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MS Office License with OfficeToPDF on Server

Sep 12, 2014 at 9:42 PM
Hi All,

I have situation, I am hoping someone can analyze it for me

1) I have OfficeToPDF.exe on the Windows Server 2008 R2 named "A" , where Office 2010 Profession Plus running
2) I developed a web app ( Java based) runs on http, through which user can upload the office file to the server mentioned above
3) I have a scheduler running on the server A, which converts the office files (uploaded in Step 2) into PDF and then sends email to the user who uploaded file

Question :

1) Is the user who is uploading the file to server requires office license ? ( please note that, user is just uploading the file, but not invoking office on the server via remote desktop invocation)

( If the answer to question 1 is "YES")

2) Most of the cases (99.99%) , user who is uploading the file to the server will have Office installed in the PC, but it may not be guaranteed to have same office flavor as server do ( eg: user might have Office 2010 standard, while server has Office 2010 Professional Plus) . In this situation, is the user violating license terms?

Please help
Sep 14, 2014 at 4:11 PM

We do not believe a license is required for the PCs doing the uploading.

Server A must have a valid Office license, but as the client PCs are not using remote desktop or terminal services to run Office, they do not need an Office license. For instance, if the Office files were created with a non-Microsoft package (e.g. LibreOffice or Google Docs), then uploaded to server A, you would clearly not need an Office license for the client PC.

However, please note that there may be Office licensing terms specific to the Office version installed on server A. e.g. Volume licensing, OEM licensing, etc all may have different restrictions applied to them. If you are unsure, please refer to your licensing documents supplied with your copy of Office, and if necessary, check with your Microsoft supplier.

Sep 22, 2014 at 7:21 PM
Edited Sep 22, 2014 at 7:22 PM
Hi Vittal,

Thanks for the response, I understand your point on client PCs not requiring of the office installation as they can create documents using openoffice or libreoffice or something else, however I need your advise on following ( of course I will check with Microsoft too)

1) Documents were uploaded to the server ( server has valid 2013 professional plus license installed)
2) On the server, I have cron job which converts the documents into pdf (using your tool officetopdf)
3) Once PDF file created, file gets emailed back to user who uploaded the documents in Step 1

In this case, is the user requires office license? (note, that user is no invoking remote desktop or terminal services to run Office on the server)

Sep 23, 2014 at 10:03 AM
Hi Ramesh

No, we do not believe the user requires a license in this case as long as the cron job runs as a single user and that no other users are using the Office license. You must verify that your particular Office license designation (OEM or retail) allows your scenario. Please note that if you are running the service as a commercial conversion process, there may also be other licensing restrictions that apply.

Note that your scenario is the same as used by commercial PDF conversion server software such as Neevia Document Converter Pro (

If you are concerned about the Office license for your scenario, you can completely avoid the problem by using third party libraries to convert the documents to PDF (e.g.