none
Visual Studio Community Edition Licencing

    Question

  • I was reading Visual studio 2015 Community edition licence agreement

    It tells free to develop & test. What about distribution?

    I checked lots of articles and most are telling contradictory things

    I'm not going to create a windows store application.

    I'm going to work as single developer and maximum my friend may help in marketing that(Ready to pay after income start to come, But now don't have enough money )

     Will the application distributable?

    Thanks & Regards Binesh Nambiar C


    • Edited by Binesh Nambiar Sunday, July 03, 2016 6:58 AM Question reformatting
    Sunday, July 03, 2016 6:56 AM

Answers

  • Hi Binesh,

    my view (and it is just my personal view) is, that you are allowed to use Visual Studio Community to develop and test an application only. So you are not allowed to distribute your software with Visual Studio. So if you find a Visual Studio Addon, that distributes your application (e.g. sending a created MSI to your customer), then this is not allowed.

    But of course: You can distribute the created application. So you use Visual Studio to create and test the application (maybe including a setup project so you get a MSI). The result is not limited at all.

    If the result is limited in any way, then you also do not have the right to delete files, back them up, open them in notepad, .... 

    But if you earn money with it, I would suggest to check out the Microsoft Partnership. You should be able to become a Microsoft Partner and in that case an Action Pack might be of interest. It will include 3 Visual Studio Professional with MSDN(!!) and 10 full Client licenses (Windows update, Office), 1 Server (Windows, SQL, Exchange, ...) and some Visio / Project Licenses (Please check the benefits yourself. I might be wrong!)

    So you get a lot of benefits that are worth the money. The yearly price isn't that high. (When I checked it the last time it was about 50% of a normal Visual Studio Prof. with MSDN license)

    Or if you do not want to spend that money: Just go to a lawyer to check the license. If he agrees to my personal view, you should be quite safe. (And if some Microsoft guy tells you something else then you can show the written result of your lawyer and tell them to shut up.)

    There is also a hotline that you could call. But after my experience in here, I doubt that it is that useful. I would choose one of the paths given above instead of calling a hotline. But if you want to give it a try then I will post the details of the hotline.

    With kind regards,

    Konrad

    Sunday, July 03, 2016 7:37 AM
    Moderator
  • Maybe a small clarification on my view on this topic:

    The core question is simply: Who owns the rights on the item?

    You are allowed to use Visual Studio in this "business area". (If your enterprise is small enough so the license fits) So the creation is allowed. Now you have you application and the big question is: Who owns the rights? You do, so you are of course allowed to do all you want.

    We could even have a more complex szenario:
    Imagine you want to learn about c# / P/Invoke. So oyu take a training course. Inside this training course you use Visual Studio Community. In this szenario you work for a big enterprise of course. Inside the course you work on a tool that uses pinvoke and makes something really useful. Now the course is over and you have a nice tool that you would like to use in your enterprise. Is that allowed? Same szenario as above:
    - Was the use of Visual Studio covered by the license? YES.
    - Who owns the rights of the tool: YOU (So you can use it, sell it, ...)
    (Everything else does not make sense in my eyes. Imagine you are a training company. The license question is your part. So you are responsible that Visual Studio is used for training only. but that was the case!)
    But again: Ask a lawyer to be safe! The laws in germany are quite strict in this issue. But that does not mean that it s the same in your country. So ask a lawyer if you are in any doubt!

    With kind regards,

    Konrad

    Sunday, July 03, 2016 8:12 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi Binesh,

    my view (and it is just my personal view) is, that you are allowed to use Visual Studio Community to develop and test an application only. So you are not allowed to distribute your software with Visual Studio. So if you find a Visual Studio Addon, that distributes your application (e.g. sending a created MSI to your customer), then this is not allowed.

    But of course: You can distribute the created application. So you use Visual Studio to create and test the application (maybe including a setup project so you get a MSI). The result is not limited at all.

    If the result is limited in any way, then you also do not have the right to delete files, back them up, open them in notepad, .... 

    But if you earn money with it, I would suggest to check out the Microsoft Partnership. You should be able to become a Microsoft Partner and in that case an Action Pack might be of interest. It will include 3 Visual Studio Professional with MSDN(!!) and 10 full Client licenses (Windows update, Office), 1 Server (Windows, SQL, Exchange, ...) and some Visio / Project Licenses (Please check the benefits yourself. I might be wrong!)

    So you get a lot of benefits that are worth the money. The yearly price isn't that high. (When I checked it the last time it was about 50% of a normal Visual Studio Prof. with MSDN license)

    Or if you do not want to spend that money: Just go to a lawyer to check the license. If he agrees to my personal view, you should be quite safe. (And if some Microsoft guy tells you something else then you can show the written result of your lawyer and tell them to shut up.)

    There is also a hotline that you could call. But after my experience in here, I doubt that it is that useful. I would choose one of the paths given above instead of calling a hotline. But if you want to give it a try then I will post the details of the hotline.

    With kind regards,

    Konrad

    Sunday, July 03, 2016 7:37 AM
    Moderator
  • Maybe a small clarification on my view on this topic:

    The core question is simply: Who owns the rights on the item?

    You are allowed to use Visual Studio in this "business area". (If your enterprise is small enough so the license fits) So the creation is allowed. Now you have you application and the big question is: Who owns the rights? You do, so you are of course allowed to do all you want.

    We could even have a more complex szenario:
    Imagine you want to learn about c# / P/Invoke. So oyu take a training course. Inside this training course you use Visual Studio Community. In this szenario you work for a big enterprise of course. Inside the course you work on a tool that uses pinvoke and makes something really useful. Now the course is over and you have a nice tool that you would like to use in your enterprise. Is that allowed? Same szenario as above:
    - Was the use of Visual Studio covered by the license? YES.
    - Who owns the rights of the tool: YOU (So you can use it, sell it, ...)
    (Everything else does not make sense in my eyes. Imagine you are a training company. The license question is your part. So you are responsible that Visual Studio is used for training only. but that was the case!)
    But again: Ask a lawyer to be safe! The laws in germany are quite strict in this issue. But that does not mean that it s the same in your country. So ask a lawyer if you are in any doubt!

    With kind regards,

    Konrad

    Sunday, July 03, 2016 8:12 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Binesh,

    Thank you for posting in MSDN forum.

    Do you mean that the windows store application you tried to create will be used for commercial purpose? you may refer to:

    https://www.visualstudio.com/en-us/mt171547.aspx

    Organization licenses:

    If you are an organization, your users may use the software as follows:

    Any number of your users may use the software to develop and test your applications released under Open Source Initiative (OSI) approved open source software licenses.

    Any number of your users may use the software to develop and test extensions to Visual Studio.

    Any number of your users may use the software to develop and test your applications as part of online or in person classroom training and education, or for performing academic research.

    It indicates if you are an individual, you will be able to sell applications you create with the Community edition.

    You will have to comply with the app submission rules of the Windows Store, which is not the same as the licensing of Visual Studio

    Best Regards,

    We are trying to better understand customer views on social support experience, so your participation in this interview project would be greatly appreciated if you have time. Thanks for helping make community forums a great place.

    Click HERE to participate the survey.

    Monday, July 04, 2016 6:42 AM
    Moderator