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  1. #1
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    confusion on the MSSQL licencing

    I see that SQL Server Express said to be free but does that mean its free for commercial use? personal use? development use? I don't see any information.

    Also I read on this board that some hosts offer this. Are they just using the free free version or something else?

    Can someone clarify this?

  2. #2
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    It's free for any use.

    Of course there're some techinical limitations using it (Max Db Size, limited to Single CPU utilization etc.etc.).


    About hosts offering it you should check.
    Most hosts offer just the Express version because MSSQL Server 2005/2008 licenses are kinda expansive.

    Anyway i know of some hosting providers offering it to their users.

  3. #3
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    To my knowledge, the Express edition is free to use if bundled with your software.
    But i do not think service providers can sell it as a hosted service. Besides, there are too many limitations on it for service providers to sell as hosting.

    Selling any Microsoft Product as a server must comply with the Service Provider Licensing Agreement (SPLA) that Microsoft has in effect, and it requires providers to pay a monthly fee for MSSQL licenses
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  4. #4
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    Of course hosts can offer MSSQL Express. No SPLA is required. Just like offering MySQL.

    SQL Express isn't that limited either. It can address 1 GB of RAM which is quite a lot.

  5. #5
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    Great replies.

    But I'm getting two contradictory opinion.

    Yash-JH

    What do you exactly mean bundled with your software? You mean bundled in with hosting? But that would in effect means you are charging a fee for using it so those people need to comply with the SPLA?

    What if a Host provides the express edition without a fee?

    Also if providing the express edition in hosting would require you to comply with SPLA then doesn't that mean the express edition is pretty much personal and development use?

    Also I want to throw in another question since we are already talking about this. The question has to do with alot of hosts offering shared accounts of MSSQL. How is that achieved with MS SPLA? Is the licencing based on the amount of connections they can make?

  6. #6
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    As of early 2006, the Express Edition had a clause in its EULA not permitting the use in commercial hosting services.
    This may have been removed.

    However the primary purpose of the express edition is to use it with commercial software i.e. you could bundle/use it with both standalone as well as hosted software. However, if you are allowed to resell it as a commercial hosting service is unclear.

    I personally would NOT use or recommend SQL Express for commercial hosting. The Standard Edition offers more commercial features that clients need, and if you are running separate database servers, 1GB of addressable ram is no where near enough to exploit the full potential of the server.
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  7. #7
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    Hi Yash

    What I mean is if a certain customer wants it for development work or something not big then would it be ok? I mean sure 1 GB is not much but if you have some old servers lying around doing nothing and it won't be heavily used..

  8. #8
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    Just FYI those who might be interested in this.

    I finally think I found my answer and it was on MS forum itself

    https://forums.microsoft.com/MSDN/Sh...93587&SiteID=1

    I think that pretty much clarify everything for me.

  9. #9
    Thanks for posting that link. We would not recommend hosting with any shared host that offers sql express. From our conversations with the Microsoft SQL team years ago, they strongly recommend shared hosts NOT to support sql express. There are some big webhosts that offered sql express and now are deprecating sql express because of all the reliability issues they ran into. Of course their clients are now running into other issues of broken apps. So proceed at your own risk.
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  10. #10
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    Hi

    SQL Express we have found not to be as good as full SQL. we use SQL 2005 Standard edition for all our client database hosting. on our control panel server, thats a single db and we used SQL express, for 1DB it used over 1GB ram as it could only use one of the CPUs, the full SQL wouldnt of used near this much RAM usage for 1 db.

    I would recommend not using SQL Express for production.
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  11. #11
    Thanks for posting that link. We would not recommend hosting

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberHostPro View Post
    Hi

    SQL Express we have found not to be as good as full SQL. we use SQL 2005 Standard edition for all our client database hosting. on our control panel server, thats a single db and we used SQL express, for 1DB it used over 1GB ram as it could only use one of the CPUs, the full SQL wouldnt of used near this much RAM usage for 1 db.

    I would recommend not using SQL Express for production.
    What about non shared hosting? say like a VPS with their own block of server? As long as the usage isn't stressful on the db shouldn't it be fine? or perhaps for development tests.

    If you don't mind me asking, how does the SQL 2005 standard edition work in a sharing environment? in terms of licensing that is. Do you just have a very powerful database machine running the standard edition and then creating many different accounts with access to specific amount of db? Sorta of like how you can do that in mysql. Since you're doing that I'm assuming its legal but what are some of the limitations of this method?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darvil View Post
    What about non shared hosting? say like a VPS with their own block of server? As long as the usage isn't stressful on the db shouldn't it be fine? or perhaps for development tests.

    If you don't mind me asking, how does the SQL 2005 standard edition work in a sharing environment? in terms of licensing that is. Do you just have a very powerful database machine running the standard edition and then creating many different accounts with access to specific amount of db? Sorta of like how you can do that in mysql. Since you're doing that I'm assuming its legal but what are some of the limitations of this method?
    I typically see SQL Express as the most popular MS-SQL for VPS use. Most VPS plans don't allow for more than 1GB (maybe 2GB at the most) RAM, so it's an easy choice. SQL Express does lack some automation features, but at the price (free) most overlook this or overcome it through alternate means. Dedicated clients that need more memory (those with dedi SQL servers) often use Workgroup edition because they aren't exceeding 3GB / 2 CPU limits.

    For 'shared' hosting, either Workgroup or Standard are the typically used depending on the usage (limited to CPU / RAM). Again, like others have said, you have to evaluate the various options and limitations of each edition.

    This is a good resource for comparison of all the versions:

    http://www.microsoft.com/sql/prodinf...-features.mspx

    Regards,

    Wayne
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