SQL Server hits the mainstream with a no-cost version

Microsoft has unwrapped the line-up for SQL Server 2005, the company’s flagship database.

The versions includes a low-cost edition intended for resellers to grab a foothold in the entry level and small to mid-size business market, according to the software company.

Along with new pricing

and licensing options for SQL Server, Microsoft has partnered with direct seller Dell Computer to bundle Workgroup and Standard editions on to Dell PowerEdge servers.

Darren Massel, SQL Server product manager at Microsoft Canada of Mississauga, Ont., said Dell was just the first vendor to agree to a partnership and that the same opportunity will be open to IBM, Hewlett-Packard and even Canadian system builders who produce white-box servers.

The new line-up consists of an enterprise edition, a standard edition, a workgroup edition and an express edition.

The SQL Express

The express edition is a no-cost version that is designed for building simple data-driven applications.

Massel said it was incumbent upon resellers to articulate the new value-add they can bring to the low-end package targeted at SMB businesses.

“”Resellers are going to care about high-level partitioning and advanced available for data mirroring and a lot of key top-end, mission critical features,”” he said.

Also part of the SQL Server 2005 will be new pricing options and flexible licensing.

Customers will now be able to use licences for multi-core processors, enabling them to license SQL Server on a per-processor basis, as opposed to per core pricing.

The database can be licensed three ways: processor licence, server plus device client access licence, and server plus user client access licence.

“”With this, resellers can create new price ranges for what the customer is looking for. There are no complex licensing, it supports multi-core chips and we are not charging for each core chip unlike our competitors,”” Massel said.

Massel does not anticipate a U.S. market-style database price war in Canada because open source has made some traction in the enterprise space. “”The focus on right now is about flexibility and the right price range. We have a great line up here and form that perspective great line ups usually meet the features customers want,”” he said.

The price

SQL Server 2005 Enterprise edition is available at US$24,999 per processor or US$13,499 per server with 25 client access licences. The Standard edition is US$5,999 per processor and US$2,799 per server with 10 client access licences, while the Workgroup version is US$3,899 per chip or US$739 per server with five client access licences.

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.
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