Years ago, Microsoft created a specialized Enterprise Enrollment called Enrollment for Application Platform or EAP.  It was designed to help provide better pricing on Microsoft’s platform products (SQL, Visual Studio, SharePoint and BizTalk).  Because traditional Enterprise Agreements are limited to organizations with 250 or more users, many customers with large platform investments were not able to get the best pricing. EAP helped fix this. 

Along with that, Microsoft created a new type of licensing: Deferred L.  Similar to subscription, this set of SKUs allowed clients, without Software Assurance (SA) on their SQL, to purchase licenses without rebuying those underlying licenses. At the end of the enrollment, the options were to renew the Software Assurance under the EAP or purchase the underlying licenses as a “buyout” option.

It was a great program, but it had its limitations (chief among them was that it lacked the ability to “true-down,” though it acted like a subscription in other ways).  Hence, last year, Microsoft replaced the EAP with the Server and Cloud Enrollment (SCE).  Deferred L became a thing of the past, and it was replaced by subscriptions.

Why are we talking about this now?  Roughly three years ago, Microsoft switched SQL licensing.  A model that was once based on processors (sockets) was now based on cores (physical, not hyper-threaded).  As such, many customers entered into the EAP, and a large percentage included Deferred L.

There are two likely options for Deferred L customers:

  1. Purchase the buyout licenses.  This will effectively make your licenses current, they can then be renewed as Software Assurance-only on any type of enrollment.
  2. Move to a subscription model.  In this case, you wouldn’t own the licenses (but you didn’t under Deferred L anyway) and you’d gain the ability to true-down each year.

A CDW account manager can verify whether or not you have any Deferred L licensing and go over any available options.