Using Software created with MSDNAA tools – licensing issues

MSDNAA makes over 300 software titles available to STEMD students and faculty through their academic departments for non-commercial use in teaching, learning and research.

The MSDN AA End User License Agreement (EULA) [at] the use of MSDN AA software is restricted: “only (a) to develop, support, conduct, or take the STEM courses, labs, or programs you offer; (b) in non-commercial STEM research on your behalf; or (c) to design, develop, test, and demonstrate software programs for the above purposes.”

In situations where as part of a course (e.g. Capstone Design Course), students create or develop an application using MSDN AA software that could be used be a company, organization, etc. for business purposes, this goes beyond the provisions of the MSDNAA license -- i.e., STEMD students using MSDNAA tools may in fact create an app under the program but that license doesn’t extend to any other 3rd party users downstream – i.e., business users of the app created…any of those potential users must be licensed for any Microsoft software that is required in order to interact with / use an app in question.  

While  the software development can be done within a course with MSDN AA software licenses,  when the application is released for use by the company, organization, or public, it stops being solely for educational or research purposes, and an commercial license must be procured.

This simply means that you need to take a few extra steps to take it from the class room/lab. For applications written in Visual Studio, this requires that the final project deployed be deployed using a commercial license of Visual Studio or be compiled via the command line against the .NET Framework. For other products such as SQL server or SharePoint or Windows Server, appropriate licenses must be obtained (commercial licenses or free versions of products such as SQL Server Express).

Contact msdnaa support at

Comments (3)

  1. monicauk says:

    Interesting post. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. william says:

    So the MSDAA is only to bound students to microsoft programs since they cannot use downloaded programs for anything else than school.

    What will happen after we finish their studies? Do we have to uninstall anything we installed?


  3. Dale says:

    No, William. If you can *read*, you'll see it says the software AND ANY UPDATES are yours, even after you graduate.

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