Commercial use of SQL Server 2005 Express Edition?

Hi all,

It seems that SQL Server 2005 Express Edition now can be used for commercial purposes. The following link to a recent post SQL Server Express EULA at MSDN Forums seems to confirm it and apparently it’s applicable from SP1 and forward.

With all the respect for MDBs (so called ‘Access-databases’) but this major change in the EULA will make it very interesting to replace present MDBs with SQL Server 2005 EE. What’s Your opinion about it?

Startpage: SQL Server 2005 Express Edition

Kind regards,

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19 thoughts on “Commercial use of SQL Server 2005 Express Edition?

  1. XL-Dennis: “With all the respect for MDBs (so called ‘Access-databases’)”

    JamieC: I too used to be extremely fond of MDBs. Then I saw the future for the MDB:

    It seems that they now really will be “Access databases”. Based on the changes alluded to in the official blog, I cannot trust the Access team with future Jet development, nor do I like the two track development (although I cannot imagine Jet 4.0, not the ‘private copy’, being ever enhanced/bug-fixed).

    In conclusion, I am done with MDBs and have exclusively used SQL Server (MSDE, Express, whatever) for some time now. I still have to support MSSQL2000 TSQL syntax so it’s a case of ‘lowest common denominator’. That said I wasn’t too impressed with the changes to TSQL for the 2005 version (seems they spent the resouce on CLR support), though CTEs are appreciated.



  2. I get a little sentimental when it comes to Access. Like many, I cut my teeth in this crazy business on Access. Sorry to see the direction it’s heading.

    On a larger point, I am perplexed by all these moves toward SharePoint. I’m admittedly in an insulated environment right now, but my sense is that SharePoint services is just not that big of a deal in most organizations. I just don’t see SharePoint being adopted en mass. Am I missing the train?

    What are your thought on this?

  3. Hi,
    Intresting to see this, i think VB express is the same.

    I’m not sure from that artical excatly how mdb’s are going to change, save JET has changed a bit? Can someone dum it down a bit?

    I’ve never used SharePoint, but i do get the feeling that MS might be forcing new technologies down it’s pipe a bit. Excel services will run on SharePoint. Then there’s office server aswell? – i think! – With all the new stuff flapping around I’m confused and lost. I though the point was to make all this stuff easier!. – oh and if you where that way inclined you might like to point out the number of new products MS are relaseing!

    I was surpised to read that mdb are used for web based database, I would have thought with MySQL around most people would be useing this?

  4. Ross,

    The bottom line is that the SQL server development team is no longer going to support Jet. Access will have its own version of the Jet database engine. This move coupled with moves toward SQL Express and other periphrial XML based technologies essentially knocks Access down a rung on the food chain.

    Many Access developers fear that this is a demotion that puts Access on the slow train towards the “unsupported land”.

  5. Oh and also, many websites work on Access and Frontpage combo.

    Let me clarify my last post before I get berated for fear mongering.
    I know that Access will continue to exist for many years down the road. However, Access developers have always had to fight the notion that Access is a toy application; not suitable for full scale development. This new move doesn’t make things any easier for Access developers.

    And seemless integration with Sharepoint Service somehow doesn’t make feel better about the direction of Access.

  6. If I may be allowed (chancing embarrasment): what is Sharepoint? NOt sure I have even heard of it before this thread…

  7. doco: It’s a scalable portal server that connects people, teams, and knowledge across business processes. Jeez, don’t you know anything? :) I went to a demonstration of it last time I was in Redmond and I still don’t know what it is. I came away thinking it was a tool for building intranet pages with office documents/database backends. That is, you have a spreadsheet that doesn’t beaucoup calculations and you post only a certain range to Sharepoint. Now your team sees the results but not the monstronsity that got you there. In short, it’s ASP.Net for AOL users. And I hope someone who knows better corrects this misinformation.

  8. Jamie – Thanks for the link to the blogpost. It was a (very long) time ago I implemented any MDB-solution. Despite my limited knowledge of Dbs I really like the 2005 platform, especially how well it’s integrated with Visual Studio (both the 2005 and the EE version).

    From my point of view SharePoint is a platform to centralize and control the information flow in a structural way within companies. I’ve seen both good and less good implementations of it.

    With all the respect to all the new ‘whiste & bell’ technologies business is still business and corporates have managed to do business in the past as well.

