Microsoft SQL Server is over 25 years old; our combined SQL experience is much longer
Do you need honest, independent advice on what version of Microsoft SQL Server you need? Our specialist team have the breadth of experience to support, manage and consult on all versions of SQL Server, particularly: 2005, 2008, 2008 R2, 2012, SQL Server 2014 and most recently, SQL Server 2016. We have experience going back over 20 years - so if you have a '20th century' version of SQL Server that's still plodding-along, we can still help you upgrade or migrate!
If you need to change SQL Server version, we can consult on what would be the best one to use. This is usually the most recent, so that your business is future-proofed. The latest versions offer better performance than previous versions and give you greater flexibility. It's also easier to migrate between year versions that succeed each other: the further apart in time they are, more time-consuming is the migration. So we usually recommend: "it's better sooner than later" - plus that way you can take advantage of the latest features.
You can find out whether your database is still supported by Microsoft here: SQL Server support dates.
Which edition of SQL Server? Express, Standard or Enterprise?
SQL Server 2016 has changed its licensing model to become core-based, as opposed to core and server-based, which was the case for SQL Server 2014. This follows industry trends, with companies like Oracle already doing this.
The Express Edition can be used with up to 4 cores, the Standard Edition can be licensed up to 24 cores. If you need to go core-crazy, you can have unlimited cores with the Enterprise Edition.
There is also a Developer Edition, which is free to download for developers and has all the same features as Enterprise Edition. Understandably - and not surprisingly considering its name - this edition of SQL Server 2016 is for development only, not for production databases. Similarly, the Express Edition isn't ideal for production databases, as it doesn't have built-in job scheduling.
SQL Server 2016 also sees the end of the Business Intelligence Edition, which was available in its 2014 counterpart. However, Microsoft have transition plans in place for customers wanting just the BI capability - without having to get the Enterprise Edition - so that they can continue to get the same BI capabilities at a similar cost.
Below is a chart showing the features supported by the main editions of SQL Server 2016:
Here's a pdf download (81Kb) of the above table: SQL-Server-2016-Editions-Features.pdf
For a review of 16 key features of SQL Server 2016 - including links to technical info from Microsoft, please see: Microsoft SQL Server 2016: What are the new features?
Which version of SQL Server?
Sometimes it's good to know which version of SQL Server you're using. The chart below lists all of the known Service Packs, Cumulative Updates, patches, hotfixes and other builds of MS SQL Server 2016, 2014, 2012, 2008 R2, 2008, 2005, and 2000 that have been released.
The versions in bold are available to download from the Microsoft Download Center (apart from SQL Server 2016, which will be available on June 1st 2016).
Here's a pdf download (108Kb) of the table above: Microsoft SQL Server Versions.pdf
A reminder for if you want to know when these go out of support: SQL Server support dates.
If you're unsure about anything related to SQL Server, please contact us, see our FAQs, or our Microsoft SQL Server Support, or Microsoft SQL Server Consultancy pages.
Or call us today for some free advice!