In an attempt to do proper Edition Evaluations for future projects, I'm trying to find a good way to mimic Standard Edition functionality limitations on a SQL Server 2016 Evaluation or Developer Edition instance. I'm thinking that for a given database, I could configure Resource Governor in tandem with some DDL triggers that block Enterprise-feature commands via EVENTDATA calls to emulate a lot of the resource usage and feature limitations that are specific to Standard Edition. Certain instance-level limitations such as Buffer Pool size, etc. cannot be emulated directly, but I can limit many of these things at the query level which I'll consider good enough. Is there anything that the combination of Resource Governor and DDL triggers wouldn't be able to cover? Alternatively, does anyone have a solution already available to do this that I've not yet stumbled across? Are there other approaches that would be easier?

This question relates to the core database engine. I don't think there's even a feasible approach to trying this with other features such as SSIS, SSAS, etc., but if anyone knows of a similar approach for those features, I'm all ears.

Final note here for anyone suggesting I just install Standard Edition; I hesitate on this approach due to the licensing costs that would be associated with it. I would either have to purchase licenses outright or have sufficient MSDN license coverage for any users touching it. Sadly, this project is going to involve more people than have MSDN licenses and the cost to fully purchase Standard Edition 6+ months prior to the project going live isn't going to get approval from a budget committee, especially when approval of the project rests of the feasibility testing we need to conclude beforehand.

  • Regarding this piece: "Is there anything that the combination of Resource Governor and DDL triggers wouldn't be able to cover?" Would it be helpful to have an answer that just lists some things that can't be covered?
    – Joe Obbish
    Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 0:43
  • @JoeObbish I was really hoping someone else had already gone a bit further down this rabbit hole, honestly. I know there's not going to be a 100% match with regards to limiting all the functionality, but I'm also not a person that takes a it's not possible answer all that well either. I've up-voted Brent's response and will likely formally mark it as the accepted answer until I either find something that does attempt to accomplish this or I make something myself. Regarding the list, another perspective on what isn't feasible would be appreciated though. Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 13:18

1 Answer 1


As of today, you can't. There are things inside the engine like advanced read-ahead that you simply can't turn off.

There was a Connect request for it, and Microsoft turned it down.

  • Thanks for the response and the link to the connect item. I know there's no direct way to do this, which is why I'm looking for a good enough solution. Sadly good enough is in the eye of the beholder, but read-ahead behavioral differences between Enterprise and Standard Edition aren't a deal breaker for me. As for the connect item, whingeing is my favorite Queen's English phrase and I love that Rob put it into description. Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 17:00

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