I am developing a commercial software that is based on Visual Studio 2017 Pro infrastructure (MSVC and CMake) on Windows 10. The software has 3rd party dependencies that require the debug version of the VC++ runtime, whenever I debug my software.

I solved the issue of the missing debug version of VC++ by installing Visual Studio 2019 CE (community edition) as suggested online. I need to emphasize the following:

  • The debug version of the VC++ runtime environment will not be shipped to an end user (it is forbidden not to mention bad practice)
  • I am still writing my code, managing the project, debugging etc. in Visual Studio 2017 Pro
  • For debugging the VC++ runtime debug version is required due to the dependencies I've mentioned above.

The EULA of Visual Studio CE states that it cannot be used for developing commercial software (Reference: 1.Installation and Use Rights, b.Organizational License, last point).

I would like to know if I can use the library (from the VS2019 CE installation) for the development of my commercial product, while employing VS2017 Pro for everything else? Does this go against the EULA?

Currently there is no other plausible way of retrieving exactly that version of the library.

  • Do you have a license for VS2019 (Pro)? As far as I know, VS licenses are not version specific, so why can't you just install VS2019 Pro?
    – PMF
    Commented Oct 18, 2022 at 17:52
  • @PMF I think I have the standalone license and not a subscription (the equivalent of which would be Office365, where you keep getting new versions as long as you pay the subscription fee) meaning it's not free and I need to file a request for the new license at my company, which will take quite some time if at all leading to a positive end. Please correct me if I'm wrong. In addition I fear that my project, which is already moving forward may suffer from the upgrade. I tend to be very careful with major upgrades of an IDE due to past experiences. Commented Oct 20, 2022 at 13:14
  • The terms of these licenses change to often :-( My company buys the subscription, so no problems there. Upgrade paths are normally straight-forward these days, since the newer IDEs can run the older compilers. But I only rarely work with C++ these days, and upgrade problems in C++ are typically worse than in the .NET world.
    – PMF
    Commented Oct 20, 2022 at 14:39

1 Answer 1


Generally, you should copy it from a Pro version that has what you need and for which you are licensed.

The EULA mostly governs behavior, and the behavior of using CE assets in the development of commercial software seems to be incompatible with the CE EULA. Seeing as the edition you obtained the libraries from is something you want to be able to answer for when developing commercial software, you should behave in accordance with the EULA.

Something else to keep in mind is the redistributable installers may also include their own EULA, so ensure you comply with those terms as well. However, even if it does have a separate EULA, you still want to obtain the debug redistributable in a proper way. If installing CE is how you obtained that redistributable, you are still bound by CE's EULA.

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