Hi Bob,
I just saw the specification you're referring to (pasted below for those anyone who is interested).  Unfortunately, everything I can find confirms what you were told.
There's a PowerSource thread that discusses the issue (https://powersource.pearsonschoolsystems.com/document/article/62998).  One of the posters contacted Microsoft directly and got this response:  "An External Connector would be required as the User is individually identifiable. It doesn't matter if Windows Server authentication is used or not. If the Web Application individually identifies (rather than Windows Authentication) the User then an External Connector is required."
This does make it sound like, if you're not already using Active Directory anyway, your staff and students would be covered by the External Connector and wouldn't need individual CALs.  Thoughts?
Regarding the OS (which is brought up in the above thread as well), Oracle dropped support for OSX Server, which is why Pearson is also dropping support for that platform.  It would be nice if Pearson started a Linux port, but I'm not holding my breath. 
"Microsoft requires certain licensing when other users connect to a Windows 2008 server. A Client Access License (CAL) will be required by Microsoft for each internal district user that will access the PowerSchool server. An External Connector License (ECL) will be required by Microsoft for external users, such as guardians, who will be connecting to the PowerSchool server. Pearson recommends contacting Microsoft or your district’s software vendor for details regarding Microsoft software licensing."

Thomas Hebert
Network Administrator
Bellows Free Academy
[log in to unmask]
>>> Bob Wickberg <[log in to unmask]> 7/15/2011 5:56 PM >>>
I just started looking at this upgrade.  We need Windows Server 2008 R2,
SP1 to run it on, and nothing less will do, according to the
documentation.  It further goes on to say we need windows server client
access licenses for everyone inside the network who uses it, and an
external connector license if we're going to let parents in to the parent
portal.  I asked Dell/Asap for a quote on the latter alone, and the answer
I got was $5311!   Is this for real?!?!?!  I called Pearson tech support,
and they said yup, that's what you need.  If this is true, I don't think
I'm gonna be upgrading this summer.  I think it's time for the whole PS
user community to rise up and demand they port the server to another OS,
if this is what it's gonna cost just to license the OS on the server.


Bob Wickberg
Technology Coordinator
Brattleboro Union High School District # 6

School Information Technology Discussion <[log in to unmask]> writes:
>Hi all!
>We were wondering what districts have and/or will be making the move from
>PowerSchool 6.2 to PowerSchool 7 this summer. For those of you that have
>already made the move, did you do the update and/or the new install
>yourself or did you pay PowerSchool technicians to do it for you? Also,
>if you did the move yourself, did you find it somewhat straight-forward?
>We are trying to determine if we want to try doing a clean install on a
>virtual server ourselves or if we should pay Pearson/PowerSchool to set
>it up for us.
>Any insight would be appreciated.
>Thank you!
>Michelle M. Devino