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I had bought a VS2010 Professional version licence through our corporate licence. I was recently browsing through the MSDN product download page and found that SQL server download were available for me without any key required. How is this possible? Is this the full version and can I use it in production mode?

Also there were Windows 7 licence key of upto 10 available. I am not sure what this can be used for. Can somebody clarify?


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Just curious - i've noticed you've not marked either answer as the 'correct' one. If you could comment to why either answer so far is inadequate, maybe we can improve on them. Otherwise, marking the correct answer lets future users know which is the right answer, and generally is a nice thing to do! – Journeyman Geek Jun 28 '12 at 7:53
@JourneymanGeek Sorry, I was on travel for last 4 days and had no internet access. I do accept answers as you can see in my profile in stackoverflow. Thanks for reminding though! – Manoj Jul 3 '12 at 7:37
up vote 2 down vote accepted

In general, you arn't supposed to use MSDN for production

Taken from the writeup on MSDN licencing here

MSDN subscriptions are licensed on a per-user basis. One person can use the software to design, develop, test, or demonstrate his or her programs on any number of devices. Each person who uses the software this way needs a license.

Its licenced to you not the company

However The VS2010 and MSDN whitepaper also adds that

Using Software from MSDN for Production Often, it is more expedient to deploy a server running a fully-tested application directly into production. Normal licenses must be acquired for this use (such as a Windows Server license and Client Access Licenses) because the MSDN license is per user and is generally limited to development and testing. However, the installed software and the product key used to activate that software, where applicable, can be from MSDN, even though the licenses to use that software in production must be acquired separately from MSDN.

In short you can use a copy of the software from MSDN and its key, but you need to get a seperate licence from microsoft for it for production use. You want to read through that whitepaper - it covers everything you need to know on the subject.

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Thanks for the link... – Manoj Jun 27 '12 at 8:47

It is the full version - Every version is available through MSDN and I believe that they are all the exact same download with the exception of one set up script which has a generic key pre inserted (can't remember which off by heart).

However, the use of SQL server is still bound by the license you obtained, e.g. Standard MSND - Only for testing/development, Microsoft Partner - For internal use etc.

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Thanks for the reply. How do I find out the licence type that I subcription page just says "Visual Studio Professional with MSDN". – Manoj Jun 27 '12 at 8:20
If it is a standard VS2010 license, I would say that it is a "standard" MSDN license which means test and development. – William Hilsum Jun 27 '12 at 8:42

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