Volume Software Licensing Glossary

Glossary of Licensing Terms

Applications Software
This category includes end-user programs such as word processors, spreadsheets and database software. These programs can't run without an OS and associated system utilities.

Client Access License (CAL)
The companion to a server license, a Client Access License must be in place for every authenticated user on a given network. This license enables client applications on personal computers or workstations to access the server and its program(s) in order to perform operations on the local computer.

Company-Wide Option
The Company-Wide Option is a part of the licensing program from Microsoft that offers savings of up to 10 percent by licensing all qualifying desktops with any of several enterprise products including Microsoft® Windows® Professional Desktop, Microsoft Office Professional and Microsoft Core CAL.

Competitive Upgrade
This term describes a migration from one software title to a competing title from another software publisher.

Concurrent Licensing, Concurrent Use or Concurrency
This type of license enables a defined number of users to access a piece of software at the same time. See also Per Server Licensing.

Contractual License Program (CLP)
This type of program offers discounted pricing if you commit to purchasing a defined amount of software within a specific time period (generally two years).

Core Client Access License (Core CAL)
Core CAL is a package license from Microsoft that covers basic server components across desktop computers, including Microsoft Windows Server®, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Systems Management Server and Microsoft SharePoint® Portal Server. Microsoft replaced the BackOffice® Server CAL with the newer Core CAL. It provides the same platform discounts and benefits that the BackOffice Server CAL did.

Cross Grade
This term describes migration from one software title to another title from the same publisher.

Certified Software Manager (CSM)
Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA)-sponsored designation for Dell | ASAP account managers that shows they have demonstrated Volume License Agreement (VLA) expertise exceeding industry standards

This term describes the use of purchased software products in keeping with software publishers' end-user license agreements.

Database (DB)
Like an electronic filing system, databases collect, organize and save information (or data) that can then be retrieved by users as needed using various database "queries" or search techniques.

The items shipped with software licenses. Examples include media (CDs or diskettes) and documentation (user manuals). Deliverables vary by publisher.

A user manual that accompanies software; available from the software publisher or a third party.

End-User License Agreement (EULA)
A legal agreement between a customer and a software publisher providing a license to use software according to the publisher's terms and conditions.

Enterprise Agreement (EA)
A Microsoft licensing agreement in which the customer and its qualified affiliates may standardize on one or more of the Microsoft Platform Enterprise Products at discounted prices. These agreements apply in cases involving large numbers of machines (typically 250 or more) and are based on a 3-year term.

Enterprise Software Advisor (ESA)
Under the Enterprise Agreement and Enterprise Subscription Agreement, the customer may engage a Microsoft authorized third party to provide pre and postsales assistance.

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
An automated data management system for ordering, invoicing, pricing and electronic fund transferring (EFT). Our EDI Services can accommodate the requirements of almost any EDI system to help you improve accuracy, increase data processing speed and reduce operational costs.

Electronic Software Downloads (ESD)
In the event that software delivery is needed quickly, we offer ESD to customers who have a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) with Dell | ASAP. Products available for download are limited to those covered under the EA contract.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
ERP is an industry term for the range of application software-supported activities that help an organization manage critical parts of its business, including product planning, purchasing, maintaining inventories, interacting with suppliers, providing customer service and tracking orders. We can integrate with a variety of ERP systems for your ordering convenience.

Used to calculate anticipated volume discounts at the beginning of a licensing agreement or to set minimum required orders for the length of the agreement, the forecast is an estimated number of users for which the customer will need to acquire software licenses over a specified period of time (typically 2 years).

Software that is offered to users without charge. Unlike public domain software, freeware is copyright protected. Users are restricted from using the software in any way that is not expressly allowed by the author. For example, users are not allowed to sell freeware to others.

Sometimes called workgroup productivity software, groupware helps teams of workers attached to a local area network (workgroups) coordinate their activities.

A 25-digit string of numbers and letters that must be entered in order to install many Microsoft programs.

Large Account Reseller (LAR)
A Microsoft designation given to resellers that allows them to sell Microsoft Select Licensing and Enterprise Agreement.

Software purchasing thresholds that provide increasing price discounts based on point totals.

The right to install software on one or more computers or servers. The EULA determines how a licensee is entitled to use the software. There are various types of licenses, some of which include concurrent, perpetual and named user. See also end-user license agreement (EULA).

License Certificate
A document received postpurchase that specifies the product licensed and quality of license.

Maintenance is purchased in addition to a software license, giving you the right to receive the newest version of the software program for a designated period of time. This is also known as upgrade protection.

The CD or diskettes that enable you to install licenses purchased. Media is typically sold separately from the actual license.

Media Kit
A starter kit provided by the software publisher to the purchaser of a piece of software. Kits typically include media containing one copy of the software, as well as any documentation for that software product.

Microsoft Software Assurance (SA)
A Microsoft maintenance program aimed at business users of Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office and other server and desktop applications. The core premise behind SA is to give users the ability to spread their payments for the software over multiple years while allowing upgrades to newer versions in that time period.

A Microsoft concept development framework that incorporates applications, a suite of tools and the internet to provide a new level of access for businesses. From a software licensing perspective, .NET is significant in that it is rented as a hosted service rather than purchased outright. The internet houses all applications and associated data so that users can access it from anywhere. .NET is built on four internet standards: Hypertext Protocol (HTTP), Extensible Markup Language (XML), Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI).

