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Licensing Questions Thread, Site Licences and Remote Access in Technical; Hi, we currently use Remote Desktop Services ( RDS ) to allow students and staff access to their files,folders and ...
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    ajg
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    Question Site Licences and Remote Access

    Hi, we currently use Remote Desktop Services (RDS) to allow students and staff access to their files,folders and Office from outside the school. I would like to give them access to some of the third party software that the school has bought site licences for but am dubious about the legality of this due to it being accessed from an external computer (even though it is sat on a server in school). Most of the licencing documentation I've seen is very vague on this point!

    I appreciate this is probably one of those questions that doesn't have a straight answer but can anyone give me their thoughts or advice on the licencing issues here or is it going to be a case of contacting each software vendor individually? Many thanks.

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    Licensing generally covers where software is installed, not where it is accessed. There will be exceptions though, so best to check with each of the vendors and read the Ts&Cs which are often under Help > About in the application.

    Email the vendors rather than phone them, so you have something on record.

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    Quote Originally Posted by enjay View Post
    Licensing generally covers where software is installed, not where it is accessed. There will be exceptions though, so best to check with each of the vendors and read the Ts&Cs which are often under Help > About in the application.

    Email the vendors rather than phone them, so you have something on record.
    Some vendors are creating new schemes for virtual machines/TS as it could mean that you could install an application to one machine and have it accessed across the site.

    What I have seen some do is class any machine which accesses the application as requiring a licence (this would be a per seat/computer model). But it really is totally dependant on the software vendor as enjay says.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamo View Post
    What I have seen some do is class any machine which accesses the application as requiring a licence (this would be a per seat/computer model).
    That's completely impractical for TS/RDS from home, as theoretically any web-enabled device in the entire world could access it. Even if you just count your own users, how many computers do you assume each user has (remembering to only count siblings once, of course)?

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    That totally depends on the software. Some may be licensed per machine (or remote connection) some may be per user.

    Think from a software development POV if an institution bought 1 copy of a piece of software for a terminal server rather than a site licence for each fat station does that seem right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajg View Post
    Hi, we currently use Remote Desktop Services (RDS) to allow students and staff access to their files,folders and Office from outside the school.
    Take care with that - you need to have the same license of MSOffice for each device that connects - ie, you need to buy one for all of your students because it's not covered by EES.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    Take care with that - you need to have the same license of MSOffice for each device that connects - ie, you need to buy one for all of your students because it's not covered by EES.
    We found this when looking at VMware View with regard to Windows itself and the VDA licencing. Basically our staff have laptops owned by the school. So our EES allows a remote Windows connection to a virtual machine as an upgrade to our Windows licence. However if someone connects to the VM from a non windows or a Windows machine not owned by the school, be it a tablet, phone, their own Windows laptop, we have to buy a licence for the machine. Making it rather expensive!! These licences aren't floating either, they are assigned to a machine and can only be transferred every 3 months

    They do have a student remote access option in the EES agreement don't they though? I am sure I heard that when we were looking at it originally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamo View Post
    They do have a student remote access option in the EES agreement don't they though? I am sure I heard that when we were looking at it originally.
    You need to buy the Terminal services remote connector license to enable students to connect: Terminal Services Internet Connector License and ASPs
    But this doesn't cover MSOffice. The cheapest way we could find to cover Office for students to have remote access is with the 365 A3 plan: Office 365 Academic - Office.com where you pay monthly for each student.

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    Why doesn't it cover Office? If Office is on a school computer being accessed by an employee or pupil I don't see why it wouldn't be covered.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 36Degrees View Post
    Why doesn't it cover Office? If Office is on a school computer being accessed by an employee or pupil I don't see why it wouldn't be covered.
    If you're using a school owned computer which is licensed separately from the TS Host, you can access Office on the TS from anywhere. What you're not allowed to do is access it from a machine which doesn't have its own Office licence - be it privately or school owned.
    Last edited by jmak; 27th February 2013 at 09:00 AM.

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    Is that something you have been told or can you provide a link to a definitive statement? The reason I ask is that I was told that all I needed to buy (annually) was a Remote Desktop Services Unlimited External Users External Connector.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 36Degrees View Post
    Is that something you have been told or can you provide a link to a definitive statement? The reason I ask is that I was told that all I needed to buy (annually) was a Remote Desktop Services Unlimited External Users External Connector.
    How Microsoft Office Is Licensed In A Terminal Services Environment

    Microsoft Office is a desktop application. As such, you need (1) Microsoft Office license per desktop using the Microsoft Office software. Terminal Services does not change the number of devices accessing and using a software application, it merely provides another avenue to access the software through. So licensing Microsoft Office doesn't change at all regardless if Terminal Services is used or not. You still need one license per device accessing and using the Microsoft Office application.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 36Degrees View Post
    Is that something you have been told or can you provide a link to a definitive statement? The reason I ask is that I was told that all I needed to buy (annually) was a Remote Desktop Services Unlimited External Users External Connector.
    That just covers the TSCAL. The reason it doesn't cover office I think is to stop large schools and universities offering a web based MSOffice service, as students wouldn't buy office for their home machines.
    Similarly, a startup company could just rent copies of Office. MS doesn't want that.

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    If you want users to have free access to MS Office, I've found the best you can do at the minute is their web-apps. They're not as full featured as the desktop applications, but at least the formatting doesn't get screwed up. I experimented with most of the free options and didn't find anything else which reliably kept formatting consistent.

    What I haven't worked out is the implications of moving to Office 2013. The Office 2013 web apps offer full functionality and keep all of your customised settings wherever you are. Whether it's available to you depends on how you've bought it. e.g for home use, you can either buy a single device perpetual licence, or a family subscription which allows up to five people to use it from any computer. Not sure what the equivalent is for schools through EES - can't imagine it will be cheaper though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmak View Post
    If you want users to have free access to MS Office, I've found the best you can do at the minute is their web-apps. They're not as full featured as the desktop applications, but at least the formatting doesn't get screwed up. I experimented with most of the free options and didn't find anything else which reliably kept formatting consistent.
    .
    Google apps is a much better option, it syncs with older versions of MSOffice as well as 2013 and has much stronger collaborative features than 365.
    We looked at the pricing for MSOffice with 365 and to get near to the functionality that Google has you really *need* the full MSOffice-sharepoint integration, ie back to the A3 plan pricing options.

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