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Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition compatibility with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Workgroup Edition

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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I have a Server with Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition.  It is in service and has a HD error.  I need to move the database to another Server to keep the client up and running.  

My question is:
Is Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition compatible with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Workgroup Edition.
Can I move the database to the 2008 server and run it without any conversions so that I can move it back to the 2005 server after I repair the HD error?
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In relation to this question.  I quess I should ask, Is there a better alternative to move the database.  I know SQL Express is not compatible.  I need to move it to the other server for just a few hours.
David ToddSenior Database Administrator


iirc you can move the databases and backups from 2005 -> 2008, but not the other way around. To go back would require DTS or SSIS to copy the data.

Why do you say that SQL Express is not compatible? There might be features that aren't available on SQL Express such as SQL Agent, and maybe your database is too big, but otherwise SQL Express 2005 would do what you want, whereas SQL 2008 won't.

Is there any reason you can not upgrade this instance to 2008 once you have fixed the hard disk? In the short term, on the SQL 2008 box, can you install a SQL 2005 instance to cover you for the repair window?

Otherwise you'll need to do the HD repair out-of-hours ...

Mark WillsTopic Advisor, Page Editor
Distinguished Expert 2018

2005 > 2008 = no problems
2008 > 2005 = problems galore - it will not happen unless you script the entire database - which can happen using SQL2008 Export Wizard - you must tell it the destination database.


The location is open 24-7 so there is not downtime.
In the past, I have tried to run a Workgroup database on SQL Express.  I was not successful.  It would not allow me to create the database from a backup.  I think my research pointed to an incompatibility issue.

I don't have another version of the Workgroup 2005.
The current version is 5 CAL.  I believe it would be a violation to reinstall it on the other server?  


Database size is 10gig
Topic Advisor, Page Editor
Distinguished Expert 2018
MW are reasonable, if it is a temporary measure while you uild up the new server, then it is a license you have, and only being used at a single point in time.

Restoring from 2008 backup is no good. It is incompatable. The export Wizard in 2008 is a bit different (read better)...

In SQL 2008, right click on the database, Tasks,  Export Data
Using the Export Wizard select your SQL 2005 database.
It will export all of the database tables and the information within the tables.
You will need to script indexes, stored procedures etc, so make sure you go through ALL the options very carefully, or, use you current database as a basis then import the data over the top.

All things considered, I would be inclined to have a 2005 instance on that machine - if only temporary, if used for purposes of business continuity whilst the other server is being repaired. They do allow you 180 days using the full license for free in an evaluation period, so think that it should be no problems in your case.

At least from having a 2005 database on that server - there are other things like clients connecting, named instances etc etc If you can have the database in 2008 and the client machines can connect and use it "normally" then it might be worth considering leaving it there ? That would be my first thought.

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Mark WillsTopic Advisor, Page Editor
Distinguished Expert 2018

MW is completely reasonable - we already know that - I meant MS (being Microsoft)...
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