Microsoft Application Platform Agreement

Another new licensing model from Microsoft is the Application Platform Agreement (APA) which will be available from October 1st. This is an add-on to the existing Enterprise Agreement (EA) and gives companies a subscription to a set of products defined as the “Application Platform”-these are:

  • SQL Server
  • BizTalk Server
  • Windows Server
  • Sharepoint Server
  • Visual Studio Team Edition
  • System Center Server Management Suite Enterprise

There are then 2 further enrolments available:

  • Enrolment for Application Platform (EAP)

Enrolment for Application Platform

*Update* More info on this has come out of MS, including the following:

What is available on EAP?

image

  • Benefits of EAP include:

    Low Upfront Costs

  • Savings of up to 40%
  • Rapid adoption of the latest technology
  • Unlimited Deployment Rights for the included products
  • Predictable costs

More info can be found on the MS Blog here.

This screenshot is taken from the MS Partner site. The Enrolment for Application Platform allows customers to obtain perpetual licences rather than non-perpetual subscription licences.

  • Enrolment for Core Infrastructure (ECI) 

This isn’t mentioned on the Partner site but is referenced elsewhere (silicon.com) as including:

  • Windows Server
  • System Center
  • Forefront Client Security

*Update* I’ve now seen more info on this from Microsoft which includes the following:

Suites included on ECI:

clip_image001

  • The Standard edition allows you to run and manage up to one OSE
  • The Enterprise edition lets you run, manage, and secure up to 4 OSEs on a 2-processor box
  • The Datacenter edition allows you to do the same for an unlimited number of OSEs on a 2+ processor box

    It also states that from November 1st, there will be special SKU’s available to allow end users to migrate from existing stand-alone products to the new ECI versions.

    This image is a good initial indicator if ECI will fit your organisation:

    clip_image002

    You can see more over at Emma Healey’s “Lady Licensing” blog here.

    I have seen people worrying about the non-perpetual nature of these subscription licences such as ZDNet, where the article starts:

    “Microsoft (unsurprisingly) doesn’t tout the fact, but its newest licensing agreement could leave enterprise customers product-less if they don’t renew it.”

    However I think it’s pretty clear that it’s a subscription model and it’s well known that all MS subscription licences are non-perpetual (OVS, Schools Agreement, EAS etc); it isn’t MS trying to “trick” people at all which is what I feel some people are trying make out. Also, the APA customers will be in contact with their LAR’s and also Microsoft account managers to work on the details of the agreement and if it is feasible etc-so the subscription aspect will be made clear at this point if not before…it’s not the kind of thing a customer could just buy on a whim without any advice.

    For large customers, this could definitely be a great way to save money and streamline software adoption & standardization. However, from a licensing/information point of view it is something of a mess at the moment with no single place having all the information a customer (or a MS partner) requires. Hopefully this will be rectified quickly and certainly before October!

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