contacts Outlook Removing the feature Suggested Contacts was used to automatically keep track of everyone the user sends a message to, but who isn’t in Outlook contacts.In a clean Outlook 2013 installation, Suggested Contacts is no longer available, the folder never is created, and no suggested contact items are created. In an upgrade to Outlook 2013, this folder is visible, and participates in linking, aggregation and search. However, no new suggested contact items are added to the folder. The folder displays in an upgrade scenario. However, it can now be deleted.
Outlook Pubcal: Calendar Publishing Outlook Removing the feature Removing the ability to publish one’s calendar to
Outlook/Exchange Deliver to PST Outlook Removing the feature Removing the ability for users to have Exchange accounts delivering into PST files.
Dialup/VPN Options Outlook Removing the feature Removing application level dial-up options and VPN options.
Public Folder Free/Busy Office Removing the feature Public Folder Free/Busy feature is replaced.
ToDo Bar Outlook Removing the feature A new functionality is implemented.
User Datagram Protocol (UDP) Office Removing the feature UDP is removed. In earlier versions of Outlook the feature was used for new mail alert results and for folder updates.
Preview unread messages Office Removing the feature The Auto Preview feature to preview unread items is removed. It remains possible to configure Message Preview for one, two, and three lines.
Outlook categories quick click Office Removing the feature Categories quick click from the message list is removed. Categories are displayed when they are applied in Office 2013 by right-clicking or using Ribbon buttons.
Outlook Search through Windows Shell Office and Windows Removing the feature In Office 2013, Outlook items do not display in Windows Shell searches (for example, searches from the Start Menu or by using Win+F). Perform Office searches within Office 2013.
Reason for Change Benefits Replacement Additional Information
The feature was not widely used. Allows for a simpler Ribbon experience. N/A For the feature description, see Use Meeting Workspaces to organize meetings
Offline mode is a legacy data access method for online mode connections to Exchange Server. N/A N/A N/A
Because of the removal of the Public Folder Free/Busy feature, this switch is no longer needed. N/A N/A N/A
Command bars are not used in Outlook 2013. Therefore, add-ins that use the Command Bars OM are not required. N/A Use the IRibbonExtensibility interface in an Outlook 2013 add-in instead of command bars. You can’t customize Inspector ribbons by using VBScript code behind forms. Updating Earlier Code for CommandBarsFor more information about how to use IRibbonExtensibility to customize the Outlook 2013 user interface programmatically, see Extending the User Interface in Outlook 2010.
This functionality is outdated and is superseded by the Exchange Availability service and free/busy for resources. More reliable service. Mailboxes that are currently configured to use Outlook direct booking should be migrated to Exchange 2007 or Exchange Server 2010 resource mailboxes.Exchange 2007 and Exchange Server 2010 resource mailboxes provide a better range of features. These mailboxes also provide server-side administration by using the Exchange Management Shell or the Exchange Management Console to simplify resource mailbox management. N/A
The following legacy formats were removed from the Import/Export Wizard: Internet Mail Account Settings, Internet Mail and Addresses, Comma Separated Values (DOS), Access 97-2003, Excel 97-2003, Tab Separated Values (DOS), Tab Separated Values (Windows), ACT!, Contact Manager, Lotus Organizer, Outlook Express/Windows Mail, Personal Address Book. N/A Import/Export to the PST and CSV formats is still a supported option. Export Outlook items to an Outlook Data File (.pst)
N/A Replacement is unnecessary. N/A N/A
Functionality is removed in the UI. N/A N/A N/A
Keeping the Notes module simple. Simplifying how Notes are used. N/A N/A
Contact linking is replaced by the Outlook Social Connector and the New Person Card. N/A N/A N/A
N/A Simplicity The Activities tab is replaced by the Outlook Social Connector and displays in the People pane. N/A
Feature has low usage. No user benefit. N/A N/A
N/A N/A Users in Exchange Server environments can use Exchange Calendar Publishing.Non-Exchange users can use a service such as Hotmail to share calendars. Enable Internet Calendar PublishingHow to keep your family in sync with Hotmail Calendar
Available as part of the operating system. N/A Follow operating system instructions for configuring VPN or dial-up networking connections, For Windows Vista and Windows 7, see Set up an incoming VPN or dial-up connection.For Windows 8, see Configure a Dial-Up Networking Connection Item.
Replaced by the Exchange availability service Free/Busy functionality is more reliable Free busy information can be obtained through the Exchange Availability service Understanding the Availability Service
A new feature known as Pinned Peeks is implemented to achieve similar functionality. Pinned Peeks feature N/A N/A
The UDP functionality that was provided by UDP is replaced with an asynchronous notification method. N/A N/A N/A
Low usage. This feature was used by around 1% of users. Simplicity Apply categories by choosing from the short-cut menus (right clicking) or by choosing Ribbon buttons. N/A
N/A N/A Search Office items within the Office application. N/A

Office 2013–Standard system requirements

Office 2013–Standard system requirements

Refer to the following table for a snapshot of the overall system requirements for Office 2013.The information that follows this table outlines any additional requirements for specific components of Office 2013, including add-ons and tools.
When you choose a product suite or individual program to deploy, evaluate the computers before you deploy any software to make sure that they meet the minimum operating system requirements.

