SharePoint Config

Ari Bakker's thoughts on customising and configuring SharePoint

Indicative SharePoint 2010 Licensing Costs

with 27 comments

SharePoint licensing is a complex subject. As well as there being multiple product configuration options, license prices often depend on a number of factors such as the type of organisation, the relationship with Microsoft and/or licensing retailer etc. It is useful, however, to have a rough indication of how much a product will cost when planning a project. For example if you are interested in giving all internal users access to FAST search you are looking at roughly twice the licensing costs of an installation using the standard features1.

SharePoint 2010 Licensing Overview

Before getting to the numbers there are a few things to understand. I’ve covered the basics here but head to the official Licensing Q&A page for full details.

For the full version of SharePoint Server 2010 there are two licensing models:

  • Server + CAL licenses for internal users – for internal users you need to license each server running SharePoint 2010. You also need a Client Access License (CAL) for each person (or optionally each device) accessing a SharePoint Server. All users will need a standard CAL and to access enterprise features users will need both the standard and the enterprise CAL. The difference in Standard vs Enterprise features is covered below.
  • Internet sites server licenses for external users – you need a server license for each server running SharePoint 2010. CALs are not required if all content is accessible to external users. If some content is for internal use only then CALs are required for users accessing this content. As well as a difference in features the Internet Sites Standard license only allows sites running on a single domain. As stated in the Microsoft Licensing Product Use Rights “The [SharePoint 2010 Internet Sites Standard] software may only be used to create and host a single site at a time resolved from a single domain name (e.g., and its subdomains (e.g.” It comes in at almost a third of the cost of the enterprise license, however, so opens up public SharePoint hosting to companies with smaller budgets.

FAST Search Licensing

FAST Search is licensed separately so to take advantage of all the enterprise search features you will need additional server licenses for servers running the FAST Search software.

It is also possible to use a single server for any of the above server licenses. For example if you wanted to run an Intranet and a public Internet website on the same server you could apply the SharePoint 2010 Server license as well as the SharePoint 2010 Internet Sites license to a single server. A FAST license can also be applied to a SharePoint 2010 server if required (saving hardware costs but still requiring SharePoint Server and FAST licenses).

Indicative SharePoint 2010 License Costs

The table below gives some indicative prices for SharePoint 2010 in the UK based on information from Microsoft. Note these are only intended to provide ballpark estimates only and you will need to contact a Microsoft Licensing Specialist to obtain accurate costs. These figures do not include software assurance. Additionally there are other license costs you will need to take into account such as Windows Server and SQL.

License Price
SharePoint 2010 Server ~£3100
SharePoint 2010 Standard CAL ~£60
SharePoint 2010 Enterprise CAL* ~£53
SharePoint 2010 Internet Sites Standard ~£7,500
SharePoint 2010 Internet Sites Enterprise ~£27,000
FAST Search Server ~£14,000

* Note the enterprise CAL is additive i.e. this requires each user to also have a standard CAL

Here are a few examples to give you an idea of how it works:

Small, Standard License, Internal Only Environment

3 server farm – 2 x WFE/Application servers and SQL, SharePoint 2010 running on two servers, 1,000 standard users

License costs would be 2 x £3,100 (SharePoint 2010 Server) + 1,000 users x £60 (Standard CAL) = £66,200

If you wanted to add FAST search you would need to add at least one server at £14,000 and add enterprise CALs (an additional £53 per user) for users accessing these features. The total with FAST would be £66,200 + £14,000 + 1000 x £53 = £133,200 for all users. An alternative would be to only give certain users access to the enterprise features. This can be done through the use of Feature Packs (a.k.a Sets) which allow you to target features so they can only be activated on certain sites. This is useful both for hosted scenarios (e.g. it allows the hoster to restrict enterprise features to site collections that are subscribed to an enterprise plan), and internal scenarios (e.g. only allowing a management site access to enterprise features to reduce license costs).

