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SharePoint 2010 Server comes in only one edition (I’m not speaking of SharePoint Foundation 2010). There is however a confusion about Standard and Enterprise Editions, as if they were two quite different server editions. They are not, though Microsoft add to the confusion by making two separate downloads available on their volume license download site, VLSC. Ironically, the two separate download options are apparently designed to avoid confusion. Nevertheless the download pages confirm that whichever option you choose you will get the same bits: SharePoint Server 2010 64bit (for Standard/Enterprise) English Part Number X16-43564 File size 722MB Format ISO.

This applies to the volume license options for SharePoint 2010 Server, Standard & Enterprise, For Internet Sites Standard, For Internet Sites Enterprise. In every case you will get the same download bits.

The main reason for this is that differences between Standard & Enterprise levels are licensed per client in the case of SharePoint 2010 for corporate intranets, though there is additional confusion in that SharePoint for Internet Sites is licensed either as a Standard or Enterprise Edition. Again this is a licensing distinction not a technical one. So where’s the key?…

Setup Key

Although the SharePoint 2010 Server is the same download for Standard & Enterprise, and For Internet Sites Standard & Enterprise, the client differentiation is implemented by means of the Setup Key. This is hidden in plain sight on the download page. Many users, expecting to see it posted with their Volume License Keys, miss it altogether in their haste to download the bits.

Each Setup Key will affect the server installation in such a way as to provision that server with the chosen client functionality: Standard, if Standard CAL license has been purchased, Enterprise, only if Standard and Enterprise CALs have been purchased. Notice that the Enterprise CAL does not include the Standard CAL; it requires the Standard CAL, so to use the Enterprise Setup Key when you have only licensed Standard CAL would render your network uncompliant.


Worse still, if you inadvertently use the Enterprise Setup Key on install you will not be able to step down to the Standard Client level at a later stage without re-installing the server. However, if you use the Standard Setup Key on first install you will later be able to add Enterprise client functionality (for licensed users!) by entering the Enterprise Setup Key.


  1. We currently are using SharePoint 2007 Standard, we would like to upgrade to 2010 Enterprise. Is it possible to upgrade only some of the users to Enterprise with only one server license? Can it be done on the same farm?

    • Yes. This is possible because SharePoint Server 2010 is one common edition. To enable Standard CAL functionality you use the Standard Setup Key (available via the downloads page on VLSC). To enable Enterprise CAL functionality you use the Enterprise Setup Key. It’s possible to have a subset of users licensed for the Standard + Enterprise CAL, while all users will need to be licensed for the Standard CAL. Since the Enterprise functionality is enabled on the server it is in principle available to all clients and so must be managed by the system administrator for compliance reasons. The Setup Key for Standard CAL functionality can be changed to Enterprise without re-installing SharePoint 2010.

        • Mike Tonoyan
        • Posted October 25, 2011 at 2:59 pm
        • Permalink

        Thank you, this helps a lot.

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