Can I use a free Express database engine services with a SQL Server Enterprise server

Worster, Dale 0 Reputation points
2024-02-07T20:01:34.2133333+00:00

I've been told that If I install SQL Server Express edition, I am allowed to use the included SQL Server Database Engine services that comes with Express to connect to an Enterprise SQL Servers. Is this correct or are all SQL Server Components licensing based on the Registration/Edition key related to the remote SQL Server instance? Also, what is the difference between the SQL Server Database and the SQL Server Database Services? I'm guessing the 'Services' indicates you'll be connecting to another SQL Server Instance.

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  1. Michael Taylor 45,401 Reputation points
    2024-02-07T20:37:02.52+00:00

    Can you provide context about how you're "connecting" the databases? SQL Express is a database engine as is SQL Enterprise edition. One way to "connect" them would be to use linked servers. In that regard you can link to servers of differing instances without issue. But I'm struggling to understand a context where you'd be using SQL Express to access SQL Enterprise databases. It would make more sense to just directly connect to the Enterprise instance.

    Can you provide the reference that "told" you the information you're reporting? If it is docs that would be useful. If it was a person then perhaps you should ask them where their information came from.

    Where are you seeing "Database Services" being used? The database engine is the thing that holds the databases and provides access to them. A database service could be the myriad of services a database product may provide such as reporting, integration, logging, etc. Without the context it is hard to say what it means.

    Finally, note that just because you can "connect" doesn't mean it is legal. In order to access an Enterprise database you must have a CAL for it. It depends on what licensing model you're using but frequently each user must have their own CAL to access the database. Hence using SQL Express to connect to SQL Enterprise still requires a CAL for the user accessing the SQL Express instance even though SQL Express itself doesn't require one.

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