When Microsoft changed their MS SQL Server CPU based licensing to core based, BizTalk followed this model in the next version. Now Microsoft is launching SQL Server 2014 and changing ISV Royalty Program for SQL Server 2014: SQL Server Standard and Enterprise shall be eliminated from offering – only CAL model is left. At the same time Microsoft reduces prices for full-use licenses 24%. Even with this reduction I can say that the result means doubling or almost tripling the price for Independent Software Vendor (ISV) partners. MS also changed licensing policy of active-passive SQL server clusters: now you have to pay for the passive SQL Server as well. This both changes together means that SQL server prices just more than quadrupled.
Well all this is bad news for ISVs and end customers, but what will happen next? If BizTalk follows SQL Server with its licensing models – as it had so far, I think we can expect same kind of run-time version elimination for BizTalk Server itself. This means that ISVs which had MS SQL Server or BizTalk included in their own products are forced to consider another options.
This might be a part of the “all-in-for-the-cloud” strategy where MS is pushing ISVs to cloud track. At the same time Microsoft is fighting a price war in cloud against Amazon and Google. Are old ISVs happily moving their offering to Azure after this kind of slap in the face?
Microsoft’s mistake here is that most of the ISVs accept and agree on MS cloud strategy and have included it in their offering. Problem is that end-customers are not moving to cloud with speed anticipated by MS. Integration platform shall remain right next to the large data flows of major ERPs and other sources of large data flows. If large enterprises are not cloudifying their ERPs in the next few years and we’re facing long term hybrid phase, what shall ISVs offer as on-premise solutions? If cloud is not an option at the moment for the end-customer, I think one good but possibly laborious solution for ISV is just to change on-premises runtime control databases to for example MySQL and Biztalk to FRENDS Iron and NServiceBus or similar.