Standard system requirements for Office 2013

Component Office 2013 Requirements
Computer and processor 1 gigahertz (Ghz) or faster x86- or x64-bit processor with SSE2 instruction set
Memory (RAM) 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32 bit); 2 gigabytes (GB) RAM (64 bit)
Hard Disk 3.0 gigabytes (GB) available
Display Graphics hardware acceleration requires a DirectX10 graphics card and 1024 x 576 resolution
Operating System Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008 R2, or Windows Server 2012
Browser Microsoft Internet Explorer 8, 9, or 10; Mozilla Firefox 10.x or a later version; Apple Safari 5; or Google Chrome 17.x.
.NET version 3.5, 4.0, or 4.5
Multi-touch A touch-enabled device is required to use any multi-touch functionality. However, all features and functionality are always available by using a keyboard, mouse, or other standard or accessible input device. Note that new touch features are optimized for use with Windows 8.
Additional requirements and considerations Some functionality may vary, based on the system configuration. Some features may require additional or advanced hardware or server connectivity.

Office 2013 applications – specific requirements

The standard Office 2013 system requirements that are listed in the Office 2013 for Personal Computers–standard system requirements table apply to each Office 2013 application. The following Office 2013 programs have some additional requirements:

  • Access 2013
  • Excel 2013
  • InfoPath 2013
  • Lync 2013
  • Lync Server 2013
  • Office Solution Management (Telemetry Dashboard)
  • OneNote 2013
  • Outlook 2013
  • Project Professional 2013
  • Word 2013

Access 2013

The information in this table outlines additional requirements for specific components of Access 2013.
Specific Access 2013 requirements

Component Requirement
  • Access 2013 Internet functionality requires an Internet connection and either Internet Explorer 8 or Internet Explorer 9.
  • Instant Search functionality requires Windows Search 4.0.


Excel 2013

The information in this table outlines additional requirements for specific components of Excel 2013.

Specific Excel 2013 requirements

Component Requirement
  • Excel 2013 Internet functionality requires an Internet connection and either Internet Explorer 8 or Internet Explorer 9.
  • Instant Search functionality requires Windows Search 4.0.
PowerPivot To use PowerPivot, you must have .NET 3.5 or .NET 4.0 and at least 2 gigabytes (GB) of RAM.
PowerView add-in To use with the PowerView add-in, you must have Silverlight 5.0 installed and at least 2 gigabytes (GB) of RAM.


InfoPath 2013

The information in this table outlines additional requirements for specific components of InfoPath 2013.

Specific InfoPath 2013 requirements

Component Requirement
  • InfoPath 2013 Internet functionality requires an Internet connection and either Internet Explorer 8 or Internet Explorer 9.
  • Instant Search functionality requires Windows Search 4.0.
Programmability Programmability scenarios require .NET 4.0.

 Lync 2013

Microsoft LyncLync 2013 has different hardware requirements from those that are listed in the system requirements Office 2013 for Personal Computers–standard system requirements table above. Refer to the following table for personal computer system requirements or recommendations that are specific to Lync 2013.

Specific Lync 2013 requirements

Component Requirement
Computer/ processor Intel Pentium 4, AMD Athlon 64, or equivalent
Memory (RAM) 2 gigabytes (GB) RAM
Operating System Windows 7 or Windows 8
Data and voice Minimum 1.6 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor. We recommend 2.0 gigahertz (32 bit or 64 bit).
Video For VGA: Dual core 1.9 gigahertz (GHz) processor, or fasterFor High Definition: Qual core 2.0 gigahertz (GHz) processor, or fasterDisplay resolution: 1024 x 768
  • Polycom CX5000 HD (Microsoft RoundTable) conferencing device
  • Minimum 2.0 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor
Graphics Hardware
  • Support for Microsoft DirectX 9 application programming interface (API).
  • Minimum of 128 megabytes (MB) graphics memory
  • Windows Display Driver Model driver
  • 32 bits per pixel capable format
Telephony Microphone and speakers, headset with microphone, or equivalent device(s). Recommended devices:

  • Phones with the “Optimized for Microsoft Lync” logo (see Phones and Devices Qualified for Microsoft Lync for a list)
  • Phones that run Microsoft Lync 2010 Phone Edition
  • A W15-certified (or equivalent) ADA-compliant phone
Video source USB 2.0 video camera or Polycom CX5000 HD device (Microsoft RoundTable)

Lync Server 2013

The information in this table outlines additional requirements for specific components of Lync 2013.