SharePoint 2010 for a public facing internet site

3 server farm – 2 x WFE/Application servers and SQL, SharePoint running on two servers, content authors editing content that ends up being publicly available (i.e. no internal only content) on a single domain

License costs would be 2 x £7,500 = £15,000

If you wanted to add FAST you would need the Internet Sites Enterprise license to make the search features available and add a license for a FAST Search Server (although this could run on one of the WFE’s to save hardware costs). This would then be 2x £27,000 + £14,000 = £68,000.

Enterprise vs Standard SharePoint 2010 features

So what do you get for an enterprise license? The official Microsoft SharePoint site has a detailed comparison of features in each of the editions but at a high level the additional features provided in the enterprise license are:

  • Access Services
  • FAST search enhancements (note these also require a FAST server license)
    • Sorting by any managed property
    • Contextual search results (i.e. user or audience targeted)
    • Refinement filter counts
    • Similar results
    • Thumbnails and previews
    • Visual best bets
    • Scale and other search platform enhancements
  • Business Intelligence
    • KPI’s
    • Chart Web Parts
    • Dashboards
    • Data Connection Library
    • Excel Services
    • PowerPivot for SharePoint
    • PerformancePoint Services
    • Visio Services
  • InfoPath Services
  • Web Analytics [update 21/06/10 – corrected – this is in standard]

Related products

  • SharePoint Foundation 2010 – this is free with Windows Server
  • Office SharePoint Designer – free download from Microsoft
  • Office Web Apps – free for each user with a licensed version of Microsoft Office
  • SharePoint Workspace – included with Office Professional Plus or available separately for approx. £85

[UPDATE: 15/10/2010] Bamboo have created a SharePoint 2010 Price Calculator that allows you to get ballpark figures for SharePoint license costs. It also includes costs for Windows Server and SQL.

Note 1 e.g. four SharePoint 2010 Server licenses @ £3100 + 1000 Standard CALs @ £60 = £72,400. Including FAST would require an additional FAST license @ £14,000 plus 1000 Enterprise CALs @ £53 = an additional £67,000 (i.e. almost double) to give all users access.

Post to Twitter Post to Delicious Post to Digg Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon

Written by Ari Bakker

May 27th, 2010 at 10:02 pm

27 Responses to 'Indicative SharePoint 2010 Licensing Costs'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Indicative SharePoint 2010 Licensing Costs'.

  1. Useful post! SharePoint licensing definitely is a black art. :)

    Rich Browne

    28 May 10 at 9:39 am

  2. […] (e.g. 2 front-end servers and a search server). UK SharePoint expert Ari Bakker has made some useful pricing examples for SharePoint 2010, which illustrate how much it will cost in both internal end external scenarios. As an example, […]

  3. Indicative SharePoint 2010 Licensing Costs at SharePoint Config…

    This article has been submitted to IntranetLounge, a website with a collection of links to the best articles about intranets…


    22 Jun 10 at 3:43 pm

  4. Interesting article which highlights the complexities in the Microsoft licensing very well. For a business that’s looking to set this up for the first time, these costs + the server OS and SQL Server licence costs + the CALs for those licences is going to be a bitter pill to swallow.

    D Poyser

    6 Jul 10 at 2:19 am

  5. Just a question to clarify – are all of these numbers reflective on monthly costs? Specifically, are the server licenses monthly or per annum? I have seen other vendors quote user licenses on a monthly basis and server licenses on a yearly basis, which makes some sense but adds confusion.

    S Murtuza

    7 Jul 10 at 10:01 pm

  6. @S Murtuza the numbers above are one off license costs. I’m not a licensing expert but you may have seen prices that include ‘software assurance’ which can be split over a period of time. The total price for SharePoint 2010 with software assurance will be much more than the prices above but as well as the split payment options it also gives you benefits such as support and ‘free’ upgrades to the latest version of the software within the software assurance period. For more details see

    Ari Bakker

    12 Jul 10 at 10:55 pm

  7. […] […]

  8. […] are additional development and consultant fees that go along with a SharePoint implementation. The licensing costs for 1000 users on SharePoint 2010 Enterprise will run you about […]

  9. Would the Internet Sites license cover you for internal users? My understanding of MOSS 2007 licensing is that for an external Sharepoint site, you would need an Internet Connector license for users that didn’t work for your company. But you would also need a CAL for each of your own employees. Would this still be the case for 2010.

