Recently, I have been getting a lot of questions about the SQL 2005 Eval Edition and its upgrade to a full blown edition of SQL 2005.


I wanted to create this blog to answer those questions.


Eval Edition of SQL 2005

SQL Server 2005 Evaluation edition provides the same functionality as the Enterprise Edition – however, it has a pre-set expiration date.


You can learn more about the eval edition and download it from here.


Upgrading from Eval Edition

In an typical scenario, you would install SQL 2005 Eval edition to evaluate the features and then upgrade to the full blown versions (Standard or Enterprise Edition) for production use. For more supported upgraded paths from Evaluation Edition, refer to the Version and Edition Upgrades section at MSDN.


To perform an in-place upgrade of SQL 2005 Eval edition to other SQL Server 2005 full blown editions, simply run the setup and it will identify the existing installation, and will run an upgrade check. It will then let you know if the upgrade is possible or not. If the upgrade path is supported, simply go through the setup wizard and it will automatically upgrade the already installed instance of eval edition.


As with any other scenario, please make sure that you have backed up your databases, logins, SPs in MSDB etc. before attempting to upgrade.


Upgrade from Eval Edition 2005 after it has expired

Now, this becomes a little tricky. You have to first uninstall SQL 2005 Eval edition and then install the full blown edition on the machine.


In case you want to keep the existing databases, you can use the SAVESYSDB parameter at command prompt. For more information on this, refer to KB 914158


In case you are still running SQL 2000 Eval edition (I would doubt that J), you can refer to KB 281574 for steps on how to upgrade the same to a full blown edition of SQL 2000.


POSTED BY : Sanchan Saxena