Specific Lync Server 2013 requirements

Component Requirement
Computer/ processor Intel Pentium 4, AMD Athlon 64, or equivalent
Memory (RAM) 2 gigabytes (GB) RAM
Operating System Windows, XP (32 bit), Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008 R2, or Windows Server 2012
Video Display with 1024 x 768 resolution
Graphics Hardware
  • Support for Microsoft DirectX 9 API
  • Minimum of 128 megabytes (MB) graphics memory
  • Windows Display Driver Model driver
  • 32 bits per pixel capable format


Office Solution Management (Telemetry Dashboard)

Telemetry Dashboard is installed with Office Professional Plus 2013 and Office 365 ProPlus editions of Office 2013. The information in this table outlines additional requirements for specific components of Office Solution Management Telemetry Dashboard server.

Specific requirements for Telemetry Dashboard

Component Telemetry Dashboard Server Requirement
Database SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, or SQL Server 2012
Shared folders For every 10,000+ users, 11 gigabytes of disk space to act as a temporary store for telemetry data.


OneNote 2013

The information in this table outlines additional requirements for specific components of OneNote 2013.

Specific requirements for OneNote 2013

Component Requirement
  • OneNote 2013 Internet functionality requires an Internet connection and Internet Explorer 8 or Internet Explorer 9.
  • Instant Search functionality requires Windows Search 4.0.


Outlook 2013

The information in this table outlines additional requirements for specific components of Outlook 2013.

Specific requirements for Outlook 2013

Component Requirement
  • Outlook 2013 Internet functionality requires an Internet connection and Internet Explorer 8 or Internet Explorer 9.
  • Instant Search requires Windows Search 4.0.
For integration with Exchange Be sure to connect Outlook 2013 to the supported versions of Exchange: Exchange 2007, Exchange 2010, or Exchange Server 2013. Outlook 2013 is not supported on Exchange 2003.
For integration with Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 and Lync Server 2013 (optional) Some features require Exchange Server 2013 and Lync Server 2013.For a list of some new Outlook 2013 features that are enabled with Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 see What’s new in Outlook 2013.
For integration with Microsoft Lync (optional) Office Communicator 2007 R2, Microsoft Lync 2010 and Lync 2013 are supported with Outlook 2013. Office Communicator 2005 and Office Communicator 2007 are not supported.
Inking features Certain inking features require Windows 7 or Windows 8.
Speech recognition Speech recognition functionality requires a close-talk microphone and audio output device
IRM Information Rights Management features require access to a computer that runs Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, or Windows Server 2012 and Windows Rights Management Services.
Dynamic Calendars Dynamic calendars require server connectivity.
Advanced Certain advanced functionality requires connectivity to Exchange Server 2010 or Exchange Server 2007, SharePoint Server 2007, SharePoint Server 2010, or Windows Server 2003 with SP1 running Windows SharePoint Services.
Microsoft ID Certain features require a Microsoft ID (Windows Live ID).


Project Professional 2013

The information in this table outlines additional requirements for specific components of Project Professional 2013.

Specific requirements for Project Professional 2013

Component Requirement
Visual Reports To use the Visual Reports feature one of the following versions of Excel must be installed on the computer:

  • Office Excel 2007
  • Excel 2010
  • Excel 2013

and one of the following versions of Microsoft Office Visio:

  • Visio Professional 2007
  • Visio 2010
  • Visio 2013
Import Outlook Tasks feature To use the Import Outlook Tasks feature, one of the following versions of Outlook must be installed on the computer:

  • Outlook 2007
  • Office Outlook 2010
  • Outlook 2013
SkyDrive integration Users must have a Windows Live ID.
Project Professional in an Enterprise
  • To enable enterprise Project, portfolio, and resource management capabilities, Project Server 2013 is required.
  • To import tasks to the Outlook calendar or Outlook Tasks list, Project Web App and Exchange Server 2013 are required.
  • To synchronize Project Server 2013 with a SharePoint Server 2013 or SharePoint Server 2010 task list, you must install either Access 2010 or Visio 2010.
  • To create a new Project Site from Project Server 2013 you must use SharePoint Server 2013.
  • To use Lync integration, you must have Lync 2010.


Word 2013

The information in this table outlines additional requirements for specific components of Word 2013.

Specific requirements for Project Professional 2013

Component Requirement
Co-authoring Co-authoring requires SharePoint Foundation 2013 and a Windows Live ID account for SkyDrive. It might also require more memory than the amount listed in the Office 2013 for Personal Computers–standard system requirements table above.


