SQL Server 2008 Editions - SQL Server 2008

At the time of this writing, the SQL Server 2008 editions are essentially the same as those that were available for SQL Server 2005. Five main SQL Server 2008 editions are available:

Enterprise Edition: This is primarily used for business-critical, large-scale online transaction processing (OLTP), large-scale reporting, data warehousing, and server consolidation requirements. Enterprise Edition comes with more than 60 features that are not found in Standard Edition. Some of these features are significant enough to entice those who have always said that tandard Edition was good enough. Features found only in Enterprise Edition are data and backup compression, audits that use extended events, and Resource Governor, to name a few. The gap of features between Standard Edition and Enterprise Edition is far greater in SQL Server 2008 than it was in SQL Server 2005.

Standard Edition: This edition is primarily used for departmental applications and small to medium-sized OLTP loads. Standard Edition comes with most of the powerful reporting capabilities found in SQL Server Reporting Services and makes a great reporting and analytics server as well.

Workgroup Edition: This edition includes the basic SQL Server relational database capabilities, as well as some of the replication technologies. This makes Workgroup Edition good for running branch office applications and performing remote synchronization with other geographically separated servers. Workgroup Edition is considerably less expensive than Standard Edition.

Express Edition: This is the free version of SQL Server. It’s ideal for learning and building desktop and small server applications, and for redistribution. Although a lot of the Enterprise Edition functionality is intentionally disabled, the actual SQL Server runtime binary (sqlservr.exe) is created with the exact same code base as that of SQL Server Enterprise Edition (and all other editions, for that matter). This makes Express Edition a stable, high-performance database engine for a great price.

Compact Edition: This is the other free SQL Server version, designed to be an embedded database for applications. The ideal use case for Compact Edition is building stand-alone and occasionally connected applications for mobile devices, desktops, and clients.

Note: Developer and Evaluation Editions expose the same functionality as Enterprise Edition, but have special licensing restrictions. For example, Microsoft does not allow you to run Developer Edition on your production server


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