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SQL Server Database Engine Services

Many of the workstations have only SQL Server Database Engine Services installed, and Flexera has assigned a SQL Standard/Enterprise license. However Database Engine Service is free. How to resolve this problem so that licenses are not misused.

(5) Replies

 - When using the SQL Server Core license model, any stand-alone component of SQL Server must be licensed.  Here is a link to a SQL Server 2019 Licensing Guide from Microsoft.

Here is a snippet of the rule from this document.

Under the Per Core licensing model, each server running SQL Server 2019 software or any of its components (such as Reporting Services or Integration Services) must be assigned an appropriate number of SQL Server2019 core licenses. The number of core licenses needed, depends on whether customers are licensing the physical server or individual virtual operating system environments (OSEs).


SQL Server Database Engine Services is included with SQL Express Edition and should not be licensed if installed standalone without the main SQL Server instance.

What is your source of Inventory?  If it is SCCM, then the WMI information needed to determine what version of SQL Server is installed is not captured.  When you look at the Inventory Device within FNMS, and then look at the installed applications, what do you see when you filter on the application name of 'sql server'?

@kclausen , we have the same behaviors on several desktops.
whatever the inventory source cames from MS SCCM or the FNMS agent (v 18.6), the application found is "SQL Server Database Engine Services" with edition "Unspecified".  No WMI found for SQL, No other SQL server products on the device except SQL Server Management Studio and SQL Server Native Client.
This should be detected as Sql server Express.

@Run4Fun / @wasimkhan11 - The main issue is that when you install a stand-alone component of SQL Server, instead of the full version - no WMI evidence is created, which makes it extremely difficult to know what "edition" of the stand-alone component is installed.  Therefore, if you have a stand-alone installation of SQL Server Database Engine Services" there is no current way to know if this component belongs to SQL Server Express (freeware), or SQL Server Standard (Commercial).  Flexera continues to research this for potential scenarios.

In fact, the Flexera Agent released with version 2022 R1.4 in August is able to discover evidence to determine edition when there is a stand-alone installation of SQL Server Reporting Services, but this method does not seem to work for other stand-alone components.

A potential work-around for your Desktop computers would be to install the full version of SQL Server Express edition, and then these installs of SQL Server on a desktop would be properly set to a status of "Freeware" and would be ignored by license consumption.