Windows Server Edition & Features Overview

Windows Server Edition & Features Overview

Edition Ideal for… High Level Feature Comparison Licensing Model
Datacenter Highly virtualized private & hybrid cloud environments Full Windows Server functionality with unlimited virtual instances Processor + CAL*
Standard Low density or non-virtualized environments Full Windows Server functionality with two virtual instances Processor + CAL*
Essentials Small business environments Simpler interface, pre-configured connectivity to cloud based services; no virtualization rights Server (25 User Account Limit)
Foundation Economical general purpose server General purpose Server functionality with no virtualization rights Server (15 User Account Limit)


*CALs are required for every user or device accessing a server. See the Product Use Rights ( ) for details.


**Pricing represents Open No Level (NL) ERP. For your specific pricing, contact your Microsoft reseller.


The table below shows a feature comparison among the three main editions.






Maximum Number of Cores

OS Max¹

16 Cores-DB


16 Cores

Basic OLTP




Program-ability (T-SQL, Data Types, FileTable)




Manageability (SQL Server Management Studio, Policy-based Management)




Basic High Availability³




Basic Corporate BI (Reporting, Analytics, Multidimensional Semantic Model, Data Mining)




Basic Data Integration (Built-in Data Connectors, Designer Transforms)




Self-Service Business Intelligence (Alerting, Power View, PowerPivot for SharePoint Server)?



Advanced Corporate BI (Tabular BI Semantic Model, Advanced Analytic’s and Reporting, VertiPaq™ In-Memory Engine, Advanced Data Mining)



Enterprise Data Management (Data Quality Services, Master Data Services)



Advanced Data Integration (Fuzzy Grouping and Lookup, Change Data Capture)


Advanced Security (SQL Server Audit, Transparent Data Encryption)


Data Warehousing (ColumnStore Index, Compression, Partitioning)


Advanced High Availability (Multiple, Active Secondaries; Multi-site, Geo-Clustering)³


  1. Existing SQL Server Enterprise edition licenses in the Server + CAL licensing model upgraded to SQL Server 2012 will be limited to server deployments with 20 cores or less. Refer to Datasheet and FAQ for more details.
  2. Analysis Services & Reporting Services.
  3. Basic includes log shipping, database mirroring, server core support and two-node Failover Clustering. Windows Server Enterprise edition or above is a system requirement for AlwaysOn / Failover Clustering.
  4. SharePoint Server with Enterprise CAL is a system requirement for Power View and PowerPivot for SharePoint. Alerting is accessible through SharePoint Foundation or above.

SQL Server 2012 Business Intelligence

SQL Server 2012 is out now and there are a lot of great new features in the world of Business Intelligence (BI) included in this new release and this article covers my top 5 new BI features in SQL Server 2012. From Reporting, Loading Data, and Analysis there are a lot of new features to choose from in 2012. It is hard to choose from all of the new features, so this list was based on how useful each feature is in terms of BI development and analyzing data.

#1 Power View

Power View is a great new ad-hoc reporting tool built for the end users. It requires SQL Server 2012 and SharePoint 2010 and has one of the coolest UI displays compared to the previous tools. Power View gives end users an intuitive ad-hoc reporting tool they can use to easily create and interact with data from PowerPivot workbooks or tabular models deployed to SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services. It runs in a browser and uses Silverlight from within SharePoint Server 2010. One of the coolest graphing tools in Power View is the time line. You can build a chart and place a time line along the bottom and click the play button and watch the data change over time. I for one can’t wait to build reports with this tool and see my users build them too.


#2 SSIS Configure and Execute with T-SQL

SSIS has improved significantly in SQL Server 2012. The greatest new feature is the ability to run and control your SSIS packages using T-SQL. With the addition of the new SSIS catalog and the project deployment, your packages are housed in a database now and there is an entire set of stored procedures and functions for SSIS administration. This opens up a Pandora’s Box of possibilities! Imagine writing complex stored procedures that call multiple SSIS packages, or using a cursor to execute a package for each row on a table. You can select data from a table and pass it to a package using parameters. This is much improved from the command line prompt method in the previous versions of SQL Server. It gives developers and DBAs the ability to incorporate SSIS more into their database and their development.

#3 SSIS Parameters and Environments

Speaking of Parameters, it happens to be number three on my top 5 BI list. Parameters and environments allow developers to pass variables into packages now without using configuration files or tables. That’s right, no longer do developers have to manage a group of files or tables separate from their packages. They can execute packages with T-SQL and pass in the parameter values using the T-SQL. They can also save multiple parameter values in the new environments. Environments can be thought of as a parameter bucket that holds a set of parameter values. Packages that need a different set of values can have all the parameters changed with just a simple change of selecting a different environment. A good example of this would be a package that needs one set of values during the week and a different set on the weekend or at month end. As you read in number two, you can execute the package with T-SQL, so you can place logic in your T-SQL, like a Case When statement, to select the proper environment. You can also use them for Development versus Production settings.


