2014 SQL Server Editions – Overview

Microsoft-SQL-Server 2014 is the latest edition of SQL Server available[/caption]

SQL Server 2014 was officially released in April 1st, 2014. You can download the 120 day Enterprise edition trial version here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-US/evalcenter/dn205290

As with previous version of SQL server, there are three primary editions of SQL Server 2014 available.

Enterprise Edition

This is the whole kit and caboodle. Every feature of SQL Server is included in the enterprise edition. Consequently, enterprise edition, also has the highest licensing costs. Enterprise edition is only available under what is called the the core-based licensing model. This means you pay per core wherever you have enterprise edition installed. Some features are only available in enterprise edition, such as always on instance clustering and always on availability groups. Enterprise edition can scale up to 640 logical processors on a physical machine. Basically, the computing capacity and memory utilization can be the operating system maximum. On a virtual machine it can scale up to 64 logical processors using up to 1 TB of RAM. The largest database size is 524 PB. SQL Server 2014 Enterprise edition is designed for today’s most demanding enterprise applications with built in mission-critical capabilities to ensure applications and data are up and available, scalable and secure. You can download the 120 day trial version here.


Standard Edition

Standard edition is designed for serving as a back end for internal applications, or even powering a dynamic website. It offers basic subset of database, reporting and analytic capabilities. The SQL Server database engine, as well as analysis services, reporting services are limited to the lesser of four sockets or 16 cores with respect to computing capacity. Memory is limited to a maximum of 64 GB and the largest database size is 524 PB. SQL Server 2014 Standard Edition is available under core-based licensing as well as server/CAL licensing. Standard edition provides basic availability and disaster recovery with up to two node fail-over clustering, log shipping, and peer-to-peer replication. As basic availability and disaster recovery with two node failover clustering, log shipping, and peer-to-peer replication.


Business Intelligence Edition

Business Intelligence Edition bridges the gap between standard and enterprise for companies wishing to build and deploy secure, scalable and manageable BI solutions. It has the same features and limits as Standard Edition, except when it comes to the computing capacity and memory utilization of business intelligence features. The compute capacity and maximum memory for the SQL Server database engine is still limited to four sockets or 16 cores and 64 GB respectively. If when using analysis services or reporting services both the compute capacity and memory utilized restrictions are removed and can operate up to the operating system maximum. There are a few other features that you do not get that standard has such as the distributed replay. Client or the distributed replay controller. You do gain features and analysis services such as scalable shared databases and synchronize databases, perspectives, writeback dimensions, linked measures and dimensions, proactive caching, push mode processing and measure expressions. You also gain the BI semantic model which is normally an enterprise only feature along with power pivot for SharePoint and Excel 2010. You also gain more data mining and reporting services tools and features.


Other Editions

There are additional editions of SQL Server also available, that are not really considered a full part of the main offerings. Still they are very useful and functional when used in appropriate environments.


Developer Edition

Developer Edition has all the features of enterprise edition, but is designed for developers to use to effectively build and test and demonstrate applications. It is licensed per user and is not to be used in production environments.


Express Edition

Express edition is a free version of SQL Server that is limited in its functionality and size. Is limited to one socket with a maximum of four cores for CPU power, 1 GB of memory, and a database size. No larger than 10 GB. If using the reporting features. The maximum memory is raised to 4 GB. Express edition is compatible with all other editions of SQL Server. Express edition has a few different versions that can be downloaded:

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Advanced Services

The Express Edition with Advanced Services download contains the full set of features in SQL Server Express. It contains the database engine, express tools, reporting services, fulltext search, management tools, and all the components of SQL Server express

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Express edition with tools contains only the core SQL Server database along with tools to manage SQL Server instances, including SQL Server express, local DB, and SQL Azure.


LocalDB (SqlLocalDB)

This is a lightweight version of express that has all his programability features that runs in user mode. It has a fast zero configuration, installation, and no management tools are included. It provides a simple way to create and work with databases from code. It can be bundled with application database developer tools in Visual Studio are embedded with an application that needs local databases.


Web Edition

Web Edition is limited to four sockets or 16 cores, 64-bit GB of maximum memory and can have a database up to 524 PB. It is designed for Internet facing workloads, and enables organizations to rapidly deploy webpages, application websites and services. It is only available through an SPLA (Service Provider License Agreement) for organizations that offer hosted software and services such as web hosting, hosted applications, messaging, collaboration, and platform infrastructure to customers.


Compact Edition

Compact Edition is a free, embedded SQL Server addition for ASP.Net websites and Windows applications. It is integrated with Visual Studio and WebMatrix. It provides a consistent set up, and a small download. Is easily deployed with an application. It uses SHA_2 algorithms to secure data and provide high-level security. The latest addition added T–SQL for offset and fetch use for paging queries.


Previous Editions

Previous versions of SQL Server, had many different editions. The main one Continued as above others have been discontinued. If you are running a discontinued edition one you upgrade, you will need to change to one of current editions. The previous editions that have been discontinued are:

  • Workgroup
  • Small Business
  • Datacenter


Comments 3

  1. Pingback: 2014 SQL Server Editions – Overview - SQL Server - SQL Server - Toad World

  2. Dear Bell
    I will quote the following from your article about BI edition “The compute capacity and maximum memory for the SQL Server database engine is still limited to four sockets or 16 cores and 64 GB respectively. If when using analysis services or reporting services both the compute capacity and memory utilized restrictions are removed and can operate up to the operating system maximum.”

    My question is if I have the following scenario:
    1- Database engine, SSAS and SSAS on the same machine
    2- I have server of 4 sockets 10 cores each and 512 GB of ram

    1- Can I avoid the restrictions of database engine because I have SSAS and SSRS on that machine?
    2- Can I limit CPUs and cores resources for database engine and let it open for SSAS and SSRS?


    1. Post

      I will do my best to try to answer these questions, though contacting your Microsoft agent is the best course for determining what licensing you actually need.

      As for my thoughts on this:
      1) You cannot avoid the DB engine restriction even by having SSIS and SSAS on the same server. They may be on the same server, but they are different engines so they utilize the CPU and memory differently.

      2) Off the top of my head I don’t know of any real way to limit the CPU on the resources for the DB engine, but it kind of depends on what your system actually is. If you are virtualized you can pin a number of cores, but then the whole machine is limited. You might be able to get away with using the MAXDOP settings in SQL Server to restrict the cores available, CPU affinity can be used, but don’t. It really isn’t going to get you through a licensing audit as easily as you would think it would. You could even go so far as to configure server level resource restrictions based on the service running, but that is getting more complicated than it really needs to be. In my opinion, you never want to make your system a bigger pain to manage for you or anyone else.

      BI edition is for just that, running BI processes in SSIS and SSAS, not the regular SQL engine. If you need to use the SQL engine to its full capability, Enterprise edition is your answer. It costs more, but you get everything you need with it without worry.

      In these situations I highly recommend talking with your Microsoft licensing representative, explain your concerns and work with them to get a solution they recommend and support.

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