    It would be very welcoming if MSFT could provide the market with the ‘big picture’ of how all the different tools and technologies fits together. At present I find the ‘big picture’ clear as mud…

    Kind regards,

  9. Dick,

    MS is sticking almost everything onto sharepoint that is not actually nailed down ;)
    But seriously, currently I see sharepoint as a content management portal combined with a document management platform. These are historically 2 different types of systems, but since MS thinks that all relevant content is in MS Office documents anyway it makes sense to them to merge these into one platform.

  10. Thanks Mike,
    So Access might go the way of Fox Pro?

    “currently I see sharepoint as a content management portal combined with a document management platform. These are historically 2 different types of systems, but since MS thinks that all relevant content is in MS Office documents anyway it makes sense to them to merge these into one platform. “

    and this

    “It would be very welcoming if MSFT could provide the market with the ‘big picture’ of how all the different tools and technologies fits together. At present I find the ‘big picture’ clear as mud…”

  11. Hi all,

    Like some of you I’ve heard about Sharepoint but still doesn’t understand what is it for.
    My fear is even if sharing information is a good point, who’s going to control and structuring it ?

    Regarding DBs, I always found Access more accessible than other SQLServer or MYSQL,
    mainly regarding the Query window which is a model of clarity. I didn’t try the EE version so
    I cannot say about it. But Access should still continue existing for all the people that doesn’t
    require all the functionality of xxxSQLxxx app.
    just an example: I had to play with round 56K rows of informations. I thought 2 sec about moving it to MYSQL. Well, a simple copy/paste and voilà it was in Access, starting to play with it. I would have been far far from that with xxxSQLxxx app.


  12. Ross,
    >So Access might go the way of Fox Pro?

    In my mind, there were three good reasons to use Access:

    1: Volume of data
    2: The need for a relational database
    3: The need for a small applications that can be turned around quickly

    Let’s see what’s new in Excel:

    1: Excel now has the capacity to hold 1M rows and over 16K columns. In the past, Access was used
    as the backend database to VB and Visual Studio projects. With the expanded Excel and SQL
    Express Edition 2005, developers now have more robust choices for their backend database.

    2: Analysis Services is now built into Excel giving users direct access to the ultimate
    relational database – SQL server. Not to mention easy to use connectivity to other OLTPs.

    3: As for applications in Excel: Bovey, Bullen and Green shows us the possibilities in PED.

    It’s clear that Excel 2007 will be the central pillar of the new Office system. In the future, it will make far more sense to create a robust Visto-SQL2005-Excel application than to create an Access application.

    I started moving away from Access in 2002 with the launch of .Net. I still believe that Access still makes sense for small organizations who don’t have the resources or the development skills for these more robust tools.

    In the end, I think Access will survive for a few versions, but things don’t look good for it’s future prospects. Every year, it looks older and older. While Excel get a breath of life and a new face, Access gets a few new templates and a blog that is barely kept up to date.

  13. Mike – I wouldn’t consider for 1 nano second to use Excel as a choice when it comes to backend databases ;)

    What really is annoying is the strong relation between Excel 2007 and SQL Server…

    Kind regards,

  14. I agree Dennis.

    I typically use Excel as the presentation layer (outputs, reports, summaries, etc…)

    I’m still one of those who thinks that 1 million rows is a bad idea….but let’s not start that thread again :)

  15. Update for those who care:

    It looks as though Access 2007 will keep its limitation of 255 columns. How in the heck is Excel and Access integration going to work when Excel can hold 16K columns.

    One more nail in Access’ coffin.

  16. My concern is for all the users/developers who have spent (and still do) considerable time to integrate Excel & Access. It will be a difficult situation for them when Office 2007 hit the market. Not only that, to use any kind of RDBMS it will require more knowledge and skillness.

    Kind regards,

  17. will i be sued by microsoft by using the sql server 2005 express edition which is free download by microsoft. if i use it in commercial business. especially the complete 250+MB and the toolkit.

  18. i been using access database for many years but it seems cant handle big data. it stuck to more than 100 thousand records. i plan to connect to sql server 2005.

  19. Hiya, I figured you will probably be able to help me. I have a MSSQL .ldf and .mdf file which I have to restore. Any ideas on how to do this? Cheers

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