#4 SSAS Tabular Models

Developers now have the ability to create tabular models in SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT, Formerly BIDS). Instead of having to use Power Pivot in Excel to develop a tabular model, developers can now use a tool they are more familiar with, Visual Studio. This gives developers the ability to create and deploy tabular models using SSDT. These are available to the end user to connect with power pivot and start slicing a dicing data. The diagram view makes it easy to visualize the data and build hierarchies. Before SQL Server 2012, PowerPivot was the only way to create a tabular like model in SQL Server. This new model puts the developers in a familiar environment and allows them to create models for the users to easily consume.


#5 SSIS Undo/Redo

I know this seems like a small improvement, but for any SSIS developers out there, they know the undo/redo feature added to SSIS makes like so much easier. Imagine writing a word doc and not having undo. Oops, you accidently deleted an entire paragraph, now write it again! In SSIS, that was the norm, until SQL Server 2012. Now if you delete some task or make changes you need to reverse, CTRL + Z is here to save the day.


Top Ten Reasons to Buy VS Team Foundation Server.

Top Ten Reasons to Buy VS Team Foundation Server.

  • Streamline The Flow of Data Across Your Entire Team
    Project artifacts are stored in a central repository that facilitates in-context collaboration reducing waste in hand-over time between tasks and streamlines the development process allowing team members to focus on delivering value over transitioning information between roles.
  • Reduce Risk with Real-time Visibility
    Powerful reporting and dashboards provide historical trending and real-time visibility into overall project health. Real-time metrics give you early warnings of potential problems that enable you to be proactive and to make data-driven decisions and course corrections.
  • End-to-end Traceability
    Define, query and report on custom relationships between requirements, work items and test cases. Full traceability lets you track progress and quality back to business goals and customer requirements.
  • Lightweight Agile Planning Tools
    The new Excel Agile Planning Workbook makes it easy for teams to adopt Agile software development methodologies like SCRUM. Use it to create and manage user stories and product backlog, estimate the team’s velocity, and break the project down into iterations. The Iteration Backlog enables you to plan iterations and track progress.
  • Project and Portfolio Management
    Integration with Microsoft Project and Office Project Server enables business stake holders and project managers to gain insight into the health of inflight projects, understand how they support the business needs and help identify ways to improve existing processes.
  • Simplified Installation for Smaller Teams
    Smaller teams and individual developers can choose the new Basic Install option to leverage the power of Team Foundation Server 2010 without the footprint of the full installation.
  • Understand Parallel Development
    Reduce the complexity in branching and merging with powerful new visualization tools. Understand the scope, organization and maintenance of your source code and easily identify, track and manage changes across branches.
  • Prevent Broken Builds
    The new gated check-in feature helps teams working in the same branch to prevent costly and time consuming build breaks by testing code in isolation before it goes into the full repository.
  • Flexible Build Automation
    Windows Workflow-based builds with powerful features like build queuing and build agent pooling enable teams to easily customize, manage and scale out their build environments.
  • Enterprise Scalability
    Network Load Balancing, 64-bit server support and new project

What is Volume Activation

What is Volume Activation?
Volume Activation is a product activation technology that was first introduced with Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. It is designed to allow Volume License customers to automate the activation process in a way that is transparent to end users.

Volume Activation applies only to systems that are covered under a Volume Licensing program and is used strictly as a tool for activation. It is not tied to license invoicing or billing.

Volume Activation provides two different models for completing volume activations. Either or both key types may be used by customers to activate systems in their organization:

  • Key Management Service (KMS)
    KMS allows organizations to activate systems within their own network.
  • Multiple Activation Key (MAK)
    MAK activates systems on a one-time basis, using Microsoft’s hosted activation services.

What is the Key Management Service (KMS)?
The Key Management Service (KMS) is an activation service that allows organizations to activate systems within their own network, eliminating the need for individual computers to connect to Microsoft for product activation. It does not require a dedicated system and can be easily co-hosted on a system that provides other services.

KMS requires a minimum number of either physical or virtual computers in a network environment. These minimums, called activation thresholds, are set so that they are easily met by Enterprise customers.

  • Activation Thresholds for Windows – Your organization must have at least five (5) computers to activate servers running Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2 and at least twenty-five (25) computers to activate client systems running Windows Vista or Windows 7.
  • Activation Thresholds for Office – Your organization must have at least five (5) computers running Office 2010, Project 2010, or Visio 2010 to activate installed Office products using KMS. For more information about Volume Activation of Office products (that is, Office 2010, Project 2010, and Visio 2010), see the Volume Activation Quick Start Guide for Office 2010, and Volume Activation Overview for Office 2010.

What is a KMS Host Key?
A KMS Host Key is used to activate the KMS host computer with a Microsoft activation server and can activate up to six (6) KMS hosts with 10 activations per host. Each KMS host can activate an unlimited number of computers.
Note: Contact the Microsoft Activation Center if you require additional KMS activations for activating more than six (6) KMS hosts.

