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Client Access License (CAL)

Definition - What does Client Access License (CAL) mean?

A client access license (CAL) is a type of license binding the licensee to a set of user terms limiting how the organization's services are used. This is typically done using software accompanied by a certificate of authenticity and a several digit license key. The end user is required to verify their CAL by transposing the license key numbers into a designated field prior to downloading the software.

Techopedia explains Client Access License (CAL)

Microsoft is just one company using CALs to ensure proper usage of its systems and applications. Whether or not multiple CALs will be necessitated, or single CALs are used, is primarily based on whether a product is being used for personal or business use. For business use, CALs may be assigned to more than one person, but multiple users may not use the software simultaneously. Larger organizations generally benefit from device CALs, which may be applied to all devices or computers connected to a shared server.

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