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The place where I page to when my brain is full up of stuff about the Microsoft platform

Report Builder Licensing – you do need to

I have done a couple of posts on licensing SQL Server  before , but I just got off the phone from my good friend and MVP Simon Sabin and I realised I need to clear up the issues around Report Builder 2 licensing.

Simon has noticed that you can build reports (which are stored as .RDL) files and run these reports in Report Builder 2 on a standalone machine without any reference to a SQL Server:

  • Report Builder 2 is still available as an installation (.msi ), here, as part of the SQL Server 2008 October feature pack.  All other versions of Report Builder ;Report Builder 1, and Report Builder 2 in SQL Server 2008 sp1 are ClickOnce installations from Report Manager which comes with the Reporting Services component of an install of SQL Server.
  • The data could come from any relational source e.g. MySQL, Oracle etc.
  • you don’t need a reporting service service to run a report in Report Builder and so he wanted to discuss how this tool was licensed.

However this doesn’t get around the fact that you have to be licensed to connect to SQL Server to use these tools , and this is made quite clear (well I understood it) in the licensing screen that comes up when you install Report Builder from the install file..

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Report Builder 2.0 for SQL Server 2008
PLEASE NOTE:  Microsoft Corporation (or based on where you live, one of its affiliates) licenses this supplement to you as part of and for use with your validly licensed copy of the Microsoft SQL Server 2008 software (for which this supplement is applicable) (the “software”).  This supplement is part of the “additional software” and the license terms for the software apply to your use of this supplement.  You may not use this supplement if you do not have a license for the software.  The term “software” does not include Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express or SQL Server 2008 Express Advanced Editions.

I have to say that even if this wasn’t a license violation it would be a messy implementation with users saving report definitions (the rdl files to a share) with each having it’s own connection string all of which would make for a lot of management, a few security headaches and a rather poor user experience all for the cost of copy of SQL Server standard.

For detailed queries on this or any licensing question please contact Emma Healey (aka “Lady Licensing”)