SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional 2022 and later versions require separate license for Microsoft SQL Server

Many SOLIDWORKS products utilize databases hosted on Microsoft SQL Server software. This article explains the changes in SQL Server software licensing. If your company uses SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional, please read this article.

Microsoft SQL Server has three different editions, Express/Standard/Enterprise. Express is free, limited version, other ones have a license fee. PDM Professional uses SQL Standard edition so a license is needed.


If your company has purchased PDM Professional before October 2019, a SQL Standard license was then bundled with PDM Professional. Starting from October 2019 this bundled SQL Standard was not included automatically. It was still possible to buy PDM Professional with this bundled SQL after that, for a limited period. Depending on PDM Professional license type, SQL Standard license was not bundled with PDM Professional in any case starting from 1st of April or 1st of October. After that date Microsoft SQL always had to be purchased separately.


As PLM Group is NOT a Microsoft reseller, SQL Server must be purchased from Microsoft software reseller.

When there is a need for SQL Server license, PLM Group cooperates with and can recommend Primend OÜ. But You can choose to purchase Your SQL Server license from any other company providing SQL Server licenses.


If your company has this bundled version of SQL Standard, this version is “run-time restricted” version that is only allowed to be used with SOLIDWORKS Products. It does not include “Microsoft Software Assurance.” It means that it CANNOT be upgraded to a newer release and it is not allowed to use on a public cloud server.


SQL Server Software has release versions (like SOLIDWORKS). There are SQL Standard releases 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2019. The bundled SQL version is 2014. This version can still be used with SOLIDWORKS PDM 2021 SP5-version (SP3 Upgrade to SQL required). After that you need to purchase new SQL Server licenses. SOLIDWORKS 2022 PDM requires SQL release version 2016 or newer.


Microsoft SQL Server has different licensing models called “Server + CAL” and “Core-Based” licensing. Which one suits your company better depends on the number of users in your PDM system. Microsoft Software Reseller can assist you with the selection of suitable licensing type.

If your company uses PDM Standard or SW Electrical only, you do not have to consider that. They use SQL Express version, which is free, limited version of SQL server software. This SQL Express will not require any licenses and can be upgraded to newer versions.


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