Windows licensing question

I've been poking around wondering what would be needed to host a small server to run my XData REST service and it looks like I'll need something with a Windows Server license. They require CAL licenses for everybody that needs to connect. That's for normal device or user connections.

What about if you're hosting a REST service via an API? I've never seen any discussions of this stuff, and I'm rather curious about it. Has anybody looked into it?

I'm not expert in Windows server licenses at all, as most of my experience is using XData with cloud services where the cloud provider already includes the Windows license (AWS for example).

But as far as I know CAL licenses are for client connections directly to the server, i.e., direct users of the Windows OS. You shouldn't need that for REST services, as your clients are using your server, not connecting to Windows directly.

Also note you can use XData on Linux of course, as long as you use Delphi Enterprise to compile to Linux.

I think it depends. If it is an intranet then probably you need CALs, if it is publicly accessible then probably no.

I found this:

The simple act of making it accessible externally doesn't remove the CAL requirement.

What it means, is that if it's a public website, a truly public website, you don't need CALs. Publically accessible and public facing, without restrictions. Meaning anyone can access the content and web applications world-wide with no restrictions.

Do we need CALs for Windows 2012 R2 server used as webserver (IIS) ? - MS Licensing - Spiceworks

Well, anybody would be able to access the REST API service. But they'd require a subscription and access key to use it.

In this case, nobody cares what the platform is that's running the service as it's transparent. So I'm not sure why it would matter. But ya know ... this is Microsoft we're talking about here. :)

I wish Embt would make the Linux compiler available on all versions. It would probably expand their market somewhat.