Selecting the Edition

Selecting the right SQL Server Edition is another important consideration in the deployment plan because some editions have feature limitations and hardware support restrictions, while other editions are geared toward more specialized workloads.. The three main editions of SQL Server 2012 include Standard Edition, Business Intelligence Edition, and Enterprise Edition. SQL Server 2012 editions can be categorized as follows:

  • Core Editions:
    • Enterprise
    • Business Intelligence
    • Standard
  • Specialized Editions:
    • Developer
  • Free Editions:
    • Express
    • Express LocalDB
    • Compact
Data Center Edition and Workgroup Edition are no longer available in SQL Server 2012. Web Edition is only available through hosting providers such as Amazon Web Services and Rackspace.

The core editions of SQL Server 2012 are the three main editions that can be licensed for production, testing, Q.A., and U.A.T. environments.

Core editions is a categorization of the three main editions and must not be confused with Server Core installations. New in SQL Server 2012, you can install SQL Server on Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Server Core. For more information on SQL Server 2012 installations on Windows Server Core please refer to

The Developer Edition of SQL Server 2012 is a specialized license intended for development purposes only and cannot be used in production environments. The free editions of SQL Server 2012 are light-weight ...

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