BI Platform Licensing Basics: CSBLs and Named Users
Our #1 most popular license type last year was the Concurrent Session Based License (CSBL). What is this thing and why is it so popular?
There are 2 ways that we license content viewing in the BI platform:
- Named Users
Note this is unlike most of our competitors, which typically use a combination of CPUs and Named Users. Microsoft offers a CAL license, but that’s really a license for a device, not a person or a session.
Named users license an individual. The license is with the person. To illustrate this, imagine a company with 3 SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform deployments. John has a named user license. He is now licensed to connect to all 3 of these systems. They also guarantee access – they are not subject to availability of a session on the system.
CSBLs license a session. Sessions are consumed by individuals. Users that are configured to use CSBL licenses consume a CSBL session with each login. This means if Susie is a CSBL user, and logs in to the BI Launchpad, Live Office, and BI Mobile, then she consumes 3 CSBL sessions. CSBL licenses are specific to a single deployment and cannot be shared across multiple deployments in the way that named user licenses can. Unlike named users, CSBL licenses do not guarantee access to a system. If a system has 25 CSBL licenses, and all of them are consumed, then the next CSBL user that attempts to login will receive an error message.
Call me biased, but here’s why I think our combination of named users and CSBLs are a great differentiator
- They’re flexible. IT doesn’t have to count CPUs on the system according to arbitrary rules. Unlike CPU licensing, as much hardware can be used to solve the BI problem as required without worrying about licensing impact. Virtualized hardware is fully supported by this licensing model.
- They’re easy to administer. Both CSBL and named user licenses are monitored by the software, so it’s easy to stay in compliance.
- They’re well understood.
- They map well to real world requirements. CSBLs are great for casual users that require intermittent access to the system. Named users are great for heavy users and managers/executives that require guaranteed access.
Depending on when you purchased your SAP BusinessObjects solution, you may not have access to CSBLs in your licensing model and may require a conversion to the new licensing model that supports CSBLs.
If you’re like me and really enjoy reading license agreements, you can learn more here. The core of our licensing is in the “Software Use Rights Agreements”.