To license Visual Studio, you must purchase the appropriate level MSDN subscription for each user who will be participating in software development projects. The Visual Studio and other Microsoft software that the MSDN subscriber can install and run is defined by what is available for that MSDN subscription level in MSDN Subscriber Downloads while the user’s subscription is active.  Each licensed user may install and use the software on any number of devices to design, develop, test and demonstrate their programs. Each member of the development team that will use (install, configure, or access) the software must have his or her own MSDN subscription.

Team Foundation Server

When a Team Foundation Server Client Access License is Not Required

Migration Path for SA Customers


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Team Foundation Server

The Team Foundation Server environment is where the software developers, testers, project managers, stakeholders, and other participants in the software development team collaborate, manage source code, manage and prioritize work, generate builds of the application, and much more. You must purchase Windows Server and Team Foundation Server licenses for each server in this environment, plus Windows Server and Team Foundation.

Server Client Access Licenses (CALs) for each user connecting to these servers. Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Standard is included with the Team Foundation Server license for use with Team Foundation Server. For each Team Foundation Server license you acquire, you can run one instance of the server software in one physical or virtual operating system environment.

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When a Client Access License is Not Required

*Exceptions to Team Foundation Server CAL Requirements (or External Connector Licenses)
A Team Foundation Server CAL (or External Connector License) is not required in the following scenarios:

  • Entering work items through any interface, and viewing and editing work items you created. This enables users to enter and edit their own work items of any type.
  • Accessing Team Foundation Server reports. Any read-only data that comes from the Team Foundation Server SQL data warehouse or is surfaced through SQL Server Analysis Services would be a report, but custom reports could also be written to call into Team Foundation Server APIs and could also join that data with other data sources.
  • Accessing Team Foundation Server using Microsoft System Center Operations Manager. This enables operations staff to take operational issues encountered in production and raise them as issues to the development team, automatically creating a work item in Team Foundation Server.
  • Accessing Team Foundation Server using the Feedback Client for TFS. This allows the user to provide feedback about an application into Team Foundation Server.
  • Viewing static data that has been manually distributed outside of Team Foundation Server.
  • Up to two devices or users that only access Team Foundation Server to perform system administration, such as creating Team Projects or Project Collections.
  • Up to five users when Team Foundation Server is purchased through the retail channel or for the free Team Foundation Server Express. However, a CAL is required for the sixth user and any subsequent user.

In all cases, however, the user must still have the necessary CALs for Windows Server (when Windows Server is used as the operating system for Team Foundation Server, and where Windows Server is licensed under Server/CAL), SharePoint Server (when the user accesses a Team Foundation Server Project Portal running SharePoint Server), or SQL Server (when Team Foundation Server uses a version or edition of SQL Server other than SQL Server 2012 Standard), where applicable.


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Migration Path for SA Customers

2010 Subscription Levels

2012 Subscriiption Levels in August 2012

Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate with MSDN

Visual Studio Ultimate 2012 with MSDN

Visual Studio 2010 Premium with MSDN

Visual Studio Premium 2012 with MSDN

Visual Studio Test Professional 2010 with MSDN

Visual Studio Test Professional 2012 with MSDN

Visual Studio 2010 Professional with MSDN or MSDN embedded

Visual Studio Professional 2012 with MSDN

MSDN Operating Systems

MSDN Operating Systems


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