Choosing a SQL Server Edition

SQL Server supports five editions: Enterprise, Standard, Developer, Personal, and Windows CE. A 120-day trial version of Enterprise Edition is available for evaluation purposes, as well as a desktop data engine that can be used for data storage in any custom application. The Developer Edition has the features of the Enterprise Edition, but it is licensed for development and testing only. Personal Edition is designed as an application data store primarily aimed at the mobile computer, and Windows CE devices can use the Windows CE Edition as a local data store. The Enterprise and Standard Editions are designed for the Client/Server environment and differ from each other in their scalability and features. Standard Edition is limited to four processors and 2GB of RAM, whereas Enterprise Edition scales to 32 processors and 64GB of RAM.

In addition, you will see that Analysis Services is a separate install from SQL Server itself. In fact, it can be installed without ever installing SQL Server at all; there are no direct requirements between the two. Analysis Services is covered in great length in Chapter 42, "Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services," and its installation will not be covered here.

Table 8.1 lists each SQL Server edition and its main usage to help you focus on which one to start from. Supported features differ in the areas of the database engine and the Analysis Services features. This will be explained shortly and will clarify your final decision on which is right for your application.

Table 8.1. Which SQL Server Version to Use?
Version Used For
SQL Server Windows CE Edition Custom desktop/CE device applications
SQL Server Personal Edition Mobile computing usage
SQL Server Developer Edition Development and testing only (contains most of EE's features)
SQL Server Standard Edition Typical client/server applications (within a department)
SQL Server Enterprise Edition Largescale client/server/Web applications across many departments or the enterprise

Table 8.2 compares the database engine features, and Table 8.3 compares the analysis features.

Table 8.2. Comparison of Database Engine Features
Database Engine Feature Enterprise Standard
Multiple-instance support Supported Supported
Fail-over clustering Supported N/A
Fail-over support in SQL Server Enterprise Manager Supported N/A
Log shipping Supported N/A
Parallel DBCC Supported N/A
Parallel CREATE INDEX Supported N/A
Enhanced read-ahead and scan Supported N/A
Indexed views Supported N/A
Federated database server Supported N/A
System Area Network (SAN) support Supported N/A
Graphical DBA and developer utilities and wizards Supported Supported
Graphical utility support for language settings Supported N/A
Full-text search Supported Supported

Table 8.3. Comparison of Analysis Services Features
Analysis Services Feature Enterprise Standard
Analysis services Supported Supported
User-defined OLAP partitions Supported N/A
Partition Wizard Supported N/A
Linked OLAP cubes Supported N/A
ROLAP dimension support Supported N/A
HTTP Internet support Supported N/A
Custom rollups Supported Supported
Calculated cells Supported N/A
Writeback to dimensions Supported N/A
Very large dimension support Supported N/A
Actions Supported Supported
Real-time OLAP Supported N/A
Distributed partitioned cubes Supported N/A
Data mining Supported Supported

    Part III: SQL Server Administration
    Part IV: Transact-SQL
    Part V: SQL Server Internals and Performance Tuning
    Part VI: Additional SQL Server Features