license – SQL Server Developer Licensing


I have a few questions regarding SQL Server licensing specifically regarding the Developer Edition. Your insight would be greatly appreciated. Questions below are in regards to non-production test, dev, qa environments. Here we go…

Would there be any hidden licensing costs associated with using the free SQL Server Developer Edition for use in a test/qa/dev environments (non-production). Are MSDN subscriptions required for users who access data such as developers, testers, or support analysts?

Use cases would include application install, setup, and configuration. Later application patch updates would get performed first in the non-production environment. After user acceptance testing is complete and approved in the test/dev environment the application update patch would then be implemented in the production environment. No data is moving from dev/test to production in this use case. This would strictly be an application upgrade. To be clear there would be separate production application and SQL Server (Standard or Enterprise) environments. Data will never get promoted/migrated from the non-production environment to the production environment. I can see production environment data getting migrated to the development/test environment, but that would be for testing purposes only and data wouldn’t get migrated back to the production environment.

SQL Server Developer description:
SQL Server Developer edition lets developers build any kind of application on top of SQL Server. It includes all the functionality of Enterprise edition, but is licensed for use as a development and test system, not as a production server. SQL Server Developer is an ideal choice for people who build and test applications.

Additional links:

Is User Acceptance Testing Covered Under Developer Edition?

This seems almost too good to be true, but please let me know if you have any additional questions. I look forward to your knowledge and feedback.