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I have an old database running on compatibility level 6.5 on a SQL Server 2005 instance.

The support for compatibility level 6.5 has been deprecated as of 2005 and removed on 2008.

The place where I work is split in various different companies, each responsible for different things like Databases, Infrastructure and Development. Needless to say I work at the database.

This matters because we have an old 7.0 instance running, and we'd like to be able to move this 6.5 database to that instance and upgrade the 2005 instance to 2008 R2, but for that we can't request changes at the software level, it would have to be seamless, and this database is referenced by pretty much every other database on the instance.

We have thought about tracing for references of this database and changing the affected T-SQL code in order to use a linked-server.

Would that be a good idea, or are there simpler and more straightforward alternative ways of doing this?

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How are you planning to move the database backwards from 2005 to 7? A backup/restore will not work. You would be stuck recreating the database from scripts and building something that will properly migrate all of your data. One thing about moving to linked servers is that query performance may become unacceptable, leading to lots of rework of stored procedure and view code. Also, queries coming from client apps may not be alterable by you. You might be able to hide stuff by moving the db, then creating a new db on the 2005 server with views/procs that point to the real copy. –  darin strait May 11 '12 at 14:56
@darinstrait Yes, we were thinking about exporting the data and recreating the database. We are aware of the delay that will be caused by this, but up until this point we are only evaluating the possibilities... Your suggestion is interesting! Might require some work, but the database doesn't contain that many objects, and some tool might do the job. –  ivanmp May 11 '12 at 19:34
Why not build a new 2005 instance and put it there? –  Jon Seigel May 12 '12 at 0:10
@JonSeigel because we already have a 7.0 instance with a database that has been tested and doesn't work on 2005. –  ivanmp May 13 '12 at 22:01
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closed as off-topic by Max Vernon, Paul White, Mark Storey-Smith, bluefeet, RolandoMySQLDBA Sep 30 '13 at 22:10

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