How to License Office Web Apps Server


The Licensing How To series posts are provided by our Customer Service Presales and Licensing team members.  These scenario based licensing topics are written on trending topics and issues based on their interactions with customers, Partners and field sellers.  For more posts from the Licensing How To series, search the “Licensing How To” tag on this blog.

Summary: Following the release of the productivity servers; Lync 2013, Exchange 2013, and especially SharePoint Server 2013 a common question that crosses our desk is, “how do I license Office Web Apps Server for the new 2013 products?” In this post, we will be covering the basic licensing of the new Office Web Apps Server.

 

Office Web Apps Server provides updated versions of Word Web App, Excel Web App, PowerPoint Web App, and OneNote Web App. Users can view and, if they are licensed appropriately, edit Office documents by using a supported web browser on both computers and various mobile devices. In addition to new features in Office Web Apps, the architecture and the deployment method have also changed, which enables Office Web Apps to provide support for Exchange Server 2013, and Lync Server 2013. However, the primary component which enables the web based Office app functionality is the Office Web Apps Server.  Of course, as a licensing blog, we will be focusing on the licensing requirements of Office Web Apps Server. 

For technical details, including features and functionality, head over to TechNet, or the Office Team Blog announcement.

Office Web Apps Server is a free download from the Microsoft Download Center and may be installed and used on any number of servers that are required to support your Office Web Apps Server deployment.  Other licensing considerations after downloading the server are based on who will be accessing the server, if the content is public facing, and how they will be using it. 

 

Rights

Type of User

Type of Content

Pre-Requisite

Viewing only

Internal and External*

Public and Private

No Pre-Requisite

Viewing and Editing

External*

Public and Private

Volume License Customer

Viewing and Editing

Internal

Private

Volume License Customer – The primary user of an
  Office licensed device** can access the Office Web Apps Server software to
  edit content

Viewing and Editing

Internal

Public

Volume License Customer – Any user can access and
  edit content/documents that is made publically available to users via the
  internet.

 

 *“External Users” are users that are not either your or your affiliates’ employees, or your or your affiliates’ onsite contractors or onsite agents.  External users may access Office Web Apps to view or edit documents using Office Web Apps without additional licensing requirements.”

**Office Standard 2013, Office Professional Plus 2013, Office for Mac Standard 2011 (or any successor version), Office Professional Plus User Subscription License (SL), Office 365 ProPlus User SL, Office 365 Plan E3-E4, or any plan which includes E3-E4, Office 365 Plan A3-A4, or any plan which includes A3-A4, Office 365 Plan G3-G4  
  

 
  
  
  Here is the general guidance outlined in the table above:

  • Viewing Only:  The default setting for Office Web Apps Server is set to view only.  Anyone: internal employees, onsite contractors/agents, and external users may access the Office Web Apps Server to view Office files supported by the Office Web Apps Server. 
  • Internal Users (e.g. employees/affiliates):  As outlined above, any internal users (e.g. employees, affiliates, and onsite contractors or agents) of a company with a Volume License Agreement may access the Office Web Apps Server to view Office documents.  Users who are the primary user of a device with the following volume licenses (not including SPLA) may access the Office Web Apps Server to edit Office documents from any device:
    • Office Standard 2013
    • Office Professional Plus 2013
    • Office for Mac Standard 2011 (or any successor version)
    • Additionally, users who are assigned one of the following licenses (or successor services/products) have rights to edit documents using Office Web Apps:
    • Office 365 ProPlus
    • Office 365 Plan Enterprise E3-E4, or any plan which includes E3-E4
    • Office 365 Plan Education A3-A4, or any plan which includes A3-A4
    • Office 365 Plan Government G3-G4

Finally, any internal user – with or without one of the above licenses under the Internal User bullet may access the Office Web Apps to view and/or edit documents and content that you make publically available to users over the Internet (as long as your company has some type of Volume License Agreement). 

For example, let’s say you deploy an Office Web Apps Server to support a SharePoint site that’s accessible outside of the firewall and it is used by customers to upload a Request for Proposal. Both, your customers and employees can view and edit those documents without any additional Office licensing requirements.

  • External Users* (as defined in the Product Use Rights or the acronym PUR).  External users may access Office Web Apps to view or edit documents using Office Web Apps without additional licensing requirements.

 *“External Users” are users that are not either your or your affiliates’ employees, or your or your affiliates’ onsite contractors or onsite agents.  External users may access Office Web Apps to view or edit documents using Office Web Apps without additional licensing requirements.”

For those of you who may have been familiar with the prior licensing model previous Office Web Apps, you will notice that this approach is much more flexible. It enables additional scenarios for Volume Licensing customers which may not have been practical in the past, due to licensing requirements – particularly when providing access to external users.  As always, be sure you read and understand the appropriate licensing documents. 

In this case, it will be the EULA which is included with the Office Web Apps Server software.  Of course you can work with your reseller, partner, or account team for additional details.

 

Comments (42)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks, now it's more clear!

  2. Nick says:

    This page was very helpful in trying to understand WAC server licensing from an official source.

  3. Bob says:

    This was very useful.   Could you provide a link to the actual Office Web Apps Server EULA?  I'm having trouble finding the correct one.

  4. Nathan says:

    Is there a way of licensing OWA editing via SPLA does anyone know? I work for a Services provider and it is something that I could do with clarifying….

