Create SQL Server license assignments for Azure Hybrid Benefit

The centralized Azure Hybrid Benefit experience in the Azure portal supports SQL Server license assignments at the account level or at a particular subscription level. When the assignment is created at the account level, Azure Hybrid Benefit discounts are automatically applied to SQL resources in all the account's subscriptions, up to the license quantity specified in the assignment.

For each license assignment, a scope is selected and then licenses are assigned to the scope. Each scope can have multiple license entries.

Here's a video demonstrating how centralized Azure Hybrid Benefit works.


The following prerequisites must be met to create SQL Server license assignments.

  • Your organization has a supported agreement type and supported offer.
  • You're a member of a role that has permissions to assign SQL licenses.
  • Your organization has SQL Server core licenses with Software Assurance or core subscription licenses available to assign to Azure.
  • Your organization is already enrolled to automatic registration of the Azure SQL VMs with the IaaS extension. To learn more, see SQL IaaS extension registration options for Cost Management administrators.


    Failure to meet this prerequisite will cause Azure to produce incomplete data about your current Azure Hybrid Benefit usage. This situation could lead to incorrect license assignments and might result in unnecessary pay-as-you-go charges for SQL Server licenses.

The prerequisite roles differ depending on the agreement type.

Agreement type Required role Supported offers
Enterprise Agreement Enterprise Administrator

If you're an Enterprise admin with read-only access, you need your organization to give you full access to assign licenses using centrally managed Azure Hybrid Benefit.

If you're not an Enterprise admin, you must get assigned that role by your organization (with full access). For more information about how to become a member of the role, see Add another enterprise administrator.

- MS-AZR-0017P (Microsoft Azure Enterprise)
- MS-AZR-USGOV-0017P (Azure Government Enterprise)
Microsoft Customer Agreement Billing account owner
Billing account contributor
Billing profile owner
Billing profile contributor
If you don't have one of the preceding roles, your organization must assign one to you. For more information about how to become a member of the roles, see Manage billing roles.
MS-AZR-0017G (Microsoft Azure Plan)
WebDirect / Pay-as-you-go Not available None
CSP / Partner led customers Not available None


Centrally assigning licenses to scopes isn't available for Sponsored, MSDN Credit subscriptions or Microsoft Cloud Partner Program subscriptions. SQL software usage is free for Dev/Test subscriptions (MS-AZR-0148P or MS-AZR-0023P offer types).

Create a SQL license assignment

In the following procedure, you navigate from Cost Management + Billing to Reservations + Hybrid Benefit. Don't navigate to Reservations from the Azure home page. By doing so, you don't have the necessary scope to view the license assignment experience.

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal and navigate to Cost Management + Billing.
    Screenshot showing Azure portal navigation to Cost Management + Billing.

  2. Use one of the following two steps, depending on your agreement type:

    • If you have an Enterprise Agreement, select a billing scope.
      Screenshot showing EA billing scope selection.
    • If you have a Microsoft Customer Agreement, select a billing profile.
      Screenshot showing billing profile selection.
  3. In the left menu, select Reservations + Hybrid Benefit.
    Screenshot showing Reservations + Hybrid Benefit selection.

  4. Select Add and then in the list, select Azure Hybrid Benefit.
    Screenshot showing Azure Hybrid Benefit selection.

  5. On the next screen, select Assign licenses.
    Screenshot showing Get started with Centrally Managed Azure Hybrid Benefit selection.
    If you don't see the page, and instead see the message You are not the Billing Admin on the selected billing scope then you don't have the required permission to assign a license. If so, you need to get the required permission. For more information, see Prerequisites.

  6. Choose the scope and coverage option for the number of qualifying licenses that you want to assign.

  7. Select the date that you want to review the license assignment. For example, you might set it to the agreement renewal or anniversary date. Or you might set it to the subscription renewal date for the source of the licenses.

    Screenshot showing scope selection and number of licenses.

  8. Optionally, select See usage details to view your current Azure Hybrid Benefit usage enabled at the resource scope.
    Screenshot showing the Usage details tab.

  9. Select Add.

  10. Optionally, change the default license assignment name. The review date is automatically set to a year but you can change it. Its purpose is to remind you to periodically review your license assignments.
    Screenshot showing default license assignment name.

  11. After you review your choices, select Next: Review + apply.

  12. Select the By selecting "Apply" attestation option to confirm that you have authority to apply Azure Hybrid Benefit, enough SQL Server licenses, and that you maintain the licenses as long as they're assigned.
    Screenshot showing the attestation option.

  13. At the bottom of the page, select Apply and then select Yes.

  14. The list of assigned licenses is shown.
    Screenshot showing the list of assigned licenses.

Track assigned license use

Navigate to Cost Management + Billing and then select Reservations + Hybrid Benefit.

A list of all reservations and license assignments is shown. If you want to filter the results to only license assignments, set a filter for SQL hybrid benefit.

Screenshot showing the list of reservations and licenses.

Under Last Day Utilization or 7-day Utilization, select a percentage, which might be blank or zero, to view the assignment usage history in detail.

Screenshot showing assignment usage details.

If a license assignment's usage is 100%, then it's likely some resources within the scope are incurring pay-as-you-go charges for SQL Server. We recommend that you use the license assignment experience again to review how much usage is being covered or not by assigned licenses. Afterward, go through the same process as before. That includes consulting your procurement or software asset management department, confirming that more licenses are available, and assigning the licenses.

Changes after license assignment

After you create SQL license assignments, your experience with Azure Hybrid Benefit changes in the Azure portal.

  • Any existing Azure Hybrid Benefit elections configured for individual SQL resources no longer apply. The SQL license assignment created at the subscription or account level replaces them.
  • The hybrid benefit option isn't shown as in your SQL resource configuration.
  • Applications or scripts that configure the hybrid benefit programmatically continue to work, but the setting doesn't have any effect.
  • SQL software discounts are applied to the SQL resources in the scope. The scope is based on the quantity in the license assignments created for the subscription in the account where the resource was created.
  • A specific resource configured for hybrid benefit might not get the discount if other resources consume all of the licenses. However, the maximum discount is applied to the scope, based on number of license counts. For more information about how the discounts are applied, see What is centrally managed Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server?

Cancel a license assignment

Review your license situation before you cancel your license assignments. When you cancel a license assignment, you no longer receive discounts for them. So, your Azure bill might increase. If you cancel the last remaining license assignment, Azure Hybrid Benefit management reverts to the individual resource level.

To cancel a license assignment

  1. In the list of reservations and license assignments, select a license assignment.
  2. On the license assignment details page, select Cancel.
    Screenshot showing the Cancel option.
  3. On the Cancel page, review the notification and then select Yes, cancel.
    Screenshot showing the Cancel page.

Next steps