License Requirements for SQL Server Reporting Services in SharePoint Integrated Mode

As I am keen to point out every opportunity I get, when installing SQL Server Reporting Services in SharePoint Integrated mode, it is important to ensure that it is installed on a SharePoint server, and not on a SQL Server. It’s a bit counter-intuitive because the installation files are on the SQL Server media, and not the Sharepoint media. This causes confusion in a number of areas, but one question that I hear a lot is in the realm of licensing.

Technically, using any SQL Server component on any server requires a full SQL Server license for that component for each server. Running SQL Server Analysis Services and SQL Server Database on two different machines requires two different licenses. Seen that way, putting the SSRS Service on a SharePoint server would require a second license of SQL Server, which can be an expensive proposition. It also doesn’t make much sense, because it promotes bad design. Luckily, the SSRS service application is specifically exempted from additional licensing requirements. The following is taken directly from the Microsoft SQL Server 2012 SP1 license document. Section 2.5 states:

2.5    Running Instances of the Additional Software.

You may run or otherwise use any number of instances of additional software listed below in physical or virtual operating system environments on any number of devices. You may use additional software only with the server software directly, or indirectly through other additional software.

  • Business Intelligence Development Studio
  • Client Tools Backward Compatibility
  • Client Tools Connectivity
  • Client Tools SDK
  • Data Quality Client
  • Data Quality Services
  • Distributed Replay Client
  • Distributed Replay Controller
  • Management Tools – Basic
  • Management Tools – Complete
  • Reporting Services – SharePoint
  • Reporting Services Add-in for SharePoint Products
  • Master Data Services
  • Sync Framework
  • SQL Client Connectivity SDK
  • SQL Server 2012 Books Online

 

Notice that little bullet point “Reporting Services – SharePoint”? That’s the service application. Put simply, this means that in order to use SSRS in SharePoint Integrated mode, you’ll need to have at least one licensed SQL server, but you don’t need to run it on the SQL machine. In fact, according to the line “any number of instances” you can run it on as many SharePoint servers as you wish to take advantage of load balancing without incurring any additional licensing cost for SQL Server.

6 thoughts on “License Requirements for SQL Server Reporting Services in SharePoint Integrated Mode”

  1. In what PUR (month and year) did you find this information?
    In all the PUR i have looked in i cannot find “Reporting Services – SharePoint”
    I only finds the “Reporting Services Add-in for SharePoint Products”

  2. Hi Björn

    The document that I have is titled:
    “MICROSOFT SOFTWARE LICENSE TERMS
    MICROSOFT SQL SERVER 2012 ENTERPRISE SERVER/CAL EDITION”

    This was obtained in Sept 2014.

  3. I send this question to Microsoft and got below answer:

    I did some further digging and found some more information. In the January 2013 Product Use Rights listed ‘Reporting Services -SharePoint’ as well as the ‘Reporting Services Add-On for SharePoint’. This was an error and should not have been included in the additional software. Only Reporting Services Add-in for SharePoint is included with additional software.

    If they customer wants to use “Reporting Services – SharePoint’, licenses will be needed for the servers it is installed on.
    Only customers who purchased SQL Server during the coverage of the January 2013 Product Use Rights have to rights to use “Reporting Services – SharePoint” as additional software.

  4. Which licence is required if I want to scale out my sharepoint reporting service (more than 2 application server running SSRS)?

  5. According to the quoted license agreement, none, but I would advise consulting with your Microsoft rep first. My opinion is that you should have a licensed copy of SQL Server for each instance of the SSRS service application that you run – I believe that to be the spirit of the license, but that’s just my opinion.

  6. Have gotten the same reply from MS as Björn, in that you need a separate MS SQL license for the SharePoint server(s) where you install SSRS in SharePoint mode. Really too bad, as it leads to suboptimal design as you pointed out in you post. Have also seen the same issue with the ‘wrong’ license info that was corrected by MS. Hopefully we will have better licensing choices in 2016 🙂

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