What is a Multiple Activation Key (MAK)?
A Multiple Activation Key (MAK) activates systems on a one-time basis, using Microsoft’s hosted activation services (that is, it requires connection with a Microsoft activation server). Once computers are activated, no further communication with Microsoft is required.
Important: Each MAK has a predetermined number of allowed activations, based on your Volume Licensing agreement. Contact the Microsoft Activation Center to increase your MAK activation limit.
You can activate licenses in one of two ways using MAK:

  • MAK Independent Activation – Each computer individually connects to Microsoft via the web or telephone to complete activation.
  • MAK Proxy Activation – One centralized activation request is made on behalf of multiple computers with a single connection to Microsoft online or by telephone. This method uses the Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT), which is a part of the Windows 7 Automated Installation Kit (WAIK). VAMT enables IT Professionals to automate and centrally manage the Volume Activation process using MAK, and includes a check on the number of activations on the MAK.

What’s new for IT professionals in Office 2013

Office 2013 provides new features and improvements that help IT administrators configure, validate, deploy, and protect their Office installations. This article describes some changes in these areas.
In this article:

  • Active Directory-Based activation
  • Apps for Office
  • Click-to-Run
  • Click-to-Run customization
  • Co-Authoring
  • Access 2013: new application model
  • New Group Policy and OCT settings
  • Office Telemetry Dashboard and Office Telemetry Log
  • Office Web Apps
  • Office Web Apps Server
  • Security changes
  • Sign-in IDs
  • Downloadable proofing tool packages

Active Directory-Based activation

Volume activation establishes a relationship between the Volume License (VL) product key and a particular installation of the VL software on a device. Microsoft policy requires you to activate VL editions of Office 2010 and Office 2013 that run on both physical computers and virtual machines.
When Office 2013 runs on Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012, a new volume activation method is available: Active Directory-based activation.
Active Directory-Based activation uses your existing Active Directory infrastructure to activate all Office 2013 VL clients through their connection to the domain. To set up Active Directory-Based activation for Office 2013, configure Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) from either a Windows 8 VL edition computer or a Windows Server 2012 computer. The Office 2013 VL clients can automatically activate against the domain as long as they are running on a Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012 client computer.

The two volume activation methods that were introduced in Office 2010: Key Management Service (KMS) and Multiple Activation Key (MAK), are still valid for Office 2013.

Apps for Office

Developers use apps for Office to create engaging new consumer and enterprise experiences that run within supported Office 2013 applications by using the power of the web and standard web technologies such as HTML5, XML, CSS3, JavaScript, and REST APIs.
An app for Office is basically a webpage that is hosted inside an Office client application. You can use an app for Office to extend the functionality of a document, email message, or appointment. The apps in apps for Office can run in multiple environments and clients. These include rich Office desktop clients, Office Web Apps, mobile browsers, and also on-premises and in the cloud. Developers can publish apps for Office to the Office Store or to an onsite catalog, where they can be available to users from their Office 2013 applications. As the IT Administrator of your organization, you can control how the apps for Office become available to users.


Office 2013 Click-to-Run is a technology that reduces the time that is required to download and use Office 2013 client products. Click-to-Run is based on core virtualization and streaming Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) technologies. The streaming technology lets you use a Click-to-Run program before the complete program is fully downloaded and installed on your computer.
Click-to-Run virtualization provides the following advantages:

  • Isolation of resources in a virtual environment allows for coexistence with earlier versions of Office, and improves cleanup and restore processes.
  • Extension points to the computer are published so Office is more integrated. This allows for add-ins to be written.
  • Streaming helps improve performance. The Office package is divided and is uncompressed over time, which optimizes network bandwidth and CPU usage.

Click-to-Run customization

Administrators can customize Click-to-Run product installations. Click-to-Run for Office 365 provides a downloadable Office Deployment Tool for Click-to-Run that enables administrators to download Click-to-Run for Office 365 product and language sources to an on-premises location. This is useful in scenarios where administrators want to minimize the demand on the network or want to prevent users from installing from the Internet because of corporate security requirements.
You can download the Office Deployment Tool from the Microsoft Download Center site. The download includes a sample Configuration.xml configuration file. To customize an installation, administrators run the Office Deployment Tool and provide a customized Configuration.xml file. The Office Deployment Tool performs the tasks that are specified by using the optional properties in the Configuration.xml configuration file.


Co-authoring simplifies collaboration by enabling multiple users to work productively on the same document without intruding on one another’s work or locking out other users. This capability requires no additional server setup and is the default status for documents that are stored in SharePoint 2013 document libraries.
Here are some changes in co-authoring for Office 2013.

  • Co-authoring is now supported in Visio Professional 2013, Word Web App, and PowerPoint Web App.
  • Seeing other editors who join the document to co-author is faster in Word 2013, Excel 2013, PowerPoint 2013, and Visio Professional 2013.
  • Updates are faster when multiple users co-author in the same OneNote page.
    Users who co-author also benefit from these changes in Office Web Apps, Office 2013, and SharePoint 2013.
  • Users can view, add, and reply to comments in Word Web App and PowerPoint Web App.
  • Users can open Word files that contain revision marks in Word Web App.
  • Users can easily set document permissions and send sharing notifications by using the Share with People feature in Office 2013 and SharePoint 2013.

