SharePoint 2013 and its predecessors were licenses based on Standard and Enterprise license CAL. Whether a standard and an enterprise license CAL has been applied to a SharePoint farm determined what features were enabled or disabled. Traditionally an organization had to determine whether to purchase Standard CAL or Enterprise CAL for all its end users. In a lot of scenario’s this proved to be quite expensive for many organizations since they had to purchase Enterprise CAL for all their users in spite of the fact that there might be only a handful of users within their organization that required the Enterprise Features.

Microsoft listened and SharePoint 2013 brings in “Common Sense” into Licensing.

Organizations can now decide and then delegate specific users to be entitled to use “Standard License CAL” or “Enterprise License CAL” which lets SharePoint decide with the situation when a user navigates to a page what sort of license is presented to them.

Enterprise License CAL entities users to the following features:

  • Taxonomy Refinement Panel
  • Catalogue-Item Reuse
  • Business Data Actions
  • Business Data Connectivity Filter
  • Business Data Item
  • Business Data Item Builder
  • Business Data List
  • Business Data Related List
  • Search-Driven Content (all web parts)
  • InfoPath Form Web part
  • Excel Web Access
  • Visio Web Access
  • PerformancePoint Filter, Report, Scorecard and Stack Selector
  • Indicator Details (deprecated feature – may be present when upgrading from 2010 to 2013)
  • Status List (deprecated feature – may be present when upgrading from 2010 to 2013)


Standard License CAL entitles users to all other features within SharePoint 2013.


This is all possible with the release of a new feature / functionality called User License Enforcement


User License Enforcement


Any default installation of a SharePoint 2013 farm has its user license enforcement turned “Off”. To enable, SharePoint Admin’s have to use PowerShell. Admin’s also have the right to disable this feature if the need arises.


  • Enable-SPUserLicensing
  • Disable-SPUserLicensing
  • Get-SPUserLicense


Refer to this TechNet article for all the available PowerShell commands.


Enforcement of License Assignment


A user is assigned their unique license using Active Directory Group Membership. This means a certain “Active Directory Group” can be “mapped” to either Standard or Enterprise License. With SharePoint 2013 there are in total 5 different categories that can be used for mapping users:


  • Enterprise
  • Standard
  • WAC – Office Web Apps
  • Project
  • Duet


Users do have the ability to be part of multiple categories.


AD Group is one way of mapping users. The other method is to use “Claim” to a user license.




  • Yep they exist. Once User License Enforcement is enabled all users of SharePoint 2013 have to be mapped to some category. Otherwise even normal users (for sake of eg: Standard Users in our eyes) would be denied Standard Features as well.
  • Only works with Claims Based Web Application (which is the preferred authentication provider within SharePoint 2013 for a lot of things to work J )



Cool Stuff


The other cool thing about enforcement is the ability to log what sort of feature was accessed by a user and what license they have. If a user tries to access an unlicensed feature the log would read “Unlicensed”.


Final Word


About time J . This feature gives organizations the ability to call SharePoint 2013 a reasonable investment.