Options on upgrading SQL Server

I'm planning on upgrading our office SQL Server from version 2005 to 2014. When searching for prices I experienced a bit of sticker-shock. SQL Server 2014 Standard costs between $3,000-$4,000. Seems like a lot. By contrast the Developers Version is around $50+/-, but is billed as "full featured". That seems really, really low.

We basically have 1 concurrent user for SQL Server, can I get by with the Developers Version? Why would I need the Standard version?
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Steve WalesSenior Database AdministratorCommented:
If you wish to be in line with licensing requirements, Developer Edition is great for developers but can't be used for a production system.

Go to the Microsoft Store: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/products/sql-server/purchasing.aspx#fbid=puguINf8EB5

Click on: Read the SQL Server 2014 Licensing Guide

Pages 16 and 17 of that document:

SQL Server Developer Edition
SQL Server 2014 Developer Edition is a full-function version of SQL Server software—including all of the features and capabilities of Enterprise Edition—licensed under the Developer Tools model, which is a “per user” model. One license is required for each person that accesses or uses the software.

Also (emphasis added):

When using SQL Server under the Developer Tools license model, the software may only be used for development, test or demonstration purposes.

It goes on to talk about what defines a production system (i.e.) the kind of systems you cannot use developer edition for.
ste5anSenior DeveloperCommented:
Evaluate the Express edition.. it's free.
Vitor MontalvãoMSSQL Senior EngineerCommented:
SQL Server Express Edition can be an option but has limitations:
10 GB database size
No SQL Server Agent
and many others....
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MarkAuthor Commented:
Vitor Montalvão:
SQL Server Express Edition can be an option but has limitations: ...
Express does look interesting. Our SQL Server server only has 1 CPU anyway. How would I determine the size a database occupies? The backup of our biggest database is only 1.2G. We don't use a lot of features.

Not having Agent would be a problem though. I have scripts run by Agent that backup the database.
ste5anSenior DeveloperCommented:
Database properties:
Vitor MontalvãoMSSQL Senior EngineerCommented:
The backup of our biggest database is only 1.2G
That's enough since the backup size is the data size of the database.
You can schedule your backups in Windows Schedule Task. Here's a good and complete article to show you how to do it.

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MarkAuthor Commented:
Vitor Montalvão: yes! Being able to back up w/o agent is a great idea. In fact, I don't particularly care to use agent as the log files have to be proactively inspected and maintained. I could also use Linux cron instead of Windows Scheduler.

So, possibly for my needs, the only thing I really lose with Express is the analysis tools, right?

Here's what I've gleaned from the feature comparison list posted by ste5an:

Included with 'Express with Tools' and 'Express with Advanced Services', but not in basic 'Express':

SQL Server Management Studio
Distributed Reply - Admin Tool

not sure what the last 2 are - I'll have to research.

Included only with 'Express with Advances Services':

SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT)
Full-text and semantic search
Specification of Language in query

again, not sure what the 1st two do -- will have to research.

Not included in any Express version, but seem important:

Transact-SQL endpoints
Basic Transforms
Transactional replication

Probably 'Express with Advanced Services' would do the job. I'll have to check on the features I've listed. Yes, I can backup the databases with an external script. I have used the profiling tool and analysis services with SQL Server 2005, but very rarely.
Vitor MontalvãoMSSQL Senior EngineerCommented:
Distributed Reply - Admin Tool - I'm not sure but I think is a testing tool that replicate actions on a SQL Server database.
LocalDB - I think is a minimal local database.
SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) - Is the replacement tool for BIDS.
Full-text and semantic search - Full text search functionality
Specification of Language in query - May be some limitations using the T-SQL.

Basically you'll be very limited with SQL Server Express if you want to use it for development.
MarkAuthor Commented:
Well, since my last posting I've contacting CDW, the govt. reseller we've used in the past. Bad news is that SQL Server 2014 Standard will cost us $5,000!!!

Vitor Montalvão:
Basically you'll be very limited with SQL Server Express if you want to use it for development.

I think we have pretty limited needs. Just vanilla queries, inserts, deletes relatively small tables. We need transaction logging, backup, computed columns -- no need for data warehousing; we don't do anything fancy with partitioning or clustering, nor availability groups (whatever those are), no reporting ...

I think my solution for the moment will be to kick the can down the road a few years. SQL Server 2005 isn't due to be sunset for a while. My short-term goal is to get the database server off Server 2008 and onto Windows 7 / RAID-1 setup where I can do Acronis image backups in case of a catastrophic hardware failure. I though I'd do both at once, but $5,000 is a bit much for what our small 9 person office needs.

Maybe come "sunset" time for 2005 we'll have other choices.
Vitor MontalvãoMSSQL Senior EngineerCommented:
Then try the SQL Server Express Edition. If no issues found then go for it.
MarkAuthor Commented:
Thanks all
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