Is SQL Server Web Free?


Heather Bennett

Is SQL Server Web Free?

If you are considering using SQL Server Web for your website or web application, one of the first questions that may come to mind is whether it is free. In this article, we will explore the pricing and licensing options for SQL Server Web and help you understand if it is indeed free to use.

SQL Server Web Edition

SQL Server Web Edition is a specialized edition of Microsoft’s popular relational database management system (RDBMS) designed specifically for web applications and web hosting scenarios. It offers a feature-rich database solution that enables efficient data storage, retrieval, and management for websites and web apps.

Pricing Model

The pricing model for SQL Server Web Edition differs from other editions of SQL Server. Instead of a traditional upfront license fee, SQL Server Web follows a subscription-based pricing structure. This means that you pay on a monthly basis for the right to use the software.

Understandably, this subscription-based pricing has led to some confusion about whether SQL Server Web Edition is free or not.

Free with Hosting Providers

While SQL Server Web Edition itself is not free, many hosting providers offer it as part of their hosting packages at no additional cost. This means that you can use SQL Server Web Edition without incurring any additional expenses beyond what you pay for your hosting services. This arrangement allows website owners and developers to take advantage of SQL Server’s powerful features without having to purchase separate licenses.

Licensing Considerations

If you decide to host your website or web application on your own infrastructure or with a hosting provider that does not include SQL Server Web Edition in their package, you will need to obtain the appropriate licenses from Microsoft. The licensing terms and costs will depend on factors such as the number of cores you plan to use and the duration of your license.

It is important to note that while SQL Server Web Edition may require a paid license, it offers significant cost savings compared to other editions of SQL Server, making it an attractive option for web applications with less demanding requirements.


In summary, SQL Server Web Edition is not free in the traditional sense, but it is often offered at no additional cost by hosting providers as part of their hosting packages. If you choose to host your website or web application independently, you will need to purchase a license from Microsoft. However, the subscription-based pricing model and lower costs compared to other editions make SQL Server Web Edition an affordable choice for many web developers and businesses.

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