SBS2003 R2 SQL 2000 and SQL 2005 Downgrade Rights

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…

Option 1  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.

Option 2 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?

4 thoughts on “SBS2003 R2 SQL 2000 and SQL 2005 Downgrade Rights

  1. There is a major concern over the decision to dramatically reduce functionality with the recent product bundling decisions in the Premium version of SBS 2003 R2. The decision to downgrade the database from SQL Standard to SQL Workgroup is a retrograde step, and will certainly prevent most of my SBS Premium customers from upgrading. Indeed, why should they pay to have the feature set reduced!! Or to put it another way, they have payed $400 (if they have SA, or $700 if not) to LOOSE $700 by going from a $1,400 database to a $700 database. This is NOT good value, or good business – it just alienates customers. It is really difficult to see how you can justify charging for this release when it really is just a minor upgrade that integrates an already free (WSUS) component with a couple of dinky management reports and then reduces functionality of a major application. Keeping the SQL Standard version would have helped justify the price!

    The main problem here is that the SQL Workgroup edition does not include the SSIS functionality of the Standard edition. In SQL 2000 we had full access to DTS, and most of our customers who bought the premium version did so on the basis of having a fully featured SQL database, INCLUDING the DTS engine, to drive bespoke applications. The DTS (renamed SSIS in SQL 2005) functions are integral to nearly every bespoke database application we have developed and they are used by customers who have their own development resources. However, you have stripped this crucial functionality from the product.

    I know that the DTS packages already written in SQL 2000 will function in the Workgroup 2005 edition, but this is only a stopgap, as customers don’t have the ability to edit these or create new functions.

    I guess it is too late to do anything about this decision, but I have to say that I am disappointed at the downgrading of what, to date, has been an exceptional package for small businesses. I suspect this will just drive small business customers to use SBS Standard and load MySQL or PostGress, as there is now not any significant differentiation in the Workgroup database to justify the Premium edition pricing. (By the way, ISA Server is not a purchasing driver for SBS Premium in my experience; it is the database – most customers have more than adequate hardware stateful firewalls, and these continue to plummet in price and increase in functionality – for example high throughput stateful firewalls for around $100 and dual WAN load balancing firewalls with integrated 4-port FXS VoIP gateways for around $400. ISA adds significant complexity and server overhead for little real gain, and remains shelf-ware in most SBS installations that I see.)

    I believe that this decision is short sighted. I thought that part of the SBS rationale was to buy goodwill to small, but growing, customers so they stay on the Microsoft path as they add infrastructure. I think this will have the opposite effect, at least as far as

  2. Hi Wayne,

    What you describe is the situation where the client already has SBS 2003 Pr.Ed.

    But …
    now I have a client that has a OEM MS SBS 2000 edition, wants a new server so he want to buy the new OEM SBS 2003 Pr. Ed. R2.

    He has downgrade rights, I know that, but media does he need and how will he upgrade as soon as his LOB changes to SQL 2005?

    I hope I made myself clear…

    Leen KLeijwegt
    Starting the Dutch SBS Usergroup (finally…)

  3. Hi Wayne,

    One of the bigest problems with migratio is that MS have included an INFERIOR version of SQL Server in R2. The main beef is that there is no support for SSIS, thus many client will NEVER be able to migrate as their package support is missing. The decision to include the Workgroup edition is retrograde & MS should back down on this one and include QL2005 Std. Without SSIS support, I might as well just buy SBS Standard & install MySQL (lets face it, very few run ISA – the main driver for buying SBS Premium WAS the database)

Leave a Reply to Ross Manning Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *