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SQL Server Database

What is SQL Server


SQL Server is a relational database management system (RDBMS) developed by Microsoft. It allows users to store, retrieve, and manage data in a database over an Intranet or over the Internet.

SQL Server Versions

Microsoft has released multiple versions of SQL Server.
They are listed below.

Version Start Date End Date Extended End Date
Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Jan 14, 2006 Apr 12, 2011 Apr 12, 2016
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Nov 6, 2008 Jul 8, 2014 Jul 9, 2019
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Jul 20, 2010 Jul 8, 2014 Jul 9, 2019
Microsoft SQL Server 2012 May 20, 2012 Jul 11, 2017 Jul 12, 2022
SQL Server 2014 Jun 5, 2014 Jul 9, 2019 Jul 9, 2024
SQL Server 2016 Jun 1, 2016 Jul 13, 2021 Jul 14, 2026
SQL Server 2017 Sep 29, 2017 Oct 11, 2022 Oct 12, 2027
SQL Server 2019 Nov 4, 2019 Jan 7, 2025 Jan 8, 2030

SQL Server Editions

Microsoft offers SQL Server editions with different features for different users.

Mainstream Editions


Includes a core database engine and stand-alone services. This edition can manage 524 petabytes databases, handle 12 terabytes of memory, and support 640 logical CPU cores.

Like the enterprise, this edition also includes the core database engine and stand-alone services. However, it supports fewer instances and does not include the hot-add memory feature, where memory can be added while the server is running, or parallel indexes.

A low total-cost-of-ownership edition designed for web hosting.

Business Intelligence
Introduced in SQL Server 2012 which focuses on Self-Service and Corporate Business Intelligence. It includes standard edition functions and BI tools such as PowerPivot, Power View, BI Semantic Model, Master Data Services, Data Quality Services, and xVelocity in-memory analytics.

Includes core database functionality without additional services.

A scaled down and free edition of SQL Server. There is no limit in terms of number of database and users but it only supports 1 processor, 1GB memory, and 10GB database files.

Specialized Editions


A cloud-based version of Microsoft SQL Server offered as a platform as a service (PaaS) in Microsoft Azure.

Compact (SQL CE)
An embedded database engine. This edition is based on SQL Mobile but does not share the same binaries. It is limited to a 4GB maximum database size, it cannot run as a Windows Service, and must be hosted by the application using it.

Includes the same features as SQL Server Enterprise Edition, but is limited by the license in that it can only be used for development and testing.

Embedded (SSEE)
A specially configured instance of the SQL Server Express database engine which can be accessed by certain Windows Services.

Also known as the Trial Edition which has all the features of Enterprise Edition but limited for 180 days.

Fast Track
A dedicated version for ennterprise-scale data warehousing storage and business intelligence processes. It runs on a platform optimized for Fast Track.

A minimal, on-demand, version of SQL Server designed for developers. Can be embedded with the application.

Analytics Platform System (APS)
Formerly known as Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW), a massively parallel processing SQL server optimized for large-scale data warehousing.

Datawarehouse Appliance Edition
Pre-installed and configured in partnership with Dell and HP based on Fast Track architecture. This does not include SQL Server Integration Services, Analysis Services, or Reporting Services.

Discontinued Editions


Microsoft SQL Server Data Engine or Desktop Engine or Desktop Edition dedicated for application component. Does not include GUI management tools.

It has workload and connection limits like MSDE, but without database limits. It includes standard management tools that are intented for mobile.

Designed for datacenters that need high levels of application support. Supports 256 logical processors and virtually unlimited memory.

SQL Server Cost

These are the latest SQL Server 2019 prices for each edition.

Edition Price Licensing Model Channel Availability
Enterprise $13,748 2 core pack volume licensing, hosting
Standard - per core $3,586 2 core pack volume licensing, hosting
Standard - server $899 server volume licensing, hosting
Standard - CAL $209 CAL volume licensing, hosting
Developer Free per use free download
Web depends on partner not applicable hosting only
Express Free not applicable free download
SQL Server Enterprise $5,434/year 2 core pack volume licensing
SQL Server Standard $1,418/year 2 core pack volume licensing
Big data node cores $400/year 2 core pack volume licensing

Microsoft SQL Server Deployment

Deployment Models

Single Database - The most basic deployment model where a single database is deployed in an Azure VM and managed using SQL Database server.

Elastic Pool - A group of interconnected databases that share pooled resources.

Managed Instance - A fully managed database that is easy to migrate from on-premise to the cloud.

Service Tiers

General purpose - The default tier dedicated for standard workloads.

Business critical - Offers high resiliency and low latency performance for online transaction processing applications.

Hyperscale - An expansion of the business critical tier and designed for massive online transaction processing that enables auto-scaling of compute, storage, and other resources.

Compute Models

Provisioned - Database uses Azure resources dedicated to its SQL service.

Serverless - Database is operated as a serverless component where it can auto-scale and billed every second.

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