The Future of SQL with SOLIDWORKS 2022

   By TriMech Marketing on July 5, 2021

When SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional (formerly known as Enterprise PDM) was introduced it was bundled with Microsoft SQL Standard server and user licenses. Anyone who bought SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional during this time also received licenses for Microsoft SQL Standard bundled in with the purchase. SOLIDWORKS has made several announcements over the past couple of years, regarding future updates and how they would interact with SQL licenses, and a significant change is coming with the release of SOLIDWORKS 2022.

The Clock is Ticking & the Window is Closing…

SOLIDWORKS PDM Pro and SQLIn October 2019, SOLIDWORKS announced that they would no longer bundle SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional or SOLIDWORKS Manage with SQL. For any new SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional and SOLIDWORKS Manage installation purchases, the customer would need to buy Microsoft SQL Standard Server 2016, 2017, or 2019 licenses separately from a SQL reseller. MS SQL Server 2014 will not be supported with the SOLIDWORKS 2022 release.

How This Affects Users

Existing SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional and SOLIDWORKS Manage customers were allowed to add new corresponding SOLIDWORKS licenses bundled with Microsoft SQL Server to their network. However, this particular arrangement ended in October 2020. At this time, existing SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional and/or SOLIDWORKS Manage customers were required to separately purchase SQL licenses when buying or adding SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional/ SOLIDWORKS Manage licenses.

  • New SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional and SOLIDWORKS Manage customers must have, or purchase, Microsoft SQL licenses to support the implementation of these products.
  • New SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard customers are not required to buy SQL, as this product uses Microsoft SQL Express, which is included with SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard.

Microsoft SQL 2014 Phase-Out

Microsoft SQL

Currently, SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional and SOLIDWORKS Manage 2020 or older will run on Microsoft SQL Server 2014 or, in some cases, Microsoft SQL Server 2012. Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Licenses bundled with SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional and SOLIDWORKS Manage are perpetual and can consequently be used with no time limit. Customers running or wanting to upgrade to SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional/ SOLIDWORKS Manage 2021 must upgrade to SQL 2014 SP3 or later. However, SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional and SOLIDWORKS Manage 2022 will not support SQL Server 2014. 

A few things to note:

  • SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional/ SOLIDWORKS Manage 2021 SP5 will be the last version that will run under Microsoft SQL Server 2014. As a result, subsequent product versions will be blocked from running on older SQL Server versions that are no longer supported.
  • If you have purchased only individual licenses of SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional or SOLIDWORKS Manage (CAD Editor, Contributor, or Viewers), you are running under the Server+CAL license model. However, if you have purchased PSL licenses (now called universal licenses), you are running under the Core-based model. This would be the case if a combination of individual and universal licenses were purchased.
  • Should you be running under the Server+CAL license type and should you need to add new users, you will be required to purchase new Microsoft SQL user CAL licenses through a Microsoft reseller.
  • Unlike the Server+CALs licensing model, the Core-based model licenses CPU cores being used, and does not have restrictions on the number of users that have access to the data. In addition, with the Core-based model, you do not need to purchase additional client access licenses (CALs) to access the SQL Server software.

Where to Get Microsoft SQL?

SQL Server licenses are available through online retailers and directly from Microsoft. Additionally, Microsoft provider lists are available online. Additional details can be found here:

How Many Licenses are Needed?

For the number of SQL licenses you need, please download the licensing guide available at

SOLIDWORKS is not able to directly provide these Microsoft SQL Server upgrades. At TriMech, our implementation specialists are ready to help customers who have questions and would like to purchase the proper SQL licenses. Please contact us today!

Related Products

Browse the TriMech web store for SOLIDWORKS software to design, analyze and manufacture your products on your desktop.


TriMech provides thousands of engineering teams with 3D design and rapid prototyping solutions that work hand-in-hand, from sketch to manufacturing. InterPro became a part of TriMech Solutions LLC in 2021.

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