As Microsoft develops each new release of SQL Server, it seems compelled to add new editions—and SQL Server 2008 offers several. Here’s a quick look at SQL Server 2008 editions. For more information, see "SQL Server 2008 Express Editions" and "SQL Server 2008 R2 Editions."

Enterprise Edition

Top dog of the SQL Server product line, Enterprise Edition possesses the entire SQL Server 2008 feature set. It supports the OS maximum of 64 CPUs, 2TB of RAM, and database size limited only by available storage. Notable features exclusive to Enterprise Edition include support for data compression, transparent database encryption, and unlimited virtual machine licensing. It’s priced at $24,999 per processor or $13,499 per server including 10 CALs.

Developer Edition

Although it’s got the same features as Enterprise Edition, Developer Edition is licensed only for developmental use. It isn’t used as a production database server.

Web Edition

New to the SQL Server lineup, Web Edition is designed to be run by web-hosting providers. It supports up to 4 CPUs, 2TB of RAM, and unlimited database size. BI-wise, it supports SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS). It’s priced at $15 per processor per month.

Standard Edition

Standard Edition provides core database and business intelligence (BI) feature sets. It supports up to 4 CPUs and 2TB of RAM, with unlimited database size. Support for BI subsystems includes SQL Server Analysis Services, SQL Server Integration Services, and SSRS. It’s priced at $5,999 per processor or $2,799 per server with 10 CALs.

Workgroup Edition

Workgroup Edition is for departments and branch offices. It supports a maximum of 2 CPUs, 4GB of RAM, and unlimited database size. Like Web Edition, its only BI support is for SSRS. It does include the SQL Agent. Workgroup Edition is priced at $3,899 or $739 per server including five CALs.

Express Edition and Express Edition with Advanced Services

Designed for small workgroups, Express Edition is often used as the built-in database for Microsoft Share- Point and System Center products. A free download, it supports a maximum of 1 CPU, 1GB of RAM, and database sized to 4GB. Express Edition with Advanced Services adds SQL Server Management Studio Express and support for SSRS.

SQL Server Compact Edition 3.5

Built on a different code base than the other editions, SQL Server Compact Edition comes in Microsoft Visual Studio 2008. It’s a small-footprint, in-process database with limited relational database capabilities.

YOUR SAVVY ASSISTANT The Missing Link to IT Resources

Christan Humphries is a Windows IT Pro associate and regular contributor to Windows IT Pro, SQL Server Magazine, and associated websites, specializing in the Windows IT Pro network of tools and resources.

These days, change seems to be everywhere but in my pocket. In this year’s US presidential campaign, I heard a lot about change. And now, I can’t escape the ever-increasing talk about upgrading to SQL Server 2008. So I’ve drawn a line in the sand: Just because something’s new, you don’t have to leap to adopt it. You need to carefully compare SQL Server 2008 to the version that you’re running now, whether it’s SQL Server 2005 or SQL Server 2000. Even if you decide not to upgrade, Sqlmag.com still has the information you need to keep you going with whatever SQL Server version you have. And unlike some political slogans, these are solutions you can believe in. I promise.

SQL Server 2005:
“SQL Server 2005 Resources”
“Leverage Reporting Services 2005 Independent of Your Database”
“SQL Server Consolidation”
“SQLQueryStress”
“Best Practices Analyzer”

SQL Server 2000:
“Bare-Metal Tuning”
“Moving Cubes from Analysis Services 2000 to 2005”