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How portable are Microsoft SQL databases between editions?

Posted on 2011-03-09
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How portable are Microsoft SQL databases between editions? Can you detach and attach databases from say 2005 9.0 express edition and attach to 2008 10.0 enterprise edition? What’s the rules here? I detach copy and attach between like editions all the time without issue, but I wonder how far up or down a database can go, if it can at all. Does “Compatibility Level” play in to portability? Can you detach a SQL Server 2000 (80) Compatibility Level database from a 2008 10.0 standard edition server and attach it to a 2005 9.0 express edition of SQL? What dose a person need to watch out for here?
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Question by:wchaffin
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dbaSQL earned 250 total points
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good reference on compatibility level:
http://www.mssqltips.com/tip.asp?tip=1436
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by:dbaSQL
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by:Daniel_PL
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Please keep in mind that database attached to higher version of SQL Server could not be reattached back to lower. Backup created by higher edition cannot be restored to lower.
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms189625%28v=SQL.90%29.aspx
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by:Ryan McCauley
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As others have mentioned, there are important differences to be considered when you're changing VERSION of SQL Server.

However, aside from the fact that SQL Express only supports databases up to 4GB, there's no restrictions at all in changing EDITION of SQL Server (Standard -> Enterprise, Enterprise -> Express, or any other conversion). To move a database to a different edition (same version) of SQL Server, you could either backup/restore or detach/reattach, and you'd be just fine.
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by:Anthony Perkins
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>> aside from the fact that SQL Express only supports databases up to 4GB<<
Just a very minor quible, that is now 10GB starting in SQL Server 2008.
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by:wchaffin
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wow! all excellence guidance. i should have excluded system databases from the question. i think most people only move user databases.

Thank you for the excellent responces.
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by:dbaSQL
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Glad to have helped.
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