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Visual studio Express version, single developer in enterprise.

    Question

  • Good day,

    For a long time I have been developing apps and .NET services as a student for which I used the free Visual Studio Express edition.

    Now that I am related to a large building company (construction work, not much IT and ICT going on there) I was wondering about the license statements.

    For one they simply state that enterprises are not allowed to use the free VS express edition which is fair and very understandable to me. A large company that develops programs they can possibly sell for millions without having to spend a single coin on their own software needs is unfair towards the work that MS put into the making of this suite.

    However, the point where I start wondering is, what about an enterprise that does nothing on the software development field except one single person. Especially when that person would only develop for internal uses (data analysis, calculating tools for difficult construction mechanics, etc.) which are not to be sold anyways.

    Am I, as a single developer, allowed to use the free express version albeit working for an enterprise company that has no further (large scale, large teams) development ambitions?

    Sincerely, Juppie

    Friday, November 18, 2016 8:04 AM

Answers

  • EDIT: I found a partial answer in that there is a difference between express and community versions of VS. For all I knew was that the old express (free) studio was renamed into community (also free) especially since I could not find the express version on the website so easily.

    The express version allows me to develop within an enterprise environment from the license alone.
    However it serves no extension usage and has a different IDE download for each development target (eg: web, Win 10, Win desktop).

    One other thing I see often passing the threads I read about similar questions is the fact that people mention something like this: "Community edition is the full fledged software, but you can't use it on enterprise (>5 users)". Which to me looks a bit like it is generally assumed that, whenever you have less than 4 users of the software (produced or the IDE itself?) within an enterprise environment, you are free to use community edition too...?  /edit.




    Thanks for your reply.

    In response to your question: I generally use whatever version is most up-to-date (2015 in this case). However if an older version is known to be free to use for single developers in non-IT /non-ICT businesses I am willing to use that version.

    As the development is for internal uses only and the whitepapers have no example like that, I am not quite certain about whether or not it is allowed. Especially since I am very thankful for the programming  software that Microsoft has provided to me for many years, I don't want to break that feeling by having a claim or legal entity at my office door because of a wrong made assumption that I can use software whenever I desire.

    For this reason I would very much like to have definite clarity about this 'issue' before I start using the express edition at my work.


    Sincerely, Juppie


    • Edited by Juppie Tuesday, November 22, 2016 8:22 AM
    • Marked as answer by Juppie Tuesday, November 22, 2016 11:12 AM
    Monday, November 21, 2016 8:52 AM

All replies

  • Hi Juppie,

    Welcome to the MSDN forum.

    What’s your VS express edition? Normally, we can know the user term information from the licensing white paper or license term.

    For VS express 2015, please have a look at the Visual Studio 2015 Licensing White Paper and I found the message about VS express 2015 product as below:

    **A number of free development tools are also available, including Visual Studio Express for Windows, Visual Studio Express for Web and Visual Studio Express for Windows Desktop. These tools provide a subset of the functionality available in Visual Studio Professional 2015 and are specific to writing applications targeting these platforms. Each of these Visual Studio Express products is licensed per user and subject to the use terms included with the product. Visual Studio Express can be used to build production applications.

    It not defines the specific user who can use the software like VS community 2015 edition, as far as I know, you should can use the VS express 2015 in your situation. Meanwhile, the VS express 2015 license term also not mentioned the related information.

    For the VS express 2013/2012, I found some other community members focus on the commercial usage like this and they are be used for commercial propose and for your condition, it should also can be apply to.

    Best regards,

    Sara


    MSDN Community Support
    Please remember to click "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue, and to click "Unmark as Answer" if not. This can be beneficial to other community members reading this thread. If you have any compliments or complaints to MSDN Support, feel free to contact MSDNFSF@microsoft.com.

    Monday, November 21, 2016 6:31 AM
    Moderator
  • EDIT: I found a partial answer in that there is a difference between express and community versions of VS. For all I knew was that the old express (free) studio was renamed into community (also free) especially since I could not find the express version on the website so easily.

    The express version allows me to develop within an enterprise environment from the license alone.
    However it serves no extension usage and has a different IDE download for each development target (eg: web, Win 10, Win desktop).

    One other thing I see often passing the threads I read about similar questions is the fact that people mention something like this: "Community edition is the full fledged software, but you can't use it on enterprise (>5 users)". Which to me looks a bit like it is generally assumed that, whenever you have less than 4 users of the software (produced or the IDE itself?) within an enterprise environment, you are free to use community edition too...?  /edit.




    Thanks for your reply.

    In response to your question: I generally use whatever version is most up-to-date (2015 in this case). However if an older version is known to be free to use for single developers in non-IT /non-ICT businesses I am willing to use that version.

    As the development is for internal uses only and the whitepapers have no example like that, I am not quite certain about whether or not it is allowed. Especially since I am very thankful for the programming  software that Microsoft has provided to me for many years, I don't want to break that feeling by having a claim or legal entity at my office door because of a wrong made assumption that I can use software whenever I desire.

    For this reason I would very much like to have definite clarity about this 'issue' before I start using the express edition at my work.


    Sincerely, Juppie


    • Edited by Juppie Tuesday, November 22, 2016 8:22 AM
    • Marked as answer by Juppie Tuesday, November 22, 2016 11:12 AM
    Monday, November 21, 2016 8:52 AM
  • Hi Juppie,

    Thank you for your update.

    There is no clear descriptions about the users who can use the VS express editions freely. May be you can consider the VS community 2015, since there have the information about 'Who can use' as below from the VS licensing white paper. If you matches the requirement, you can use the VS community 2015 which is powerful than the VS express edition.

    Who can use the Software

    Rights to use Visual Studio Community depend on the customer segment and usage scenarios as explained below.

    Individual developers

    Any individual developer can use Visual Studio Community, to create their own free or paid apps.

    Organizations

    • An unlimited number of users within an organization can use Visual Studio Community for the following scenarios: in a classroom learning environment, for academic research, or for contributing to open source projects.
    • For all other usage scenarios: In non-enterprise organizations up to 5 users can use Visual Studio Community. In enterprise organizations (meaning those with >250 PCs or > $1M in annual revenue) no use is permitted for employees as well as contractors beyond the open source, academic research and classroom learning environment scenarios described above.

    Best regards,

    Sara


    MSDN Community Support
    Please remember to click "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue, and to click "Unmark as Answer" if not. This can be beneficial to other community members reading this thread. If you have any compliments or complaints to MSDN Support, feel free to contact MSDNFSF@microsoft.com.

    Tuesday, November 22, 2016 8:49 AM
    Moderator