have been tasked to write a document outlining the best reasons to use SQL 2008 R2 instead of SQL 2005 for my brand new BI project. We have a policy of only using two versions at a time and there are still SQL 2000 boxes around here somewhere....

I know the microsoft line on as per this link. http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/2008/en/us/why-upgrade.aspx

What I want to know is your opinions of which are the best features and why.

So if you can help me try to convince management to use a product which is actually up to date, I would appreciate it.


How about that SQL 2005 will be out of support soon, so why install an almost dead product?

Having a policy that you only install two different versions of the product is a pretty stupid policy, especially if one of your versions is a dead product (SQL 2000 is a very dead product at this point).

Newer versions have a lot of performance improvements as well as new features. Without knowing what features you need I can't really comment on what features you'll be wanting to use.

  • 1
    Unfortunately I can't change the policy and the fact its almost out of support is going to be a reason to go with 2008. With regards to features, I am using this for a BI project as stated above. – GordyII Dec 20 '10 at 23:43
  • 1
    For BI SSIS has a lot more features in it. With SSRS you've got Report Builder 3. SSAS hasn't gone through much. Then you've got PowerPivot which when combined with SharePoint gives you a hell of a tool to give your users. – mrdenny Dec 21 '10 at 2:45
  • "out of support soon": interesting definition of "soon". For SQL2k end of support is 2013, for SQL2k5 it is 2010. See support.microsoft.com/lifecycle for all MS products. (Of course deploying a new system on 2000 or 2005 would be an odd thing to do, but for existing installations: existing 2000 installs can start a managed process of migration.) – Richard Dec 21 '10 at 10:26
  • The only new releases which come out after main stream support has ended is security fixes. Of which I believe there have been none for SQL 2000 in years. You can pay for support, but not all the SQL Server PSS people will know SQL 2000 any more as few to no people call in for support on it. When extended support ends you can't call in for support at all and things for the MSKB won't be there either. support.microsoft.com/gp/lifepolicy – mrdenny Dec 22 '10 at 9:28

Same answer I gave on SO: PowerPivot.

  • probably the feature which will have the highest visibility to managment, so it's a good one. – Nick Kavadias Dec 21 '10 at 5:24

The performance test system I used to manage showed a 20% improvement in response time when Win/Sql R2 was installed vs 2K3/2K5 on the very same hardware.


SQL Server 2005 is getting pretty long in the tooth - it's half way through its product life span. If you start with SQL Server 2008 R2 now, you will save yourself a version upgrade.

It also has a some new features over SQL Server 2005, which may be a win depending on what tooling you want to use.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.