I am really new to this community (I am just active on Stackoverflow) and i hope you can help me with my problem.

An example:

I have a webshop hosted on my Windows Server 2012, and customers are able to sign up and buy some stuff. So they are authenticated to my server and those accounts are saved in a database (Microsoft SQL Server).

And thats the point where my problem starts. I know that I need one CAL license for every person logged into my server. And that means for me, that i have to buy a CAL license for every user account. But how should i be able to buy e.g. 100,000 cal user licenses for 100,000 users? Or even a bit more concrete, if the amount of customers registered grow´s steadily how should I ensure providing the exactly right amount of CALs?

I found this site "Client Access Licenses and Management Licenses".

And if I have a look at the rows "Windows Server" and "SQL Server" I can see that those servers are licensed per core / per processor. Does that mean I dont need CAL licences If i only run a database and a webserver (IIS)?

Because there is this site as well: Licensing How To: When do I need a Client Access License (CAL)?

And there it says:

5 – Do I need a CAL when my Windows Server is used to run a web server?

Windows Server 2012 R2 configured to run Web Workloads ** do not require CALs or External Connectors. Web workloads, also referred to as an internet web solution, are publically accessible (e.g. accessible outside of the firewall) and consist only of web pages, web sites, web applications, web services, and/or POP3 mail serving. Access to content, information, and/or applications within the internet web solution must be publically accessible. In other words, they cannot be restricted to you or your affiliate’s employees.

If you have Windows Servers configured to run a “web workload” these users will not require CALs or External Connectors. However, let’s say you are using Windows Server to setup an online store where customers can buy widgets. You have front end Windows Servers setup to support your website, and backend servers (e.g. commerce servers) setup so customers can check out and buy your widgets. The front end servers used to host your website would generally be considered as running “web workloads” and CALs or External Connectors will not be required to access these servers. Once the customer adds a widget to their shopping cart, creates an account and enters their credit card and shipping information to complete the sale – they are now authenticated via your back end commerce servers/application (non-web workload). Since users are accessing the backend commerce servers which web workloads are not running – CALs or External Connectors will be required for users to access these back end servers.

And that means to me I that have to buy a CAL for every registered user....

Now which of my assumptions are right and which are wrong? Do I really need one CAL for every customer or is the "per processor licensing" enough?

it would be a great pleasure to me if you could help me!!

  • Have you worked through microsoft.com/licensing/CalTool ? Mar 24, 2016 at 15:36
  • Yes of course, but the problem is i dont know wether i have to license with CAL or External Connector or something else. This site just helps me to determine if User CAL or Device CAL is better for me. But I think I have my answer already from another forum. I think I can close this
    – whymatter
    Mar 24, 2016 at 15:40

1 Answer 1


CALs are just for people of my company (I don't even have a company). I have to use the external connector model.

And so I just have to buy one external connector license to have an unlimited number of customers.

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