Access 2013: new application model

The on-premises version of Access 2013 provides a new application model that uses SharePoint 2013 for hosting and SQL Server for data storage.

Access as a SharePoint app

Access 2013 is now an app for SharePoint, which means that you create Access web apps that run in the browser, and can manage Access as you would any SharePoint app, controlling everything centrally by using SharePoint tools. No additional passwords or logins are required because security is controlled through the same SharePoint infrastructure. Users can discover and share Access apps through the public SharePoint App Store or a private App Catalogue. They can use your app as long as they have a web browser and an Internet connection. Access does not have to be installed on users’ devices.
In addition, Access 2013 can open databases created in previous Access versions.
For more information about the new Access 2013 application model, see “New application model” in What’s new for Access 2013 developers.

SQL Server back end

If you create an app on a SharePoint Server that your company hosts on premises, Access creates the database in the SQL Server 2012 installation that is selected by the SharePoint administrator. This database stores all the objects and data that your application requires, such as tables, queries, macros, and forms. Whenever users visit the app, enter data, or change the design, they will be interacting with this database behind the scenes. The database created is specific to your app and is not shared with other apps.
SQL Server storage allows for speed, reliability, and scalability of the database long-term. In addition, advanced users can connect directly to the SQL Server database for advanced reporting and analysis with familiar tools such as Excel, Power View, and Crystal Reports.

More new features

Although these new features are not necessarily targeted to IT Professionals, you should be aware of them.

Access in Office 365

Access 2013 is also available in Office 365. If your Office 365 plan includes SharePoint, Microsoft can host your Access 2013 databases in the cloud. When you create an Access app in Office 365, your data is stored in a SQL Azure database.

New user features

Access 2013 provides new features that will help users perform tasks faster, and with more efficiency and flexibility.

New Group Policy and OCT settings

The Office 2013 Preview Administrative Template files (ADMX/ADML) and Office Customization Tool download package contains all Group Policy Administrative Template (ADMX/ADML) and Office Customization Tool (OPAX/OPAL) files for installations of Office 2013 (Windows installer-based) and Office 365 ProPlus (Click-to-Run).

Office Telemetry Dashboard and Office Telemetry Log

Office 2013 introduces a new application and document compatibility tool, known as Telemetry Dashboard. It replaces the Office 2010 compatibility tools Office Migration Planning Manager (OMPM), Office Code Compatibility Inspector (OCCI), and Office Environment Assessment Tool (OEAT). Telemetry Dashboard helps speed up Office 2013 deployments by reducing the overall time that is needed for migration planning and compatibility assessment. IT Professionals can use Telemetry Dashboard to identify typically used Office documents and solutions in their organizations and to view application events and crash data for select Office 2013 applications.
A companion tool for Telemetry Dashboard, known as Telemetry Log, is designed for developers and expert users who want to view event data for documents and solutions as they load, run, or raise errors in Office 2013. Telemetry Log shows local event data, whereas Telemetry Dashboard combines this event data for multiple client computers.

Office Web Apps

When used with SharePoint 2013 on-premises, Office Web Apps provides updated versions of Word Web App, Excel Web App, PowerPoint Web App, and OneNote Web App. Users can view and, depending on the current license, edit Office documents by using a supported web browser on computers and on different mobile devices, such as Windows Phones, iPhones, and iPads.
In addition to new features in Office Web Apps, the architecture and deployment methods have also changed. Office Web Apps is no longer tightly integrated with SharePoint. Instead, it is installed separately as part of Office Web Apps Server, a stand-alone Office server product. You no longer have to optimize the SharePoint infrastructure to support Office Web Apps, and you can apply updates to the servers that run Office Web Apps Server separately and at a different frequency than you update SharePoint.

Office Web Apps Server

Office Web Apps Server is an Office server product that provides browser-based file viewing and editing functionality for Office files. Office Web Apps Server works together with products and services that support WOPI, the Web app Open Platform Interface protocol. These products, known as hosts, include SharePoint 2013, Lync Server 2013, and Exchange Server 2013. Here are some features that Office Web Apps Server enables for these products:

  • SharePoint 2013 Users can access Office files from SharePoint document libraries by using Word Web App, Excel Web App, PowerPoint Web App, and OneNote Web App. There are many new features and capabilities, such as support for co-authoring in Word Web App and PowerPoint Web App.
  • Lync Server 2013 Users can broadcast PowerPoint presentations by using Lync 2013 and Lync Web App. Broadcasting is improved to support higher-resolution displays and a wider range of mobile devices than in earlier versions. Users who have the appropriate privileges can scroll through a PowerPoint presentation independent of the presentation itself.
  • Exchange Server 2013 In Outlook Web App, all attachments in an email message are displayed in a filmstrip that includes a thumbnail of each attachment. Users can preview attachments online in full fidelity.