    Thanks

  5. CJ says:

    Nathan,

    There is no OWA SPLA license. Since SPLA is designed for leasing the server software, vs. OWA which is licensed at the client, as a services provider you can only license your customers under SPLA, you can still install OWA for them for read only, but it will be their responsibility to commit to the volume licensing of the client software if they want to be able to enable editing within the Farm.

    This is only for dedicated environments also. It is not possible to use OWA in reselling multi-tenant SharePoint to your customers because of the volume licensing requirement (with no individual OWA licenses available for purchase). It is a fairly overt attempt at MS shutting out competition with O365 where they practically give away OWA editing rights.

  6. Hamid says:

    Oh my god Thanks man. I easily get confused about Licensing because i could download and install Office Web Apps Server without any required Serial Number.

  7. Dan - MCS says:

    We're looking to set up a hosted SharePoint infrastructure with Office Web Apps for a client and we’re considering SPLA licensing. The question I have is, if the client doesn't have Volume licensing for Office already, does every user need a SAL (Subscriber Access License) for Office to view documents in OWA or just those who will be editing documents (which could be everyone)? Also, my reseller tells me that every Office SAL requires and Remote Desktop Services SAL even if we're not using RDS. Something about how the Office SAL is written. Is that true?

  8. John Shannon says:

    I shared the link to your post with my colleagues at <a href="http://www.scnsoft.com/…/mobile-development-services">mobile app development company</a> as we also considering SPLA licensing. The article is very handy, indeed! Thanks a lot.

  9. John Sanderson - JohnSand says:

    Would someone from MS Licensing please contact me about an ISV who is interested in hosting OWA as a part of a SaaS solution for document management and compliance.  We are in need of a more detailed understanding of what is required v what is prohibited.  JohnSand

  10. Anshul_Shrivastava says:

    Thanks @ms-licensing for this great article. good to konw that the external users have been kept out of the licencing requirement, which simplifies stuff.

  11. Anshul_Shrivastava says:

    @ms-licencing, the definition of "Internal Users" for web app editing excludes SPLA.

    [Users who are the primary user of a device with the following volume licenses (not including SPLA) may access the Office Web Apps Server to edit Office documents from any device:]

    Does this mean Volume licencing is the only way and SPLA Office SAL will not fit?

  12. David Olivares says:

    What about if the customer has Office 2010? Can employee edit documents in the browser with the Office 2010 license?

  13. Configure Office Web Apps says:

    For SharePoint Server I'm trying to new-spbinding to get the external link it's gives me try to connect to WAC server

  14. Anonymous says:

    Hungry for more information from Microsoft on Software Assurance , licensing for virtual environments , Software Asset Management , or Volume Licensing updates? We’ve rounded up 2013’s five most viewed Microsoft Volume Licensing blog posts

  15. wpkf says:

    What does “Volume License Customer” refers to? Volume License of what software/service? Office 365?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Office WebApps 2013 – Lizenzierung

  17. grigb says:

    It seems that nobody know what is : “Volume License Customer” ? And how much it cost?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Pingback from molnbloggen.com » Licensiering av Office Web Apps Server

  19. Gareth Fisher says:

    The Volume Licence refers to an Office 2013 Volume Licence. An Office 2010 Volume Licence will need to be updated to Office 2013.

  20. Evelyn says:

    if the client has few users to edit via the Office Web Apps, and they licensed the users with normal OEM Microsoft Office, are the users considered licensed to use the Office Web Apps?
    If not, how can I advice the client to pursue on using Office Web Apps?

  21. Carl says:

    Volume License Customers are customers under either an Open Value License, Open Value License subscription, Enterprise Agreement or Enterprise Agreement Subscription.

    Where can I find the install? No longer available under Microsoft Downloads. Also not showing under my Volume License software downloads.

  22. Amelie Turcotte says:

    Content should be updated to reflect new location of the download for Office Web Apps Server (VLSC). I can’t find the correct link to the download anywhere in the site for my Premier customer.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    Hello All,
    Here are some thoughts on Office Web Apps (OWA) for SharePoint 2013.
    Scalability –

  25. Mike Maryo says:

    There appears to be some confusion around Office Web Apps Server and Office 365 E1 Subscriptions. According to this article and everything listed in the PUR, Product List, and Online Services Agreement, E1 does not give rights to the Office Web Apps Server.
    However E1 does allow for "Office Online" and allowing users to view and edit documents on Office 365. Can someone from Microsoft please confirm? This seems to be at odds with customers getting the same on-premise rights as the Office 365 subscriptions.

  26. Mohammad Nur Syamsu says:

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  31. Mike Maryo says:

    I was able to confirm with Microsoft that E1 does not include Office Web Apps editing, only viewing. It is just a licensing issue. Also, the new Business Premium Office 365 includes full Office Web Apps editing for organizations less than 300 users. You
    can also use full Office Web Apps editing if you have the current version of Office under a different licensing vehicle (SA recommended). Over 300 users would need E3 or separate Office licensing. (Current version.) mmaryo@thinksis.com

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  33. bhashwar bhattarai says:

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    Thank You!

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  36. Rune says:

    Hi,
    We have a customer who has Office 365 E4 agreement, but in a project we need to install Office Web Apps on premis. How can we accomplish this, and where can we download the software?

    Rune

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