Dynamics NAV - SQL Server Runtime License

I write this blog to you because recently, I had a somewhat surprising licensing issue concerning SQL Server and Microsoft Dynamics NAV.


It all began with our Sales departement.

They had a very "hot" prospect (not going to mention the name).  It would become a very intersting project: 65 users, multi language, multi site,  many transactions, huge reporting challenge, lots of integrations with our own integration framework ... anyway: an opportunity to show what NAV is made of Smile.


Our sales departement wanted to use the SQL Server runtime license in the Dynamics NAV licensing model.  Until then, we had no experience with this licensing model, or runtime version of SQL Server, so I said: let's contact Microsoft to see if it supports 64 bit. The answer was "yes", so we decided to go for the runtime license.  Customer happy, we happy, yippiekayee.




When we received the runtime version,  I noticed it was a 32 bit version.  So I contacted Microsoft: "hey, you sent the wrong one".  And the ball started rolling.  There seemed to be NO 64 bit runtime (embedded) version of SQL Server.  And Microsoft isn't going to make one either (in the near future).  Djeez.  It has been a struggle for a while because Microsoft misunderstood me, and I misunderstood Microsoft.  Namely, you can install the runtime version on a 64 bit operating system, but the SQL Server version is 32 bit, so there is no advantage whatsoever... .


We're still negociating with Microsoft in how we're going to handle this license wise, because there is no way I'm going to install a 32 bit version of SQL Server Wink.  I'm sure we will work out a acceptable solution.


Anyway ...


This is what you have to remember:

  • There is a Runtime License for SQL Server: SQL Server 2005 for Microsoft Dynamics.
  • This Runtime License is cheaper than a full license.
  • The restrictions of this runtime license is that you can only install (one or more?) dynamics database(s) on the SQL Server.  (At least ... This SHOULD be the limitations ... I didn't test this)
  • The Runtime version of SQL Server comes in two versions
    • SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition (x86) Runtime for Microsoft Dynamics NAV
    • SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition (x86) Runtime for Microsoft Dynamics NAV
  • It does not look there is going to be a 64 bit version, but they're looking into that because they definitally see the advantage... .
  • Last but certainly not least: you can NOT upgrade from a Runtime License to a normal license.  This involves buying a full version of SQL Server!


My communication with Microsoft went through our PABS (Partner Advantage Business Solutions) agreement, which was very responsive.  Very positive. 

One downside though was the fact that I noticed that not many people actually know how the Runtime License work.  I'm sure they will sort it out, and there will be a comprehensive paper in the near future.  Until then, you can contact Microsoft or you can use this informationWink.

Comment List
  • My understanding with the runtime license is you can't use external programs to access the database either, if you want to run some web services or something to connect to your database you need the full version

    Note:  Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Standard Runtime Edition is sold on a per “NAMED” user basis.  This requires a customer to license a SQL User for each person accessing the system.  The number of SQL users must be equal to or greater than the number of Professional users on the license. Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Standard Runtime Edition is licensed only as a platform to the Navision product. A full SQL license is required to support any third party products including, but not limited to, other Microsoft products not sold on the Navision price list.

  • With publicly accessible SQL servers (i.e. Websites) the only valid license is a processor license.  Microsoft requires this because you cannot control the number of people connecting to the system.  Also with processor licensing all Microsoft software, on the server, must use processor licensing.  That mean both Windows Server and SQL.

    This can be an issue for Navision sites that expose access to customers via websites.

  • The runtime license is a fully functonal copy of SQL.  The only difference is the legally allowed use.  You are restricted to running only the application with which it was supplied.

  • As far as I understand, a "Runtime" is compiled for a specific product (in this case Dynamics).  I doubt there is a runtime for community server.

  • Ok! I'm basically asking not so much for the reason of Dynamics - more because I'm currently running this website on a SQL Server workgroup edition, and was interesting if it was better to change this with a runtime version!

  • Also ... it's a full SQL Server.  master, mdbs etc are all include.  they don't count as a Dynamics database.

    How they check it how many database are installed, I don't know.  I even don't know if it is checked at all Wink ...

  • How much I don't know.  It depends on the reseller price.  The difference was about 5250 EUR in our case.

  • Ok, good reason, but by how much? And aren't there any other downsides than the fact you can only run one database? And what about the default databases (master, mdbs etc)?

  • Very simple: the price.  Runtime is cheaper.

  • Hehe! Somehow with my almost 20 years in the industry (17 with Navision) I sort of have heard this story before! Incompetense! But you not only find this with Microsoft, but in general with most companies in the industry! It's sad...

    But to you entry about the runtime license. What should actually be the advantage of the runtime license over the normal licenses?