I know that in SQL Server you can't have two-way replication between different versions.

I wanted to know if SQL Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2008 R2 SP3 are considered "different versions"?

Did anyone try to build a replication between those 2 versions?

  • I cant comment on this directly for setting up, but I can say that I've upgraded 2008R2 through the service packs and that it doesn't break replication while you're upgrading one while the other is still waiting for its upgrade which is usually for us done a few days later once we've checked everything still works
    – Ste Bov
    Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 9:05

1 Answer 1


Those aren't different versions just different service packs. Replicating between 2008 and 2008 R2 would better fit that definition of replication between two specific versions.

So The way I understand the MSDN article on the subject here is this

When you replicate between or among different versions of SQL Server, you are usually limited to the functionality of the earliest version used. For example, if you upgrade a Distributor to an instance of SQL Server 2008, but you have a Publisher that is running an instance of SQL Server 2005 and a Subscriber that is running an instance of SQL Server 2000, you are limited to the general functionality and replication functionality of SQL Server 2000.

And here is something more specific to merge replication

For merge replication, a Subscriber to a merge publication can be any version no later than the Publisher version. For more information about compatibility for earlier versions, see "Compatibility Level for Merge Publications"

In reality though, even if you can replicate between different versions, that can't be ideal. Replication is already complex enough by itself without adding in yet another layer of complexity.

So if you can apply those service packs to the other servers, you should in my opinion.


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