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Licensing of SQL Server 2008 Express Expand / Collapse
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Posted Thursday, October 15, 2009 1:11 AM
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Hi there

We currently have 160 branch servers with SQL Server 2000 standard edition on them.
These servers are replicated to from a central SQL Server which is Enterprise licensed by processor.

On each of the branch servers (which are application and database servers) a 3 tier application runs that interacts with the users in the branch and uses information in the replicated database (Database A).

Information entered at the branch server is stored within another database (Database B) located on the branch server and is also sent back to a mainframe (not SQL Server).
We also have another application on each of the 160 branch servers that sends some of the collected information in database B to another central SQL Server which is enterprise licensed by processor.

What I want to know is, can I replace the SQL 2000 on the branch servers with SQL2008 Express and eliminate the need to license SQL Server on the 160 branch servers. (I am not concerned about the performance of SQL Server 2008 Express on the branch servers).

Everything I read about SQL Server 2008 Express would indicate that we would not have to license SQL Server 2008 express, but we have our volume license vendor telling us that we would still need to license and pay for all the 160 branch SQL Servers + CAL's.
I don't believe this to be correct.

Could anyone shed any light on this.

Thanks.
Post #803257
Posted Saturday, February 20, 2010 2:50 AM
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Hi. First of all, I hope you know what you're doing, here.

Going from SQL Server 2000 Standard To SQL Server 2008 Express, might not be a good idea.

I expect that you've done your homework on the limitations of SQL Server 2008 Express.

As far as I know, as long as you're using SQL Server 2008 Express, no servers or CALs licensing is required.

Try to talk to the Microsoft's SQL Server Sales department to get it cleared up.

Adieu!
Post #869605
Posted Saturday, February 20, 2010 7:00 AM


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I see no reason why you shouldn't do this, though you should certainly test it for yourself

I wonder why the currently installed SQL Servers are 2000 Standard - I would have expected MSDE...?

One common 'gotcha' with Express versions: there is no SQL Server Agent.

Also look into SQL Server Compact 3.5 - it seems a better fit than Express, on the face of it.

But yes, have a chat to your Microsoft TAM or whatever.

Paul




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Post #869645
Posted Saturday, February 20, 2010 10:27 AM


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Overall it makes sense to me. I'm sure someone just bought "SQL Server" not knowing about MSDE. If you can live with the performance and limitations pointed out above, use Express.

Compact is interesting, but it's not a server. It needs to be embedded in a running application, and it has more limitations. No stored procedures, and more. I tend to view it more as an embedded database inside a product that is very small, with little to no maintenance. If you need to defrag or you are storings 100s of MBs, I think I'd stick with Express.







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Post #869678
Posted Saturday, February 20, 2010 10:46 PM


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The reference to 'branches' in the original question made me think of a retail environment.

Some years ago, I worked on a system with a similar configuration - based on NSB's Connected Retailer product. The in-store terminals each had a copy of MSDE, and custom replication was used to return transaction data to the central servers for processing. With 500 stores in many different countries, the licencing costs of Standard Edition would have been ruinous!

We did look at replacing the MSDE instances with SQL Server Express Edition, but the lack of SQL Server Agent, together with the other limitations of that edition made it unattractive. I haven't used Compact in a production environment, but it does seem to be a closer match to MSDE in many respects, and doesn't have the CPU and memory limitations - see SQL Server 2008 Editions

Paul




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Post #869759
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