An Office Web Apps Server farm can provide Office services to multiple on-premises hosts. You can scale out the farm from one server to multiple servers as your organization’s needs grow. Although Office Web Apps Server requires dedicated servers that run no other server applications, you can install Office Web Apps Server on virtual machine instances.
Deploying and managing Office Web Apps Server across an organization is easier now that it is a stand-alone product. You can apply updates to the Office Web Apps Server farm separately and at a different frequency than you can when you update SharePoint Server, Exchange Server, or Lync Server. Having a stand-alone Office Web Apps Server farm also means that users can view or edit Office files that are stored outside SharePoint 2013, such as those in shared folders or in document management products that support WOPI.

Security changes

Several new security features make it easier for users and IT professionals to use and trust Office 2013 applications and documents. These include the following:

  • Authentication in Office The days are over for providing a password multiple times as users conduct normal business, opening multiple Office files from different locations. Now users create a profile, sign in one time, and can seamlessly work on and access local and cloud Office files and not be required to re-identify themselves. Users can connect multiple services such as an organization’s SkyDrive or a user’s personal SkyDrive account, to their Office profiles and have instant access to all files and their associated storage. Users authenticate one time for all Office applications, including SkyDrive. This is true regardless of the identity provider (Microsoft account and the user ID that you use to access Office 365) or the authentication protocol that is used by the application (for example, OAuth, forms based, claims based, or Windows Integrated Authentication). From a user perspective, it all just works. From the IT perspective, these connected services can easily be managed. For more information, see Overview of Office 365 ProPlus.
  • File password escrow key Office 2013 includes new functionality that lets admins unlock password-protected Office files when, for example, the file owner either forgets the password or leaves the organization. By using a new Escrow Key Admin Tool, IT personnel can easily assign a new password to the file, or no password, and can save the file to the same location or a new location. You can download the Escrow Key Admin Tool from the Connect site.
  • Digital signature Several digital signature improvements were made for documents that were created by using Office 2013 applications.Plus, Office 2013 will verify signatures on ODF files that were created by using
    • other applications.
    • XAdES digital signatures in documents that are created by using Office 2013 applications are now easier to create. XAdES signed Office 2013 documents allow signers to add their addresses, titles, and to describe the intent of their signatures. Office 2013 will also evaluate -XL signatures by using the certificates and any revocation data that is contained in the file
  • Information Rights Management Office 2013 incorporates new Windows 2012 Active Directory Rights Management Services (AD RMS) features. Support for multiple user IDs for access to Office 365 and single sign-on means that choosing an identity and protecting content is much easier for users. Behind the scenes, this new functionality and automatic service discovery eliminate the need for registry configuration.
  • Enhancements to Office 2013 documents opened in “protected view” This is a feature that was introduced in Office 2010 and helps reduce exploits by opening files in a restricted sandboxed application container “lowbox” so that they can be examined before editing. New Windows 8 capabilities mean stronger process isolation and an application container that is blocked from network access.


IDs

In Office 365, users can sign in by using either of two types of credentials: Personal (Microsoft account) or Organization (the Office 365 user ID that is assigned by the organization). The user supplies these credentials within the user interface (UI) or they can be picked up from the operating system in certain cases.
You can enable one of four sign-in states by using the Block sign-in to Office setting in the Registry. This setting controls whether users can provide credentials to Office 2013 by using either their Microsoft account or the Office 365 user ID assigned by the organization.

The Registry key for this setting is as follows:


If you enable this setting, you can specify a particular sign-in option by setting one of the following values:

  • 0 Both IDs allowed
  • 1 Live ID only
  • 2 Org ID only
  • 3 None allowed

The following table shows what users can do when you set a particular sign-in option:

options and their effect

If you select this… This is what a user can do…
Both IDs allowed Sign in and access Office content by using either ID.
Live ID only Sign in only by using a Microsoft account.
Org ID only Sign in only by using the Office 365 user ID that is assigned by your organization.
None allowed Can’t sign in by using either ID.
If you disable, or do not configure, the Block sign-in to Office setting, the default setting is Both IDs allowed. Users can sign in by using either ID.
Office 2013 automatically bootstraps itself by using any Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) account through which the user signed in to the operating system. If that Active Directory account is federated with Office 2013, the user automatically receives all benefits of signing into Office 2013 without having to perform any additional steps.

Downloadable proofing tool packages

Beginning in Office 2013, free downloadable proofing tool packages in 52 languages are available to all customers who have purchased the on-premises (MSI-installed) version of Office 2013, whether or not they are volume license customers. You can download these proofing tool packages in 32-bit or 64-bit versions from Office Proofing Tools.