SQL Server Express limitations (1 Viewer)

Isaac

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Besides the (tiny) bit of information MS gives in its matrix of SQL licenses, are there any practical limitations (other than the 10 GB thing) of express when used in a commercial setting? I'm thinking of recommending to my boss that they consider using it for my department.

Chances are great that the company has its set-in-stone policies regarding SQL Server licenses and won't do it, but I'd be remiss not to at least try.

But before I do, I just want to make sure there are no major limitations--I'm specifically thinking of the functionality where my company's I.T. would, hopefully, "open up" access to it (by IP address if necessary) to our global user base. I don't know much about that aspect of it and was just wondering if anyone had any particular insights thereto.
 

Galaxiom

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It only uses one processor/core. I don't know the exact details since the structure of processors changed.

It is licenced to get you hooked so you upgrade later when you can't do without it and need more storage and power.
 

Isaac

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We might have a total of a few hundred users, filling out Excel workbooks and occasionally hitting a button to send a record, maybe 5, 10, or 50 records into SQL server. Occasionally we might run reports.
 

Galaxiom

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Really hard to know how well it would go.
This page seems to have a fairly good list of the limitations.
 
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Minty

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We've been using Azure with Access for quite a while.
Entry-level servers are not very expensive to run at all, for small use.
 

Isaac

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So I reached out to my corporate 'gods' of servers and databases at my company, it seems like I was a little confused (dumb mistake on my part)--the "cost" hold-up is not necessarily the SQL Server license; at $13,000 it is not that big of a deal. It's the [Windows] server to host / install it on...

@Minty does your AZURE situation cloud based and not require any on-prem host server?
 

Minty

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@Isaac we don't own an on-prem server at all.

All our clients BE's either reside on their own SQL servers, or on an Azure service we provide for them or occasionally, they have their own Azure server and we use that.

The costs vary quite significantly depending on usage, storage requirements and processing power requirements.

We recently moved our main DB's over to an elastic pool which gives "More Power Igor" on a flexible demand basis, as certain client apps were getting a little slow at peak times. This means we are charged a bit more but the available processing power can go up like a "turbo boost" at high demand periods, and you are only charged extra when it kicks in.

But we are hosting quite a few databases, so it makes sense for us to use that service as it means everyone gets more on-demand power.

For small usage and storage requirements, it can be really cheap - $40 a month give you something pretty useable.
 

Isaac

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Now I'm thinking of Azure, but also wondering how many differences there are between that and regular SQL Server.

All I know is the one time I used Azure for a guy, I typed "USE DATABASE" as the first line and found out that didn't work.

What's the learning curve? Anything significant? Are mostly all SQL Server functionalities the same in Azure?
 

Minty

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There are subtle differences.
The main one I would say is the lack of the Server Agent so things like scheduled jobs etc are much more involved to set up and almost always require some form of a different approach.

SQL Server email isn't available either unless you go for a managed instance which is much more like a VM SQL Server hosted in the Azure environment. It's loads more money as well.

In general, though I have found it very straight forward to use. SSMS and away you go.
Security can be a bugbear if your users aren't on a domain, it's effectively IP address-based which can be a headache for home workers not on a fixed IP address, unless you use the Azure AD service then as far as I can tell it can integrate with that seamlessly.
 

Isaac

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interesting. i would miss sql agent, and also was hoping for dbMail, but............am not at all sure whether or not the DBA's here would have given me access to that anyway (especially dbmail, which they are loathe to allow).

so SSIS is basically a no-go without sql agent jobs?
 

Minty

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interesting. i would miss sql agent, and also was hoping for dbMail, but............am not at all sure whether or not the DBA's here would have given me access to that anyway (especially dbmail, which they are loathe to allow).

so SSIS is basically a no-go without sql agent jobs?
No, you can still use SSIS, and you can still set up tasks, just not with SQL agent, it doesn't exist in Azure SQL Server.

We recently did set up a scheduled SSIS task, but at this time of evening when I'm a beer in 🍺 and trying to finish an update for a customer, I'm afraid I don't have the scope to find out/ remember how we did it.
Google becomes a big friend when you need to do something new in Azure. 😁

You can also set up mails and you don't need to pay some of the massive add-on costs for most of it if you are careful.

I would strongly advise signing up for a trial developer account with Azure and follow som of their tutorials they are good.
You can skip the How to write a query or set up a table stuff I suspect :whistle:
 

Minty

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You are welcome.

I'll have more time on Thursday to look at what we did, I seem to remember it involved setting up a runbook, and using a powershell script...
 

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