I'm in the position where I've run into the limitations of SQL server express and have bought a license for SQL Server Web edition. What is currently installed on the server is SQL Server 2008 Express with Advanced Services, and I'm trying to upgrade it to SQL Server 2008 R2 Web Edition. I've since discovered that you can't upgrade any edition, including express, to Web Edition. So here I am with ~100 databases that I somehow need to get upgraded.

The only option I can think of is slow and painful, and consists of

  • Installing Web Edition side-by-side on the server
  • For each db, take the site & database down, copy the database to web edition, update the connection strings for my site, and bring everything back up

The only other possibility I came up with was:

  • Install Web Edition to new named instance
  • Take all the current sites and databases down
  • Move the databases to Web edition
  • Take down or rename the express named instance
  • Rename the web edition named instance to the old express named instance

EDIT - It appears it's not really possible to rename a named instance

Both of these are way more complicated than I was hoping for, option 1 will take a long time and result in a lot of manual interaction, and option 2 will result in a lot of downtime.

Is there any GOOD way to do this? I've found almost nothing about people upgrading to web edition.

PS. Anyone know why the hell you can't upgrade to web edition?

  • 1
    Your self-chosen option is the best one. And PS: Ask Microsoft why you can't upgrade. My guess is: not implemented. – mailq Aug 24 '11 at 17:47
  • @mailq Thanks. I tried calling them earlier to see if they had any recommendations and got the run around. Oh well. – Luke Aug 24 '11 at 17:52

First, have you tried running the SQL installer with the SKUUPGRADE=1 switch?

Second, the easiest way I can think of to move if that does not work would be to:

  1. Install web edition side by side
  2. Take down the site
  3. Detach the database files (mdf and ldf) from the Express DB
  4. Attach the database files (mdf and ldf) to the web edition DB
  5. Bring site back up
| improve this answer | |
  • I don't think SKUUPGRADE should be necessary (or even work?) with 2008 R2, as they have added an "Edition Upgrade" feature which I believe brings this into the gui. I could be wrong though. As for your second answer, I think it's fairly similar to my suggestion, however it doesn't factor in the fact that I need to update all my site's configs to point to the new instance name. – Luke Aug 24 '11 at 18:02

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