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So someone let our SQL server 2008 R2 enterprise trial expire on a web server. It was part of a plan to restart a project and move everything we had over to MySql instead. We don't need anything special other than keep the old website running for a couple months.

Is express or compact capable of running a small website?

Is it possible downgrade to express or compact and how?

How can I backup the existing databases now that we have been effectively locked out of them?

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So someone let our SQL server 2008 R2 enterprise trial expire on a production web server

Violation of the EULA.

Is express or compact capable of running a small website?

Both are capable of running a small website. Express is also capable of running medium or large websites. Personally I would go for Express if possible, Express handles concurrent access much better than Compact.

Is it possible downgrade to express or compact and how?

Uninstall Enterprise, install Express and migrate the database to the new instance. Compact is much harder - Microsoft has no tools for downgrading to Compact. This tool, amongst others, can help you.

How can I backup the existing databases now that we have been effectively locked out of them?

You might try starting the database in single user mode, or stopping the SQL Server service and getting the MDF and LDF files out of the DATA directory and attaching them to the Express instance.

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Thanks for warning me about the EULA sigh - had no idea. I was just checking and Express doesn't come with SQL Server Agent? Isn't this required? –  EddyR Mar 29 '11 at 6:08
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+1 for EULA, It's in the FAQ on the MS site –  gbn Mar 29 '11 at 6:53
    
Hmmm, actually it says it's running both ent trial and express. The only db we're using is on express but I don't understand why it would stop because of the trial version?? –  EddyR Mar 29 '11 at 8:29
    
Are they two different instances? You need to specify the correct instance name when you connect to them, they aren't amalgamated into one. –  ta.speot.is Mar 29 '11 at 9:35

As long as you are not using features from Standard that are not supported in Express you should be able to move the database between versions. Just don't do an inplace upgrade. You will not be able to roll the upgrade back.

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Yes you can, but it can be somewhat tedious if the database versions are different. If you are staying on the same database version, you should be able to re-attach the database files or restore the database from backup -- assuming that you haven't used any features of the new database that can't be downgraded (like compression or partitioning in the Enterprise edition).

However, if your databases are different database versions (sometimes even a service pack level difference) then you may have to go through a more complicated procedure.

Here is a second option: http://www.mssqltips.com/sqlservertip/2810/how-to-migrate-a-sql-server-database-to-a-lower-version/

A third option would be to run both database servers at the same time in different instances and use the migration tools to transfer data from one database to the other.

Finally, you can also try using replication, but keep in mind that Express supports only 1-way replication (it can only be the subscriber): http://blogs.msdn.com/b/repltalk/archive/2011/01/03/replication-features-in-various-editions-of-sql-server-2005-2008.aspx

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New instance ^^^ Detach, copy, attach. Test. –  Eric Higgins May 23 '13 at 22:21
    
I'm really confused. I answered a completely different question that was asked about 2 hours ago and somehow it got attached to this message that was asked 2 years ago? What did I miss? –  efesar May 23 '13 at 23:33

SQL Server editions differ by the features and capabilities that they provide like no.of cpu's , memory, database size, High Availability options, Disaster recovery options, etc. You can refer BOL for more details.

When you say Trial - it can be Enterprise Edition for 180 Days.

Unless you have the same database version, I would recommend your to do a backup restore from Express to Standard/Enterprise edition (trial version) and test it with your workload.

Pretty sure, that it will outperform compared to Express edition in terms of performance as well as maintenance.

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