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Can I downgrade SQL 2014 to SQL 2008?

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!
Microsoft SQL Server 2008

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8/22/2022 - Mon

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.  

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.

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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William Peck

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.

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Aaron Shilo

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.
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