I have many clients who have purchased Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Standard. Unlike other Microsoft software, there is not a serial number provided for each customer to install the software. Furthermore, Microsoft's TechNet website lists this information about SQL Server instead of providing a key:

"This product is pre-pidded."

This means that the configuration file for SQL server contains your serial number instead of manually entering it.

My question is then: does this serial change for each customer?

The reason I ask: I'd rather not download a 3.2GB disc image over and over again for each of my customers individually. But, I don't want to risk using the same image over and over again resulting in Microsoft banning the serial for over use (as opposed to each customer using their copy with THEIR serial number.)

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    Clients in what way? Technet software is licensed only for evaluation, not production. – MartW Apr 17 '10 at 10:51
  • Because I work in so many different places, I use my TechNet software to recreate their production environments in my office (on a smaller scale). This way I can learn how to deploy and implement new software before doing it in a production environment. This office equipment is constantly being formatted and redone to match different situations. I would never use TechNet software for non-testing installations. However, I sometimes have used the TechNet media in conjunction with legit serial numbers (i.e. customer's laptop has a serial underneath, but they did not provide me with a disc.) – James Watt Apr 18 '10 at 14:18

1) The Technet version of SQL server is not meant to be used for your customer deployment (because of the pre-PIDding) - the SQL Server Small Business Edition is the same.

2) SQL Server does not require any kind of activation, and does not "phone home", so the key you are using will be valid forever, nomatter how many times it is used.

Use this information as you will, however just as long as the owns the correct licenses, I can't imagine you'll get any issues except if you're audited, and if that's the case then the discrepancy can be easilly explained.


As others have stated, TechNet software is for evaluation use only, not production use. If your clients have purchased SQL Server then they should have each received their own installation media.

  • Everything we order is eOpen only, which means that there is no physical media. – James Watt Apr 18 '10 at 14:20
  • Gotcha. If it were me, I would download the software for each customer from their eOpen account and burn it to CD\DVD. A little inconvenient maybe, but best in the long run IMHO. – joeqwerty Apr 18 '10 at 16:19

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