Can I downgrade SQL 2014 to SQL 2008?

Jharrisonsnbs
Jharrisonsnbs used Ask the Experts™
on
I have legacy software that will only run on SQL 2008/2012. When purchasing SQL from MS they would only sell me SQL 2014. Can I downgrade the 2014 version to 2008? If so, can you please detail the process or provide me a link? Thanks in advance!
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yo_beeDirector of Information Technology

Commented:
From what I have read when I was looking to downgrade from Enterprise to Stander on the same version was that you cannot downgrade SQL that are a higher version then the SQL you want to go to like your situation.

Here is an article that might help you accomplish this.  
https://www.mssqltips.com/sqlservertip/2810/how-to-migrate-a-sql-server-database-to-a-lower-version/
Qlemo"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic Advisor
Top Expert 2015

Commented:
Yes, you can. Just install the lower release. But you cannot reuse the DB files, so if the DBs where already created in 2014, bad luck.

But if the issue is only with the database compatibility level, you can change that freely to 2012 or even earlier. That will only restrict from using new features, and keep some compatibilty settings set as earlier.

Author

Commented:
So just to clarify if I would install SQL 2014, roll back to 2008, then import the database into the 2008 instance I should be ok? If I were to install 2014, import the database then try to roll back to 2008 is where I would encounter issues correct?
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yo_beeDirector of Information Technology

Commented:
You will most likely have errors since the DB's are tagged with 2014 Metadata.  I personally have not tried the method in the link, but from reading it I seems to be a solution.  You can also try importing the DB's in to a test 2008 server or try using the method in the Hyperlink to see if you can get a DB's online.
"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic Advisor
Top Expert 2015
Commented:
My point is that you do not need to use 2008 (or 2012) software, unless you have something working very tightly with the server software - which is not the case I'm sure. The db compatibility level for each specific DB is what you "downgrade". That is , you are running a running  a 2014 DB, but some settings are set so you seem to run it on 2008.

If above does not work for you, you won't install 2014 if you are not to use it. If you have the media, you can just install 2008. If you don't have 2008 media, you can't.
Aaron ShiloChief Database Architect

Commented:
One option is third party tools: Red Gate's SQL Compare and SQL Data compare are very good for this sort of thing, and what we use internally. They will let you handle the data table by table, so that might help keep size down. Not sure if they any upper limits on size.
Commented:
You can run the database in a compatibility level of 2008
Properties ->options

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