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SharePoint 2013 User License Enforcement

SharePoint 2013 provides a new feature called User License Enforcement that many may not be aware of.  SharePoint 2013 now supports a mix of different licenses in a single farm.  What this means, is that Enterprise features can be made available to those who need it, and Standard features to others.  This can save an organization a substantial amount related to cost of Client Access Licenses.

To make this work, licenses are mapped to Active Directory security groups. 

PowerShell is used to manage the user licensing feature. The following commands will get you started with the feature.

First, enable the licensing feature with the following command:


The following command will tell you whether it is enabled or not. True equates to it being enabled.


To view the type of User Licenses available in your environment type the following:



These are among the types that will be returned if it’s available in your environment:

Enterprise, Standard, Project, OfficeWebAppsEdit

In order to map an Active Directory security groups to a user licenses, the following are 2 examples. Below we have mapped the DataAnalyst group to the Enterprise Licensing and mapped the Sales security group to Standard Licensing.

$a = New-SPUserLicensing -SecurityGroup DataAnalyst -license Enterprise

Add-SPUserLicenseMapping -mapping $a

$b = New-SPUserLicensing -SecurityGroup Sales -license Standard

Add-SPUserLicenseMapping -mapping $b

With licenses now mapped to security groups, we can now add mappings to objects such as web applications, or site collections.  By default, it is applied to the entire farm. The following command applies it to the web application.

New-SPUserLicenseMapping -License Enterprise -SecurityGroup DataAnalyst -WebApplication

New-SPUserLicenseMapping -License Standard -SecurityGroup Sales -WebApplication

A simple way to verify the license for a particular user, simply navigate to a site as either user.  In the web application and edit a page.  Click the web part button in the ribbon and view the Business Data web parts. There will be a different list of web parts for Enterprise and Standard licenses.

The following is the view for users with Standard License.


The following is the view for users with Enterprise License.