I'm trying to explore some encryption options on Microsoft SQL Server 2005.

I've recently got around SQL Server 2008 and was able to enable Transparent Data Encryption (TDE). Now I'm trying to figure out encryption options for SQL Server 2005.

Can someone tell me how to achieve TDE for SQL Server 2005? If that's not possible, can someone point me in the right direction? I also understand that cell level encryption must be done on the application side.

PS: The server edition is Standard Edition. I've been trying to find answers for 2005 for a few hours now but most are for SQL Server 2008.

2 Answers 2


This article on msdn indicates it's a new feature in SQL Server 2008. To me that means it's not available in 2005.

There are a lot of resources available with step-by-step guides for other data encryption types in 2005, though. I think it's probably beyond the scope of a question on a Q&A site, however.


TDE is a new feature in SQL Server 2008. You can do column level encryption of the data within the database or in the application tier but that's about it.

What's the goal of the encryption? Protecting data in the database? Protecting data in the data file? Protecting data in the backup files? Etc?

  • Protecting data in the database. Eg physical file is stolen or somehow accessed from an unwanted party.
    – Kal
    Commented Jan 21, 2012 at 3:19
  • On SQL 2005 then your only option is going to be encrypting the data within the columns. If you were looking to only protect the backups then third party backup tools would be an option for you to encrypt the backups, but to protect the actual data file you don't have a whole lot of options.
    – mrdenny
    Commented Jan 21, 2012 at 6:30

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