Licensing FIM 2010 may seem easy at first, but, like any licensing question, it’s rarely the first time or last time that this kind of discussion with a customer will end with more questions than answers.
Also, on the
FIM 2010 TechNet forum, the
topic of licensing has been discussed since the introduction of FIM (even at the ILM 2 era):
In summary, there are numerous resources which contain partial answers to the question of how to properly license FIM.
In addition to the resources listed above, you can use the
Microsoft Product Licensing Advisor or pick up the phone and call the
Microsoft licensing department.
(other language versions also available)
Microsoft Product Use Rights Explained and
CAL means client access license.
There are two kinds of CALs: user and device. A user CAL allows access to the server software from any device by one user. A device CAL allows access to the server software from one device by any user.
FIM is about user CALs, not device CALs.
External Connector License means a license attached to a Server that permits access to the server software by External Users.
External Users means users that are not either your or your Affiliates’ employees, or your or your affiliates’ onsite contractors or onsite agents.
Licensed Server means the single Server to which a license is assigned. For purposes of this definition, a hardware partition or blade is considered to be a separate Server.
Licensed User means the single person to whom a license is assigned.
Prior to 1st of april 2015, you required
More explanation in detail below.
After 1st of april 2015:
The FIM server will no longer be sold as a separate license, but instead Windows Server licenses will allow customers to install the FIM Server software.
Azure Active Directory Premium (AADP) and any suite that contains AADP, including Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) and Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS), will also entitle users to access FIM.
Since FIM users already required a Windows Server CAL or equivalent to access FIM running on Windows Server, no additional Windows Server CALs (or Windows Server External Connector) will be required. MIM will have the same licensing model. All current FIM
customers with active SA on the underlying Windows Server, (since the right to install FIM server is now granted with a WS license), will have rights to upgrade to MIM when it launches.
From the FIM 2010 R2 pricing and licensing datasheet:
FIM 2010 Pricing and Licensing Guide provides detailed explanation on these licensing scenarios.
Besides the licensing methods, it also provides some interesting examples and calculation exercises which in lots of cases can be mapped to the practical environment for which FIM will provide its services.
The document also discusses the SQL license (CAL or CPU license) and Windows server licensing (CAL per FIM managed user).
Furthermore, the relation between the External Connector license (ECL) and the CAL is explained.
Customers who are managing identities of users who are external users (that are persons who are not employees, nor similar personnel of the company or its affiliates, and not someone to whom you provide hosted services using the server software)
may purchase an External Connector license on a per FIM server basis to replace the CALs needed to cover all of these individuals.
Depending your licensing program and type of business, the cost of a CAL vs cost of External License ratio is something like 1:1000 (depending Software Assurance, ...)
Education customers do not need to purchase CALs for students, alumni, and other external entities and may instead purchase an External Connector license for each FIM server in lieu of FIM CALs. FIM CALs are still required for all employees of education
customers (e.g. faculty, staff, and contractors).
FIM 2010 and MIM 2015 offer downgrade Rights: customers who purchase FIM will also be licensed to use ILM 2007, MIM License allows to use FIM.
A CAL is not required for customers only using the Forefront Identity Manager synchronization service.
If you do not have SA as part of a Enterprise Agreement or other Open licensing model - then you need to purchase additional licensing.
Download the FIM 2010 Pricing and Licensing Guide (PDF) below (2 pager, v 2012)
Identity Manager > How to buy
For more information on Forefront Licensing download the
pricing and licensing guide (58 pages, version 2011).
For licensing advice on configuring products, programs, and pricing options visit the
Microsoft Product Licensing Advisor.