A simple question many clients have asked me is ‘How much does SharePoint cost?’ Unfortunately, the answer doesn’t always seem so simple. The goal of this article is to help. Below are some pricing and licensing details to help you put together some budgetary ideas. In addition, there are some licensing details around SharePoint that everyone should know. They can be very helpful before buying and that might help you save money.

Quick Disclaimer: Exact pricing should always come from Microsoft or from your Microsoft Partner. Please use this article as an informational resource, but not as an official quote.

Budget Scenario 1: Deploying a SharePoint Intranet in a Small Business

As a small business, you likely may not be in a Microsoft licensing agreement. Thus, you’re probably looking at two popular ways to acquire access to SharePoint. The first, more traditional way, is to buy a software package such as SharePoint outright. However, the newer and quickly becoming the most popular way is to use SharePoint as part of Office 365. So, what does pricing look like and what things should you know?

On-Prem Products Est. Pricing Notes
SharePoint Foundation 2010 N/A Licensed through your Windows Server Client Access Licensing (or CALs).
SharePoint Server 2010 $4,926 USD Licensed per server. (Same server SKU for Std. or Ent. CALs.)
SharePoint Server 2010 Standard CAL $95 USD Licensed per named user or device.
SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise CAL Std CAL + $83 USD Licensed per named user or device. (This is priced as an add-on to the Std. CAL.)
Office Web Apps 2010 N/A Licensed through your Office 2010
volume licensing.
Cloud Products Pricing Notes
Office 365 – Plan P1 Small Business $6 USD per user/month Provides SharePoint Team Sites and web-based Office file viewing.
Office 365 – Plan E1 Midsize to Enterprise $8 USD per user/month Provides most SharePoint Server features and AD sync for easier user access.

Budgeting and Licensing Tips and Hits

  • Enterprise CAL – Since the Enterprise CAL and features are priced as an add-on, you can mix and match! You can save money by buying only the Enterprise CALs you need vs. for every user.
  • No matter the on-prem version of SharePoint, if you have purchased Office 2010 licenses through volume licensing, you have access to the Office Web Apps download and product key. This is a great add-on especially for users who want to access Office files on both their PC and mobile device.
  • “Free” – It’s Awesome, but be careful! While there’s no price to install, Foundation and the Office Web Apps are not truly free. Make sure you have enough Windows CALs for Foundation or Office licenses for Office Web Apps to cover your users.

Budget Scenario 2: Deploying a SharePoint Intranet as an Enterprise

Start your budget research by pulling out your Microsoft agreement. If you have an Enterprise Agreement or a Select Agreement, check if your users are already licensed for the “Core CAL” or Enterprise-level CAL. These packaged server CALs are designed to provide users with access to most of Microsoft’s most popular server products (including SharePoint). Depending on which one you have, you are probably already licensed for user access to SharePoint. Okay, so what’s left? And again, what things should you know?

Budgeting and Licensing Tips and Hits

  • Server licensing – As long as your users are covered through a CAL package in your agreement, you only need to budget for the number of SharePoint servers you plan to deploy.
  • Software assurance – Acquiring SharePoint through a Microsoft Licensing Agreement will likely mean that the server pricing will be a bit more, but that includes new versions. Since SharePoint 2013 is coming quickly, this isn’t a bad thing at all!

Budget Scenario 3: Deploying SharePoint Public Internet Sites

One final scenario is becoming more and more popular, to use SharePoint as a powerful web content management system. So, does this change pricing? Yes, it mostly makes it more simple to understand. However, there are a couple of licensing details to know that are unique to the public facing aspect of this scenario. So let’s begin by looking over the pricing details:

Website Products Est. Pricing Notes
SharePoint Server 2010 for
Internet Sites, Standard
$11,793 USD Licensed per server.
License includes all Standard features.
No CALs / Unlimited external users.
SharePoint Server 2010 for
Internet Sites, Enterprise
$41,392 USD Licensed per server.
License includes all Enterprise features.
No CALs / Unlimited external users.

Budgeting and Licensing Tips and Hits

  • Unlimited User Details – Users can include anonymous and authenticated users. So what about internal users? Website content creators, approvers, and admins are included. But, you can’t use this for your internal intranet too.
  • Domains, the “Gotcha” around Enterprise – You probably noticed the big price difference between Standard and Enterprise. Besides the additional features, why might you need Enterprise? Domains. If you plan to host websites with unique domain names, besides prefixes, you will need the Enterprise License.
  • FAST Search – Beyond multiple domains, Enterprise also includes licensing for FAST Search. This is important if you want things like thumbnails in a visitor’s search results. Just remember, FAST requires a separate server (and thus another server license).

Final Thoughts

Remember, these are prices should only be used for early budgetary planning. There may be additional details and possible discounts not discussed here (such as non-profit and government pricing). Be sure to talk to your Microsoft Partner to get the most current and accurate pricing. Also, when planning a SharePoint project, don’t forget to account for other costs. You may need to budget for SQL Server licensing and any other development, management, or add-on software you plan to use.


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