MSDN subscriptions - clearing things up

So we're doing a Microsoft audit, and one of the larger points of contention is MSDN Professional versus MSDN Premium.  Mainly, why do we need Premium?  After all, Pro costs ~$1.2k/head, where Premium costs $6k/head!  Crazy!

The lead devs are asking me this, and I'm confused...Microsoft does not make it clear WHY you need the Premium vs. Pro beyond 'if you're using any enterprisey applications (i.e. BizTalk, in our case), you need it'.  I tell the lead devs this.  They tell me...but the devs are currently using Pro, and yet can still develop for BizTalk...so why bother with Premium?

Hm.  You'd think MS would block the code around BizTalk or something...guess not!

Well it turns out that this is not a functional requirement, but a license compliance requirement.  If you are developing in a dev/test environment that has BizTalk Server installed, you MUST have a Premium subscription.  Honour system thing, I suppose.

If you check the MSDN subscription feature chart, it's clear...but again, not clear WHY.

So there you have it.  If your dev/test environment houses a BizTalk server, your devs using that server must have MSDN Premium subscriptions.

Oh yeah...also...if you want to utilize any Visual Studio versions outside of the current version (i.e. 2005, 2008, etc), you MUST have an MSDN subscription.  If you've just purchased Visual Studio alone, it doesn't include the Software Assurance that MSDN provides.



Some reading with these answers...

  • http://blogs.msdn.com/b/govdev/archive/2012/04/18/unlimited-dev-amp-test-enviroments-with-msdn-subscriptions.aspx
  • http://blogs.msdn.com/b/govdev/archive/2010/08/25/what-is-an-msdn-subscription-really.aspx

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