    Geoff Cornwell

    10 Sep 10 at 10:13 am

  10. we have 2 FE and 1 App server for internet users.
    can we have the appserver as Internet Sites Enterprise and FE as Internet Sites standard


    5 Oct 10 at 3:46 pm

  11. Very helpful! Thanks for clarification!


    5 Oct 10 at 9:21 pm

  12. what abount Sharepoint foudation? it seems it can be used for internet facing deplyoments, w/ windows server external connector.
    isn’t that right?


    12 Oct 10 at 4:28 pm

  13. […]  The Bamboo calculator is based on US dollars but for UK pricing check out the SharePoint config blog who have a post on SharePoint licencing and a great explanation of what is needed in the murky world of licencing SharePoint. This post can be found at […]

  14. […] Indicative SharePoint 2010 Licensing Costs […]

  15. […] Ari Bakker from UK has done a good job in creating some example scenarios for intranet use cases. For example for a company that is building a somewhat basic intranet for their 1000-employee work force the cost of SharePoint 2010 license would be around 80 000 euros. For a company half the size the price tag for the required licenses for their intranet would be around 44 000 euros. Although practice has shown that for a company with 1000 employees the actual license cost for intranet can easily be over 100 000 euros if the company does not have existing licenses from Microsoft. […]

  16. Thanks for the very useful article. I would add one important point here if your company’s roadmap includes Microsoft Project Server, which relies on SharePoint features. Project Server 2010 now requires SharePoint Server Enterprise version rather than the Windows SharePoint Services (free) version which was used on Project Server 2007.

    James Sifuentes

    31 Oct 10 at 11:41 am

  17. Thanks for the information.
    But, the license costs are not fixed. They are depends on how and what your organization requirements. So, that depends on how the relationship with Microsoft. If you want the correct details, only way could be contacting Microsoft sales team.…/what-is-sharepoint-2010.html


    23 Feb 11 at 3:56 pm

  18. Thank you ! Very informative


    14 Apr 11 at 2:33 pm

  19. Ari, you mention Feature Packs as a way of managing Enterprise CALs. I am very interested in this approach but I have not seen this term before. Do you know where I can get more info on this approach? Thanks


    8 Sep 11 at 2:52 pm

  20. @Dean sure. Spence Harbar has a great series of posts on multi tenancy including how to set up feature packs at There is also a Microsoft White paper: SharePoint 2010 for hosters that has information on setting up feature packs to manage enterprise CALs at

    Ari Bakker

    8 Sep 11 at 9:59 pm

  21. The below article may help to understand the various licenses required to set up a SharePoint Farm

  22. […] PD. Este artículo es una traducción mía del original publicado por: Ari Bakker, cuyo link es el siguiente […]

  23. So, taking the example of…
    Small, Standard License, Internal Only Environment
    3 server farm – 2 x WFE/Application servers and SQL, SharePoint 2010 running on two servers, 1,000 standard users
    License costs would be 2 x £3,100 (SharePoint 2010 Server) + 1,000 users x £60 (Standard CAL) = £66,200

    Would this be a yearly cost? Or one-off payment?

    Many thanks, Aaron
    ps. I need some figures for a university assignment


    22 Mar 12 at 7:07 pm

  24. @Aaron I haven’t checked the figures recently but yes that is my understanding for the SharePoint environment (Windows and SQL licenses would also be required) and it is a one off cost.

    Ari Bakker

    22 Mar 12 at 8:20 pm

  25. […] are additional development and consultant fees that go along with a SharePoint implementation. The licensing costs for 1000 users on SharePoint 2010 Enterprise will run you about $ 195,000.Janus Boye, founder and […]

  26. […] are additional development and consultant fees that go along with a SharePoint implementation. The licensing costs for 1000 users on SharePoint 2010 Enterprise will run you about […]

  27. […] And for our UK friends: Indicative SharePoint 2010 Licensing Costs […]

Leave a Reply