SQL Server 2005 Editions

SQL Server 2005, as with previous versions of SQL Server is shipped with several different editions, each with a different licensing arrangement. This allows Microsoft to market its premium database solution to different markets depending on its customers needs. This article will discuss the different editions of SQL Server 2005 hopefully providing you with the information you need to make a decision on what edition of SQL Server 2005 is best for you.

Compact Edition

SQL Server Compact Edition is a free, easy-to-use embedded database engine that lets developers build robust Windows Desktop and mobile applications that run on all Windows platforms including Windows XP, Vista, Pocket PC, and Smartphone.

Express Edition

SQL Server 2005 Express Edition is the next version of MSDE and is a free, easy-to-use, lightweight, and embeddable version of SQL Server 2005. SQL Server Express is a fully-fledged and powerful version of SQL Server offering many of the same features as other editions of SQL Server discussed later in this article, including support for transactions, subscriber only replication and Common Language Runtime (CLR). SQL Server Express can act as a witness server in SQL Server 2005 database mirroring, which can reduce the license cost for setting up and configuring this new SQL Server 2005 feature.

It does have some limitations, it can use only one processor and 1GB of RAM, its database size limit is 4GB which means it can�t be used for larger business applications

This version is free to download, free to redistribute, free to embed, and easy for new developers to use immediately, SQL Server Express Edition includes powerful features such as SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services, a server-based platform for creating and delivering traditional and interactive reports, and a graphical management tool, SQL Server 2005 Management Studio Express, for easily managing your database. Best of all, as your needs grow, your applications will seamlessly work with the rest of the SQL Server product family.

Workgroup Edition

Workgroup Edition is the data management solution for small organizations that need a database with no limits on size or number of users. Workgroup Edition can serve as a front-end Web server or for departmental or branch office operations. It includes the core database features of the SQL Server product line and is easy to upgrade to Standard or Enterprise Edition.

This version is ideal for �entry-level� databases usually found in smaller organisations. Its an affordable solution providing most of what you need to run small businesses IT applications.

Limitations and Exclusions:� Analysis Services � Not Included� Reporting Services � Not Included� Notification Services � Not Included� Limited to 2 processors and 3 GB of memory (any greater than this in the system Workgroup edition will not be able to make use of them)

Standard Edition

Standard Edition is the data management and analysis platform for small and medium-sized organizations that require high availability data analysis platform. Standard edition provides support for two node failover clustering and database mirroring which is a new feature to SQL Server 2005.

It includes the essential functionality needed for e-commerce, data warehousing, and line-of-business solutions. Standard Edition's integrated business intelligence and high-availability features provide organizations with the essential capabilities needed to support their operations.

Enterprise Edition

SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition delivers a complete platform to support your most demanding, large-scale, and mission-critical OLTP and analytical database applications.

This edition is the most robust edition of SQL Server 2005 and is best suited for business critical OLTP systems. SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition is a comprehensive database management platform, SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition delivers the reliability, scalability, performance, and security your large enterprise databases demand. A broad range of features allow you to take full advantage of your entire IT infrastructure with support for a variety of server configurations and implementations. Whether you are challenged with a single large data warehouse or a consolidated server with multiple databases, SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition meets the most challenging availability, scalability, and performance requirements.

SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition is ideal for large-scale and complex data integration, analysis, and reporting environments.

64 Bit Editions

The 64-bit features are available on SQL Server 2005 Standard, Enterprise, and Developer editions. Achieve higher levels of database scalability with SQL Server 2005 (64-bit), the enterprise-class database optimized to run on x64- or Itanium-based servers and Microsoft Windows Server 2003.

When choosing the edition of SQL Server 2005 you will need to evaluate what you need from your RDBMS platform, although most of us �Techies� would want the version with all the bells and whistles, i.e. Enterpise edition the business need may only require the standard edition, but it is important to remember what features are important to your business, saving some money on a license could be more costly than buying the more expensive edition if certain features or performance enhancing features are not available in the version you purchase.

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