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Microsoft’s SQL Licensing Policy Changes and How They Affect SOLIDWORKS PDM

In recent years, Microsoft’s licensing policy for SQL Server has undergone significant changes that have profoundly impacted many critical business applications for engineering teams and manufacturers. One such application is SOLIDWORKS PDM, a widely used data management solution for product designers that heavily relies on SQL Server as its database management system. As a result of the changes in licensing policies and requirements, the pricing and usage of the software have been significantly affected.


Increased Costs

One of the major impacts of the new licensing policy is the increased costs for organizations that use SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional in a data center environment. Under the new policy, engineers and manufacturers can choose to pay per user or core for SQL Server, substantially increasing licensing costs for organizations with a high number of users or server cores. Furthermore, the Software Assurance (SA) requirement adds an extra cost that may deter some organizations from using the software. SA is no longer an optional add-on for customers who want to use SQL Server in a data center environment, and it adds an additional cost to the already increased licensing fees.

Price Comparison

Unsure how EpiGrid can save you money?  The chart below provides a price comparison using the costs found on this page from Microsoft. EpiGrid’s charges customers $359/month for SQL licenses. That means the break even cost by going direct to Microsoft comes sometime between year three and four.

Productivity Impacts

The changes to Microsoft’s licensing policy will likely significantly impact small and medium-sized manufacturers and engineering firms that rely on SOLIDWORKS PDM to manage their design data. These organizations may struggle to absorb the additional costs, limiting their ability to invest in SQL for PDM and other areas of their business. Ultimately, this will impact business productivity and their ability to efficiently manage the design process.


Decreased Cost Options

To mitigate the impact of these changes, EpiGrid offers MS-compliant SQL instances that include unlimited Client Access Licenses (CALs) and SA. This solution provides a cost-effective alternative to purchasing licenses outright and can help organizations manage the increased licensing costs resulting from the changes to Microsoft’s licensing policy. Additionally, EpiGrid’s SQL-compliant solutions offer a host of other benefits, including automated backups, disaster recovery, and seamless integration with other applications.



In conclusion, the changes to Microsoft’s licensing policy for SQL Server have significant implications for businesses and applications across the spectrum, especially SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional customers. The increased costs and SA requirements have become a barrier to many small and medium-sized businesses’ ability to invest in solutions for their business that require SQL. Organizations using SOLIDWORKS PDM should carefully consider their options and work with trusted licensing partners like EpiGrid to find a licensing solution that fits their budget and product data management needs.