Entry vs. Enterprise Comparison
I’ve been asked a few times what the difference is between the Entry and Enterprise license for the core CMS product and whether an upgrade path is available between the two. The simple answer is that Entry is for single sites which are not business-critical and do not require pages to be provided from other systems, and Enterprise is for single or multiple sites that have a higher requirement on resilience and may feed pages from other systems. An Enterprise license is for a site that is an integral part of your Enterprise. As a well-known advert for a range of paint and varnish products in the UK says… “it does exactly what it says on the tin”.
There is an upgrade path between the two and I’d suggest that you talk to the EPiServer office that covers your geographical area for more information on that. What is certain is that it is more cost effective to go straight for Enterprise if you think you will be needing it rather than purchase Entry and decide pretty soon that you need to upgrade.
Having given the simple answer, I’ll now give a slightly more complete answer.
The core product is identical in terms of software (as at CMS 5 R2 SP1). This means that there is only one download and install. The differences come with what the license you are using permits you to do.
A single Entry license only permits you to run a single web site. This may not be a problem initially, but once a company or organisation starts to expand their EPiServer installation to other sites, you will end up buying additional license packs.
With an Enterprise license, you have immediate support for up to 15 sites and sharing of information between them.
A single Entry license only permits you to run your EPiServer site on a single web server. This means that you have no load balancing or resilience support. You can always have a cold-swap server ready but the time you’d take to get that up and running means that you may not have 99.9% uptime should you have a failure.
You can purchase additional Entry licenses in order to load balance but by the time you have purchased a couple of these, you may be better off with an Enterprise license anyway, which supports up to four load-balanced servers.
If four is not enough (and for most people it should be – you can always scale up as well as out) then additional Enterprise license packs can be purchased.
Custom Page Providers
With an Entry license, the use of Custom Page Providers is not supported in Production. This means that if you want to expose content from, say, a SQL database as EPiServer pages, you will be unable to do so. Even if you buy additional Entry license packs, you will still not be able to use this functionality. Note that if you are a developer using the in-built Web Server in Visual Studio, you can build Custom Page Providers but once you run a site on IIS they will no longer work (as you would in Test and Production).
An Enterprise license supports Custom Page Providers under IIS.
List of Features
Having shown what the differences are, it is still pretty amazing how much ‘bang for your buck’ you get in the Entry license. Have a look at the feature comparison below: