I would like to say that as per company policy we are downgrading SQL Server 2012 Enterprise to SQL Server 2012 Express.

Any suggestion would be appreciated.

  • 1
    Easiest would be install an Express instance, back up your databases (or take the most recent backup you already have) from Enterprise (again, as below, assuming you are not using any Enterprise features), and restore them on Express. Dec 22, 2015 at 14:24

2 Answers 2


The very first thing you would need to check on that instance would be for all the databases hosted, using any enterprise features from sys.dm_db_persisted_sku_features. In case the database is using any of such enterprise features, you will need to thoroughly verify , but not sure if express can get you there and most probably downgrade wont be that easy.

In addition its better to go through Supported Version and Edition Upgrades while you consider to change the edition and compare features.

There is no direct way to do the downgrade but you can follow the steps of copying the system databases of the enterprise edition instance to the instance of expressed one.Also making sure the new instance being the same with latest update to date with same patch details.

Please refer to below articles which will help you in analyzing how to analyse the downgrade process.

Downgrade enterprise SQL server to standard ( Steps can be somewhat same for express edition as well, just look for features that will support you're application in case you go with express)

Changing SQL Server Editions: Standard, Enterprise, Evaluation and More

Also, make note is good to test it out first for one of you're small servers on a test ENV with such downgrade activity.

  • ,select * from sys.dm_db_persisted_sku_features; of feature_name & feature_id column has no value. Hope i am not using any enterprise feature. Dec 22, 2015 at 11:04
  • Yes if that returns a null for all the databases hosted on the instance, its believed you are not using any enterprise features.
    Dec 22, 2015 at 11:09

When downgrade to a free edition take care about the size of the DB .. MAX 10GB for Express. You will lost a lot of funcionality like Agent , for Schedules backups , you must use windows Schedule ...

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