Nintex Licensing Explained

At TekDog we have been selling Nintex Workflow for years. As a Nintex partner, we are often asked questions about how Nintex is licensed and ultimately the costs of Nintex products. In this blog post we’ll clarify all the confusion and help you understand the basics regarding Nintex Licensing.

Licensing by Front-End Server per Farm

All on premise Nintex Products are licensed by the number of front-end servers in your SharePoint farm. If you have a single SharePoint front-end server then you are required to purchase 1 Nintex license. If you have 2 web front ends configured in a HA (High Availability) scenario then you will be required to have two licenses.

Licensing is also by Farm. So if you have two farms, say an intranet with 2 FE servers and an extranet with 1 FE server you may license these environments independently. In plain English, if you just want to license your intranet without licensing your extranet, you can do this as long as they are in different farms.

With the license you can create unlimited number of workflows or forms (depending on which products you have purchased) and have an unlimited number of users. This also means the price is still the same if you only have 10 workflows or forms and 1 designer. So keep that in mind when trying to justify your costs.

Product Licensing

Nintex offers the following products as of April 2014.

Nintex Workflow- A powerful workflow designer tool for creating SharePoint workflows. Nintex Workflow comes in several variations as listed below. To learn more about choosing the right Nintex Workflow product read our blog post on Choosing Nintex Enterprise over Standard Edition.

  • Workgroup Edition- Single FE small implementations. Can deploy Nintex Workflow on only 5 sites. Good for POC or very limited Nintex deployments.
  • Standard Edition- Can license for multiple FE servers. Same functionality as Workgroup Edition with no limit on the number of sites that can be activated.
  • Enterprise Edition- Same functionality as Standard plus Enterprise features like Reporting, Provisioning and Integration. Learn More

Nintex Forms- Powerful form design product that empowers form developers to create dynamic and powerful forms. Excellent replacement for Microsoft InfoPath form designer. Licensed by FE server. Does NOT require that you own Nintex Workflow however; they do look nice next to each other at the big dance. This product is deployed at the Farm level then activated at the site collection level. No limitations on the number of forms you may create. Only 1 version of the product available.

Nintex Workflow & Forms Online- The Office 365 versions of Nintex Workflow and Forms. Licensed by the number of users with set minimum number of users. Look for a blog explicitly on Nintex Online Licensing in the near future.

Software Assurance (SA)

As part of an on-premise Nintex deployment you should also purchase Software Assurance. Software assurance is an annual support contract that provides the following benefits:

  • Support- Without SA your product will be unsupported. No hot fixes, no technical support. Never buy Nintex without SA!!! With Nintex support you can submit trouble tickets for issues or errors that you may encounter. Although issues are rare, each SharePoint environment is like a snowflake, and you never know what you may encounter based on millions of variables.
  • Updates- Remember that Nintex products are browser based. Nintex’s primary supported browser is Internet Explorer (Expoloder as I call it). Every time Microsoft introduces their new versions and patch updates to SharePoint or IE, this could pretty much break anything. Nintex is constantly releasing fixes to their products based on updates pushed down for SharePoint and Internet Explorer. Not having an active SA plan is like riding on a motorcycle at 160 MPH without a helmet. Bad idea!
  • Upgrades- Having an active SA plan entitles you to upgrade to the latest version of Nintex at no additional fee (as long as your server topography stays the same). So if you are migrating from 2010 to 2013 you can migrate without any issues or additional costs.
  • Non-Production Licensing- Your SA plan also provides 1-for-1 non-production licensing. For every Production FE license you purchase, you will receive 1 non-production license. If you need addition licensing you can also opt for Premium support detailed later in the article.
  • Nintex Live- Over the past 2+ years Nintex has been creating some pretty awesome functionality as part of their Nintex Live offering. Nintex Live for Workflow has over 100 workflow actions intended to integrate your SharePoint environment and workflows with systems that live in the “cloud.” From Drop Box, Office 365, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn you can automate systems like never before. Nintex Live for Forms provides the ability to publish forms outside the corporate firewall while also providing access to Nintex Mobile apps.


Premium Support

Nintex Premium Support (PS) provides customers some additional piece of mind while also providing unlimited non-production licensing. If standard SA 1-for-1 non-production licensing will not license all of your non-production systems, then you will need Premium Support. Premium support in an annual contract and is licensed by the number of production front-end servers in your farm. Premium support is added to your Software Assurance plan. You cannot have Premium Support without having an active SA plan.

Premium Support includes the following:

  • Priority SLA for support tickets. Basically, get your support tickets answered quicker.
  • Unlimited Non-Production Licensing.

Here are two use cases that will help you determine if you need premium support:

  1. Your company is 24/7 and you have a HUGE dependence on Nintex products in your environment. If the proverbial crap hits the fan, you’ll want support, like, yesterday. You’ll need Premium Support.
  2. You only have 1 Production Front-end server in your farm. However your organization has the following environments that need to be licensed:
    1. Production
    2. Testing
    3. Development

In this use case, your standard Software Assurance 1-for-1 non-production licensing will not cover all of your environments; therefore you need Premium Support.

Buying Lower Versions then Upgrading

Nintex provides the ability to start with a lower product line, then upgrade in the future. As an example, you can buy Workflow Standard Edition, then upgrade to Enterprise Edition at a later date. If you do this, there will be a premium upgrade cost which will set you back about 20% more than if you would have purchased Enterprise from the beginning. For that reason, we recommend that you buy the product you will need from the beginning to avoid the additional costs. For organizations looking for creative budgeting, this option may work best for you as you could spread the cost of Enterprise Edition over two purchases.

Demos, Trials, Quotes and Questions

We would be happy to assist your organization in any of your Nintex Licensing concerns. As a Nintex Licensing & Training partner, we can add additional value to your Nintex purchases including free or discounted training as part of your licensing deal. At TekDog, Nintex is our passion!