How to sign-up for MSDN AA - a step-by-step guide

MSDN AA is an important program where Microsoft works with universities to put Microsoft software in the hands of students registered in a science, technology, math, and/or engineering program. MSDN AA is a paid membership program for college and university departments that enables them to issue software to their students. In addition, any student club is also eligible to sign-up for the MSDN AA program.

Here is a 20-step guide for any eligible STEM-D department or student club to sign-up for the MSDN AA program at

  1. website: Go to or
  2. register: Select "Register for  Developer Academic Alliance".
  3. EULA: In another browser window, read the license agreement (EULA) for MSDN AA at
  4. Wizard: Select 'Country = United States' and click on Register (or Renew if you already have a membership).
  5. School info: Provide the Institution (name, type)  and Department (name, student size) information and click Continue
  6. Discount code: Provide any promo code or Campus/School agreement number to get discounts on the cost of MSDN AA membership and select Continue.
  7. membership type: Select the 3 year MSDN Developer AA membership for $1025 (or 1 year membership for $499) and select the online download (as media type). Click on 'Proceed to Checkout'. Applicable sales tax is added.
  8. Contact info: On the next screen,
    • Provide the contact email for the MSDNAA Program Admin at your school
    • Provide your Tax ID and mail tax exempt certificate to  MSDN AA tax exemption department or Fax (661) 775-6475
    • provide the Billing address and Shipping Address (of the MSDN AA program Administrator)
    • Review the privacy policy statement at
    • Click on Continue
  9. Review you membership and Customer information.
    • Choose your payment type and enter the PO Number, Credit card details or mail your check to the amount shown.
    • Select 'I agree to the terms and condition'
  10. Confirmation: At this point the MSDN AA Order is created and sent for processing
    • On the confirmation page, note the 14 digit Order Reference Number (example:01142017827308), and any documentation you need to submit
    • Print the confirmation page and include a copy with all your communication.
    • This confirmation page states "to ensure you receive the first shipment of program software and your membership kit". The "first shipment and membership kit" are only mailed out if you selected the DVD media option. Most sign-up do not choose this option and hence do to receive any physical material in the snail mail.
  11. email: A confirmation email is sent from, to the contact email entered in step 8 (with title of "Microsoft Order in Process -- Order Number: 01142017827308") including the 14 digit Order Reference number (example:01142017827308) and another 8 digit Membership Reference Number (example: T89-00369)
    • This mail states that "You will receive your membership number and access instructions within three business days".
    • However, this is true only if there is no information or documentation you have to submit.
  12. submit: Please submit all the required documentation (example: Tax exemption Certification, copy of your Purchase order, check) at the earliest opportunity. Include the 14 digit Order Reference number (example:01142017827308) in all your communications.
    • Once all the required documentation is submitted, your MSDN AA membership will be activated in 3 business days.
  13. Activation: You will receive an email from (sent to the contact email entered in step 8), confirming the activation of your MSDN AA account. This will be 3 business days after all your documentation and payment have been received.
    • Your 9 digit Membership ID Number (example: 900591288) is included.
    • Instructions on accessing your online membership are included
  14. Support: At any time during this process, if you need any assistance email or phone (866)643-9421 or fax (661) 775-6475 to reach the MSDN AA support.
  15. ELMS: Sign-up at for an ELMS account, providing
    • your 9 digit MSDNAA membership # (example: 900591288)
    • Name of your Institution and department name
    • program Admin name  and email
  16. email: You will receive a confirmation email from (ex: providing you
  17. Information about ELMS can be obtained at
  18. Login: To get started,
    • Login to your ELMS with your Admin user name and admin password
    • Click on the ADMINISTRATION button located on the horizontal navigation bar (beside SOFTWARE and SUPPORT).
    • Review the Hosted ELMS Guide  and Admin FAQ for information on
      • configuration,
      • product setup,
      • batch importing student email (identity)
      • getting support
  19. Configure Product: To make software available on your Cloud Hosted ELMS server
    • Click on "Hosted ELMS" icon on Right hand side (OR Product Management / Rapid Setup / Configure Hosted ELMS now)
    • On the "Rapid Setup - Hosted ELMS" page, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on "Enable ALL" button
  20. Add users: To upload student emails (identities)
    • On the Left Hand Side, click on User Management/ Groups / Add New Group
    • Create a Group Name such as "2008 Fall CS Students" and set an expiry date for the end of the term: January 31, 2009
    • Create a plain text file (.txt) with a list of all students taking classes in the CS department for Fall 2008 - one complete email address  per line in the text file ( and save as '2008 fall CS Student list.txt'
    • A best practice is to get the list of ALL students taking any class in your department, from the department office, for upload.
    • Import this List by  clicking on (the Left hand Side) the User Management/ELMS Authentication / Import List.
      • Import the test file created previously: 'Desktop\2008 fall CS Student list.txt'
      • Select the Group: 2008 Fall CS Students

That's it. Each of the students whose email you uploaded in step 20 will receive an email from with a link to your online MSDNAA Software system:, from where they can down the software you enabled in step 19 and also get the product keys. All the program Admin has to do is to wait out the semester and upload a new set of students taking a class in the department.

If you need help configuring your Hosted ELMS delivery solution, please email our support staff at

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