We are thinking about buying an SQL Standard Server for implementing an ETL via SSIS. Since it is very expensive for us I would like to test developing SSIS Packages on a free version. Since the express version does not integrate the SSIS I want to try it on the Evaluation 180 Expires Version of the SQL Server 2014 but cannot find anything about

- Is it possible
- Are there limitations.

Could anyone help me here?


4 Answers 4


For SQL Server 2005 and 2008 R2, the only way to get the Integration Services development environment, Business Intelligence Design Studio a.k.a. BIDS, was through the installation media aka you already bought Developer, Standard or Enterprise Edition. However, if you're looking to purchase SQL Server for the first time, it'd be insane to spend that level of money on an older version that is due to be retired in less than four years

2012 allowed you to install the design studio, rebranded as SQL Server Data Tools-BI edition or simply SSDT-BI, either from the installation media or you could download it directly from MS for free. See also

2014 and presumably 2016, the only way to get the SSIS development tools is to download directly. Again, no payment required, nothing. Just download and develop awesome business intelligence items.

But you're only licensed for development. You can't do things that are supporting production as that's part of the click through license agreement no one reads.

That should get SSIS set up and running via Visual Studio/SSDT/BIDS for nothing in your environment. There's no need to install an actual database, beyond wanting to evaluate it. Honestly, for that purpose, install SQL Express. It's free, handles up to 10GB as of current version and never expires.

My two bits on the Evaluation Edition is to never install that monstrosity unless you are planning on paving over the operating system at a later date. At a client, they have a licensed 2008 install and some one had the bright idea to install 2008 R2 evaluation edition on the same physical box. Due to the shared nature of 2008 and 2008 R2 libraries, the only thing that works on that box is the database engine itself. Attempt to access any of the tooling results in an expired license error message. The uninstaller can't uninstall 2008 R2 components because they're also shared by 2008... While a bit of rant, be cautious with the expiry nature of the evaluation edition. For SSIS, it will be overkill.


You can use Evaluation Edition for that, yes. Beware that it has the functionality of Enterprise Edition, and you plan to have Standard Edition in production, which has less functionality. But if you are careful about what you use, you'll be fine.


SSIS does comes with SQL Server evaluation.

Additionally if you're a small company or a start up you could take advantage of the Bizspark program and test the full version throughout and/or develop with it for 3 years.

And to spice it up a bit this article can give you an additional input on the subject before you jump in: The Hidden Costs of SSIS

  • Do I get that right if I use Bizspark I have to use Azure? I really do not want to put my sensible user data into the ms clould. Thanks for the article though!
    – ruedi
    Aug 12, 2015 at 12:20
  • @ruedi No, you don't 'have to' you can if you want. You should try it, you'll get a massive arsenal of tools and services. Its pretty convenient.
    – Nelson
    Aug 12, 2015 at 14:46

Developer Edition was created for this specific reason and can be used perpetually. It was $50 USD last time I looked. Like the Eval, it has all the Enterprise Edition features. If that's not the target for deployment, take care not to use those features.

Another thought is that Amazon offers AWS instances that include SQL Server licensing built in. You can test deployment against a Standard Edition Instance and only pay the hourly usage rates.

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