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Can you help me with my software licensing question?

We are looking at moving our fractured code base that uses MySQL in some places and SQL Server in other places. I'm suggesting that for our purposes we don't need anything that MySQL can't do.

The argument is that we have to have SQL Server anyway because we have Exchange and SharePoint. I always thought that SQL Server didn't require a separate license when using Exchange or SharePoint (WSS version).

We are also using TFS.

If there is a server product from Microsoft which requires the use of SQL Server then doesn't it come with some form of licensing for SQL Server?

Can anyone lend some insight to this?


marked as duplicate by Skyhawk, Shane Madden, Scott Pack, mailq, Mark Henderson Nov 7 '11 at 22:39

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.


Windows Sharepoint Services can use an embedded version of SQL 2005 ( I believe it is the Express edition, but with the 4GB limit removed), which is likely what you are using here. Obviously if you are using the embedded version, that comes with WSS and so you are not paying to licence it.

Exchange does not use SQL Server, so there is no dependency there.

So from what you have explained so far, there doesn't seem to be a reason why you have to stay with SQL Server (although obviously your WSS will continue to use it's embedded one).


As you are using TFS you will need some form of SQL server, but it can be the Express edition if you are happy with the 10GB(With 2008 R2 Express, 4GB with 2005) limit. If not you will need to pay for it.

  • I believe WSS still has the 4GB limit for the database. – Chris Feb 21 '11 at 17:41
  • Yes it does, it is just SQL Express with nothing special done to it. – mrdenny Feb 22 '11 at 0:17
  • @Chris @mrdenny having researched this further, by default WSS 3.0 uses the Windows Internal Database, I have not been able to find a concrete statement from MS, but it does not (from the information I have found)seem have the 4GB limit. – Sam Cogan Feb 22 '11 at 9:50
  • @Sam - The reason the limit came to mind was I'd done a test installation a couple of weeks ago and remember seeing a message during the installation. Also, this technet article refers to a 4GB limit for SQL express 2008: technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc288005.aspx (Foundation) or this: technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc263202.aspx – Chris Feb 22 '11 at 13:53
  • @Chris it looks like Sharepoint 2010 uses SQL 2008 Express as it's standard database which does have a limit, where as WSS 3 uses an embedded version of SQL 2005, which does not have the limit. That said, all my information comes from forum posts, I cannot find a concrete confirmation form MS either way. – Sam Cogan Feb 22 '11 at 14:18

Bottom line is that if the version of SQL is a paid for version and is used (i.e. not a standby copy) then you will need to license it. Hope this url answers your questions.

SQL Server 2008 Licensing Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Ok Chaps sorry didnt know. Removing any I know of. – Mark Broadbent Feb 23 '11 at 19:30

It sounds as if you want to consolidate your MySQL databases into one deployment/licensed SQL Server.

TFS 2010 pre-requisite is SQL Server 2008. In other words, SQL Server is a requirement for the TFS application, and you'd have to be licensed for it. You're free to run all kinds of databases on that server, if you like, as it's yours.

TFS can connect to & work with SQL Server 2008 Express as well. You'd be subject to that 4GB per-database limit, though.

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