Self-Hosted Applications_November 2020
Licensing options for Self-Hosted Applications ISVs
The SPLA is the primary licensing program and a flexible option for all service providers, including ISVs, offering
their applications as a software service. However, if you are an ISV with a qualified Unified Solution, the “Self-Hosted
Applications” use right available through the Product Terms may be the right choice for you.
The Services Provider License Agreement
The SPLA is the primary licensing program for all hosting business models, including ISVs who host their own applications. It offers a monthly, pay-as-you go licensing model, under a separate agreement designed for hosting
and providing software services. SPLA supports a variety of products and hosting scenarios to help you provide
highly customized and robust solutions to your customers. To learn more about the SPLA program, see www.microsoft.com/en-us/licensing/licensing-programs/spla-program.aspx
The “Self-Hosted Applications” use right
SVs with qualified Unified Solutions may take advantage of the “Self-Hosted Applications” Software Assurance
benefits. These use rights are described in the Microsoft Product Terms. This is a separate licensing option from
SPLA with qualification criteria, specific licensing requirements, and limited products included in the offering. ISVs
licensing through this option must:
• Host a qualified Unified Solution, and
• Purchase the required licenses with Software Assurance under a Commercial licensing agreement (for example, Microsoft Enterprise Agreement) or, in the case of Windows Server only, license the software under SPLA or through Microsoft Azure.1
1 SPLA and Azure are options for Windows Server only.
What is a Qualified Unified Solution?
In order for the combination of your software and Microsoft products (Unified Solution) to qualify for licensing under the “Self-Hosted Applications” use right, as described in the Product Terms, you must meet all of the criteria defined in the Product Terms Appendix B: Software Assurance Benefits, under the heading “Self-Hosted Applications.” You should read the Self-Hosted Applications section in the current Product Terms thoroughly to understand the requirements and licensing rights.2
2 Access the most current Product Terms site. .
In short, your software must meet each of the following requirements:
• Add significant and primary functionality to the Microsoft products
Simply hosting a Microsoft product in your data center for access by other customers does not satisfy the requirement to add significant and primary functionality (for example, hosting Microsoft Exchange to your customer’s employees); however, creating a line of business application that adds significant and primary functionality to the capabilities of the Microsoft software platform would qualify. See the definition in the current Product Terms for specific requirements.
• Be combined only with Microsoft products that are eligible for Self-Hosting Only products in the Product Terms that permit Self-Hosting are eligible to be included in a Unified Solution licensed in this manner (See Figure 1 for an example). If your Unified Solution includes products that do not permit Self Hosting (for example, if your solution includes Microsoft Office or SharePoint Server) then you must license all of the Microsoft products within your Unified Solution through the SPLA program.
• Be the principal service and sole point of access to the Unified Solution
Your customer must interact with and primarily access your software; they must never have direct access to the underlying Microsoft software stack. If you want to provide your customers with direct access to the Microsoft products (for example, access to SQL Server) then your Unified Solution must be licensed through SPLA.
• Be delivered over the Internet
Unified Solutions licensed through the Self-Hosted Applications use right may not be loaded onto a customer’s device; the Unified Solution must be provided as a hosted service through the Internet, remotely to your customer. No component of the Unified Solution may be installed at your customer’s facility. If you want to deliver your Unified Solution (or components of it) by installing it on a customer’s device or at its facility, you must license through the SPLA program (subject to the limitations of that program).
• Be owned, not licensed, by you
You must own the intellectual property that you are combining with the Microsoft Self-Hosted Applications to create a Unified Solution. If you license the intellectual property that serves as the primary application or service from another company (including Microsoft products) then you must license your solution through SPLA. For example, providing Microsoft Exchange as your primary service does not qualify for the Self- Hosted Applications use right and would have to be licensed through the SPLA program.
What are the licensing requirements?
If your Unified Solution meets all of the above qualification criteria, you may license your solution through the Self-
Hosted Applications use right as defined in the Product Terms. You must ensure that you are acquiring the
appropriate licenses for each of the Microsoft Products used in the Unified Solution, as identified individually for
those products in the Product Terms. You must also acquire all required Microsoft licenses through a Microsoft
Commercial licensing program that offers the Self-Hosted Applications use rights (for example, Enterprise
Agreement). If you are hosting the Unified Solution from Azure servers or another Authorized Licensed Mobility
Partner’s data center, for Windows Server only, you must acquire Windows Server IaaS through Azure or the Azure
Hybrid Benefit or through SPLA.
Required Microsoft Software licenses
In addition to licensing your servers, you must acquire the required access licenses to make your Unified Solution
available to your users (for example, this may mean Client Access Licenses (CALs) or External Connector (EC)
Licenses). See the product specific section(s) of the Product Terms for details.
Active Software Assurance:
You must maintain active Software Assurance coverage on all required Microsoft licenses used as part of and in
support of your Unified Solution, including on all required Access Licenses. If your Software Assurance coverage
expires and is not renewed, you will no longer be allowed to deliver your Unified Solution through the Self-Hosted
Applications use right and must instead license it through the SPLA.
Deploying Your Unified Solution on multi-tenant servers
With the Self-Hosted Application Software Assurance benefit, you have the option to combine the Self-Hosting
rights with mobility rights in order to deploy your Unified Solution on qualified multi-tenant servers. If you choose
this deployment option, the Windows Server product that is used to support your Unified Solution must be licensed
through an Authorized License Mobility Partner, your own Service Provider License Agreement, or another Volume
License offering that permits Windows Server to be deployed on shared hardware.
Multi-tenant Deployment on Azure using the Microsoft Azure Hybrid Benefit for Windows Server
If your Unified Solution is eligible for Self-Hosting and you own Windows Server licenses with Software Assurance,
you may use the Azure Hybrid Benefit for Windows Server and License Mobility rights for the other included Self-
Hosting Applications to upload your Unified Solution to Azure. For details regarding this option, see the Azure
product entry in the Product Terms.
Multi-tenant Deployment in Authorized License Mobility Partner’s Data Center
When deploying the Unified Solution on multi-tenant third party servers using your License Mobility through Software Assurance benefit, you must complete the License Mobility Verification form and submit it to your reseller or to Microsoft, and comply with both the terms of Self-Hosting rights and License Mobility through Software Assurance. Learn more about the License Mobility through Software Assurance benefit.
An Authorized License Mobility Partner is required to provide Windows Server through SPLA to support this deployment option. Here is a List of Authorized Mobility Partners.
If you are an Authorized License Mobility Partner under your SPLA, you may deploy your Unified Solution in your
own multi-tenant servers, provided that you report the Windows Server usage within the Unified Solution under
your SPLA and comply with the terms of SPLA, and the terms of Self-Hosting and License Mobility through Software
Assurance for the Self-Hosted Applications.
Can I mix SPLA and Self-Hosted Applications?
If you choose to deliver your Unified Solution under the Self-Hosted Applications use right, you must license the
Microsoft products included in your Unified Solution through a Volume License program that provides the Self-
Hosted Applications use rights. The exception to this requirement is Windows Server, which alternatively can be
licensed through SPLA or Azure.
If the Unified Solution requires an additional product that is not offered under the Self-Hosted Applications use
right (for example, Microsoft Office) you must license your entire Unified Solution through the SPLA; you may not
simply purchase a SPLA license for Microsoft Office. The Self-Hosted Applications use right requires active Software
Assurance be maintained by you on all Microsoft products.
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