SQL Server 2008 for Small Business

There are many version of SQL Server 2008. Standard, Enterprise, Web, Express, per Processor and more…and now there is one more…SQL Server for Small Business.

This version appeared pretty quietly and is particularly well known. It follows a similar path to Small Business Server in that it is restricted to 75 users, but it also has many other caveats.

First of all, it can only be installed on certain versions of Windows Server 2008. These are:

  • Server 2008 Std
  • Server 2008 Std without Hyper-V
  • Small Business Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2008 for Windows Essential Server Solutions
  • Windows Server 2008 without Hyper-V for Windows Essential Server Solutions

You’ll notice there’s no Enterprise or Datacenter and also no Server 2003. I’m going to double check if Server 2008 R2 is now an accepted OS too.

There are some specific rules around the domain too:

  • Must be joined to a domain “where a single server in the domain must contain all the flexible single master operations (FSMO) roles and is the root of the Active Directory forest
  • Domain cannot have trust relationships with any other domain
  • Domain cannot have any child domains

Further details can be found on Microsoft’s site here:


This version of SQL is licensed with CALs so cannot be used for Web applications.

It can be purchased through the OEM channel, which makes it an attractive price point for small businesses.

Exchange for Small Business

There is also Exchange for Small Business available now…but it is somewhat shrouded in mystery! It randomly appeared in November’s price file without so much as a “How do you do?” and doesn’t want to give out any information about itself.

The oddest part is that it is Exchange 2007…the month that Exchange 2010 is released brings a Small Business edition of 2007? Why?!

The URL that should give the info page now redirects to the Exchange 2010 site…understandable but a little frustrating. I asked Microsoft today what the restrictions on this edition are and they weren’t able to tell me…the best we can give at the minute is “it’s probably the same as SQL”.

If anyone can shed any light on it – I’d welcome it…

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