Network Operating System
A piece of software that connects computers and peripheral devices, such as printers, to the local area network (LAN).

Any computer or peripheral device on the network that processes data and has a unique network address.

Open License Program (OLP)
A licensing program that provides pricing discounts based upon the highest volume purchased in a given time period based on defined discount levels.

Open Licensing
A Microsoft volume licensing program that can be used for organizations that need as few as five licenses.

PDF (Portable Document Format)
A document format that enables easy sharing of electronic documents among users. PDFs preserve the look of the original document without requiring a user to open the document with the software that created it. A proprietary format from Adobe®, PDFs can be viewed using the free Adobe Acrobat Reader®.

Per Processor Licensing
A part of Microsoft's licensing program that requires one processor license for every processor within the server being licensed. This type of license is available for the following Microsoft server products: Internet Security & Acceleration (ISA) Server, SQL Server®, Host Integration, Commerce, BizTalk®, Application Center, Operations Manager and Content Manager.

Per Seat Licensing
With per seat licensing, each user connecting to a licensed server must have a client access license (CAL). The CAL also enables access to any other licensed server within the network.

Per Server Licensing
With per server licensing, terms are based on the number of machines hitting the server at one time. In this case, the number of machines allowed to hit the server at once is restricted to the number of CALs owned by the organization. If there are 100 machines within the organization, but only 50 hit the server at any given time, only 50 CALs would be needed. See also concurrent licensing.

Perpetual Licensing
An agreement in which the customer owns the most recent version of the product available at the time that the license agreement expires.

An illegal installation of a software program, therefore violating a publisher's end-user license agreement.

A numeric value given to each software title and used to determine eligibility for a pricing discount.

A numeric value given to a group of software titles and used to determine eligibility for pricing discounts.

Public Domain Software
A category of software that is free to the public is not copyright protected and can therefore be used without restrictions. This does not include freeware, which is free software that is copyright protected. See also freeware.

Product Key Codes
Codes used to install purchased software programs, usually included on the license certificate.

Readme File
A text document that may be included in the media provided for installing the software, readme files typically provide additional information that was not included in the official documentation.

Select Licensing
A licensing program from Microsoft designed for organizations with 250 or more desktops that are able to forecast software licensing needs over a 3-year period.

Software that is distributed without restriction based on the idea users will pay for it based on the honor system. Users can usually get the software for free. If they actually use it, they are asked to pay a small fee. The fee may also entitle the user to receive service assistance and updates. Shareware can be copied and shared with other users, but those users are also expected to pay the fee if they use the product. Unlike public domain software, shareware is copyrighted. Users cannot sell a shareware product as their own.

Shrink Wrap
Software in a retail box that usually includes media (CD-ROM), manual and license.

Site License
This type of license gives you the right to purchase software for multiple locations based on one overarching agreement.

Software Asset Management (SAM)
A process of recording and maintaining software licenses across an organization.

Software Assurance
This is Microsoft's newest version of maintenance, which includes 2 years of Open Licensing and 1, 2 or 3 years of Select Licensing. Software Assurance is automatically included in Enterprise Agreement.

Subscription Licensing
A software licensing model in which agreement terms apply for a specific period of time. Once the agreement term has expired, it must be renewed or the software must be removed. McAfee® is one example of a publisher offering a subscription licensing program.

Systems Software
An OS and utility programs such as compilers, loaders, linkers and debuggers that manage computer resources at a basic level.

Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA)
An international IT industry trade association that unifies businesses providing software and information for the digital economy.

Terminal Services
Services used to access applications or data residing on a server.

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
The figure representing how much it actually costs to own a piece of software, PC or other device. Typically, this includes the original cost of the item plus accessories or associated hardware and software, upgrades, maintenance, technical support and training.

Transactional License Program (TLP)
A licensing model in which discounted pricing is based upon each transaction in which individual software license are purchased at various discount levels.

Transactional License Agreement (TLA)
A license agreement in which the discount level for purchases is calculated per order.

True Up
A process used to license new and incremental PCs above the commitment of your initial volume license agreement (VLA). A single payment for licenses added throughout the year is due at the end of each year of your VLA. Reporting online makes it easy for you to track and report true ups.

A new version of a software program intended to replace the old version you own. Typically, upgrades are purchased at a discounted cost.

Upgrade Protection
Grants the license holder the right to receive new software version upgrades for a given time period (generally 1 or 2 years) for a discounted, prepaid price; also known as maintenance or Software Assurance. Also called Upgrade Insurance (UI).

The person who uses a piece of software by running the application on a computer.

Version Upgrade
This enables you to change from one version to the next version released of a particular software title.

Volume License Key (VLK)
Usually shortened to "keycode," it is a 25-digit string of numbers and letters that must be entered in order to install many Microsoft programs.

Volume License Agreement (VLA)
A license agreement that makes purchasing multiple software licenses efficient and economical. Discount levels are determined by the number of licenses acquired. VLAs usually allow continued buying at a specified discounted level for a period of time.

Volume License Program (VLP)
Formalized program that offers discounted pricing for software licenses purchased in volume.

  1. Glossary of Licensing Terms

    This glossary includes terms used in volume software licensing.

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