SBS 2003 R2 is in beta now and the Premium Edition contains SQL 2005 Workgroup Edition which is nice. It will give forward looking customers the chance to get all the great features of SQL 2005… that is once their application vendor supports it. What do they do in the meantime if they need SQL 2000 then? Well – based on the information on the MS website, they can do one of two things…
http://www.microsoft.com/WindowsServer2003/sbs/evaluation/faq/sql2005.mspx suggests that they downgrade their SQL to SQL 2000 Standard Edition (I guess they have not figured out fulfilment just yet)
Q. What do I do if I want to upgrade to SBS 2003 Premium R2, but need to keep SQL Server 2000 Standard Edition until my application is certified or tested on SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition?
A. We understand that customers and partners will require time to test their applications on the new SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition before installing it and need to keep the business running in the interim. To facilitate this, you may install SBS 2003 R2 and remain on SQL Server 2000 Standard Edition, moving to SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition once the application has been tested and is ready to be in a production environment. We highly recommend customers work closely with their IT solution provider or consultant as well as the line-of- business (LOB) application provider to work through this situation.
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/sbs/evaluation/faq/r2.mspx suggests that they work with their application vendor to figure out WHEN to upgrade – this does not sound like the above.
Q. I want to upgrade to SBS 2003 R2 Premium Edition, but I need to keep SQL Server 2000 Standard Edition until my application is certified or tested on SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition. What do I do?
A. You should talk with your IT solution provider, system consultant, and the line-of-business (LOB) application provider to help you determine when the time is right to upgrade.
I can only hope that Microsoft have really thought out how best to handle this as despite their (Microsofts) desire to have the entire world use SQL 2005, reality is that many application vendors are only just now thinking about testing their apps on SQL 2005. There will be at least 12 months more before application vendors have tested their apps on SQL 2005 and certified them for it. So – Microsoft – which is it – which path will you take that shows that you understand the need of the Small Business Owner that you so desperately want to adopt SBS as their First Server and their Right Server?