I have seen answers for questions regarding downgrading from different editions (e.g. - Enterprise to Standard), but is anyone familiar with downgrade policies for SQL Server Developer editions to OLDER developer editions?

We currently have a need for 2008 R2 developer editions, which are no longer available unless purchasing via reseller.

We found a reseller, but our company's planned upgrade path includes 2012 in the next 6 to 12 months. It does not make sense for us to purchase 2008 R2 dev edition if we can purchase 2012 or 2014 at retail prices, downgrade for the short term, then upgrade once our enterprise does.

Has anyone done this before? I'd prefer an answer here versus the reseller as their answer is going to be sales-centric (to be polite) versus a more straight forward answer from someone who may have done this.

  • Can I ask why you need SQL 2008 R2 Developer Edition? You obviously can't use it for a Production DB, so I'd be interested to know why you cannot use 2012/2014. Nov 6, 2014 at 16:05
  • We already have 2008 R2 in the enterprise (Standard edition). We are working on implementing isolated developer environments, and my concern is introducing compatibility issues between 2012 dev editions on developer boxes and our 2008 R2 production deployments. EDIT - I should note that we do NOT have a volume license or MSDN agreement at this time. I am working on talking our decision maker into springing for MSDN (which would cover this as 2008 R2 dev is available), but $60 for retail 2014 dev is an easier sell than MSDN at this point. Nov 6, 2014 at 16:20

1 Answer 1


Microsoft gives Downgrade Rights to Volume Licensing customers and, to some extent, even to OEM and retail customers.

However, in general, if you don't have a Volume License, you can't have the bits and the product key, which are necessary to excercise your downgrade rights.

Long story short, if you want 2008 R2, you'll have to buy it.

Here's a blog entry of the licensing team on this subject

  • This is very helpful, thank you. I was at first confused by downgrade info here download.microsoft.com/download/7/3/C/…, but after reading the blog notes (this: "enrolling OEM and FPP (Full Package Product, retail) software in SA converts the licenses to Volume Licensing licenses.") I understand what to do. Thanks. Nov 6, 2014 at 18:20

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