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We have a client that would like to use SQL Server Express with SharePoint instead of forking out a minimum or $7000 for SQL Standard. I know SQL Standard is the best option here, but the price tag is a big barrier to entry for this client.

SQL Express has a 10Gb database limit. Does this mean that each database (as in .mdf file) cannot exceed 10Gb or that the total combined size of all databases in a SQL instance cannot exceed 10Gb? From what I could find online it seems it's per database not per instance, but I'd like to verify this.

If it is per database, could we then set up a different SharePoint site for each document library the client wants to host? This would be cumbersome of course, but I would presume that each SharePoint site would have it's own database, which would in turn give each document library a cap of roughly 10Gb. This way they could host more than 10Gb of documents total in SharePoint, but no single document library could exceed 10Gb.

I'm open to other suggestions and thoughts on this subject, but primarily I would like to know if my solution above would be workable.

  • Are you essentially building a document database? Because something like CouchDB might be a better solution all-around. couchdb.apache.org – Kate Sep 16 '14 at 22:30
  • possible duplicate of Exceeding the DB size limit on SQL Server Express in READ_ONLY – Travis Stoll Sep 16 '14 at 23:07
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    Performance will be awful on SQL Express. There are more limitations than just database size. Perhaps your client should consider SharePoint Online rather than on-prem if they can't afford the infrastructure to do it right. – MDMarra Sep 16 '14 at 23:11
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Its per database...The size limits are different for various years though.

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express edition has a database size limit to 4GB
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express edition has a database size limit to 4GB
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Express edition has a database size limit to 10GB
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Express edition has a database size limit to 10GB
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Express edition has a database size limit to 10GB
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This screencast (link only, can't copy video content here) shows how to overcome the 10GB SQLEXP limit by using the file system.

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