SQL Licensing in the Cloud 

SOLIDWORKS and Microsoft made some minor changes over the last few years to the minimum software requirements that gives rise to significant consideration for EpiGrid and our cloud hosting customers. EpiGrid, via our reseller channel, is here to assist with questions our customers have and to help insure your hosted environment is operating efficiently and is in compliance with software vendor’s guidelines/terms of use. 


We have documented a timeline of the changes below to help customers understand the current requirements as well as compiled a list of FAQs that we hope will address most questions our customers face regarding this topic.  

Timeline of SOLIDWORKS and Microsoft Changes

Prior to 2015
  • SOLIDWORKS included a license of Microsoft SQL Server Standard with each installation of SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional.

  • The SQL licenses included Customer Access Licenses and Software Assurance to allow users to access the PDM installation.

2015
  • Microsoft SQL Server Standard is still included as in previous years based on the level of PDM installation, but Software Assurance is removed by SOLIDWORKS from all Microsoft SQL Server Licenses included with SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional.
  • Microsoft SQL Server Standard 2014 is the version included with SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional moving forward. 
  • Upgrades to SQL Server Standard 2014 are not offered by SOLIDWORKS for existing PDM Professional installations.
2016
  • SOLIDWORKS no longer offers Workgroup PDM for new installations.

  • SOLIDWORKS launches PDM Standard and includes a license of Microsoft SQL Server Express which does not require Customer Access Licenses or Software Assurance.

2019
  • SOLIDWORKS continues to include Microsoft SQL Server Express with SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard as it has previously (Workgroup PDM is no longer available for new installations). 
  • SOLIDWORKS stops including any Microsoft SQL Server Standard Licenses with any SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional installations, it must be purchased separately from your SOLIDWORKS Reseller or a Microsoft Reseller. 
  • SOLIDWORKS begins selling Microsoft SQL Server and Client Access Licenses separately. 1 SQL Server License is required for each SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional instance and 1 Client Access License is required for each user accessing the SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional instance, Software Assurance is not included. 
  • SOLIDWORKS updates its End User License Agreement to exclude the use of SQL Server Standard Licences purchased or acquired from SOLIDWORKS on public cloud networks or third party hosting services.
  • Microsoft updates its End User License Agreement to require Software Assurance for any SQL Standard License used on a public cloud network or third party hosting service.  See Microsoft FAQs 
  • All the above that are applicable to SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional are also applicable to SOLIDWORKS Manage. 
2020
  • SOLIDWORKS continues to provide Microsoft SQL Server Express with SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard as it has previously. 
  • SOLIDWORKS will no longer sell or include any Microsoft SQL Server Standard Licenses with/for SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional, a SQL License is required for installation, SQL Licenses must be purchased through a Microsoft Reseller. 
  • SOLIDWORKS announces that all versions of SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional will remain compatible with Microsoft SQL Server Standard 2014 until the 2022 release of SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional and SOLIDWORKS Manage.
  • Any customer purchasing a new SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional or SOLIDWORKS Manage installation will be required to purchase Microsoft SQL Server Standard with Software Assurance from a Microsoft Reseller. (SOLIDWORKS is no longer offering SQL licenses directly or through SOLIDWORKS Resellers)
  • Any customer who upgrades from a previous version of SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional or SOLIDWORKS Manage to 2022 release once available will be required to purchase Microsoft SQL Server Standard with Software Assurance from a Microsoft Reseller.

SQL Licensing Quick Reference Table