SQL server is licensed in 3 ways:

  • Server plus user CAL (Client Access Licence)
  • Server plus Device CAL (Client Access Licence)
  • per CPU

I am guessing that your web site is going to be accessed by users who are not employed in your company (it is not an internal web site). Then you need a per CPU licence.

Shiraz Bhaiji
I host websites from my dedicated server.Which version of SQL server do you use and what do you pay per month ?
Julian de Wit
+1  A: 

There are two separate issues. First is the product you have. Second is the license.


  1. SQL Express (free)
  2. SQL Developer (under US$50)
  3. SQL Workgroup
  4. SQL Standard
  5. SQL Enterprise

The products vary by features, including things like the maximum size database they support.

Next is licensing:

  1. CAL (user or device)
  2. per-CPU
  3. Free (only for SQL Express)
  4. Single developer (only for SQL Developer)

You can use SQL Express in a public-facing web site for free. The other products all require per-CPU licenses in that scenario. CAL licensing is appropriate when the number of users is small, well-known, and limited -- such as Intranet apps.

You can't ever use SQL Developer in a live application; it's licensed for a single developer only.