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Introduction to Microsoft SQL Server 2005

SQL Server 2005 Editions

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After a long gap in the release of SQL Server databases, Microsoft recently released SQL Server 2005 (formerly code-named Yukon). In this substantial upgrade, they've packed the new database engine full of features. Probably the most significant one that will catch your attention is the price tag – it’s up to 25% higher than SQL Server 2000. A single processor license for SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition will set you back approximately $25,000. That’s not cheap, but Microsoft has made some great advances in functionality that make up the difference.

In this first part of our series on this new product, let’s take a look at the four different editions of SQL Server 2005 that Microsoft plans to release:
  • SQL Server 2005 Express replaces the Microsoft Data Engine (MSDE) as the free version of SQL Server for application development and lightweight use. It remains free and retains the limitations of MSDE with respect to client connections and performance. It’s a great tool for developing and testing applications and extremely small implementations, but that’s about as far as you can run with it.
  • SQL Server 2005 Workgroup is the new entrant in the product line. It’s billed as a “small business SQL Server” and it offers an impressive array of functionality for a $3,899 price tag per processor. (It’s also available under a 5-user license for $739). Workgroup edition maxes out at 2 CPUs with 3GB of RAM and allows for most of the functionality you’d expect from a server-based relational database. It offers limited replication capabilities as well.
  • The workhorse SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition remains the staple of the product line for serious database applications. It can handle up to 4 CPUs with an unlimited amount of RAM. Standard Edition 2005 introduces database mirroring and integration services. It’s priced at $5,999 for a processor or $2,799 for 5 users.
  • The big kid on the block is SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition. With the release of 2005, Enterprise Edition allows unlimited scalability and partitioning. It’s truly an enterprise-class database and it’s hefty price tag ($24,999 per processor or $13,499 for 5 users) reflects its value.
Those are the basics of SQL Server 2005! In future weeks, we’ll explore some of the new functionality offered by this powerful database.
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