As support (and running on old hardware) is fading out for SBS 2003, we are considering upgrading to essentials R2, as suggested by microsoft. The exchange environment will be migrated to Office365, but what about SQL server. It is used in our backend and a lot of Stored procedures along with self developed code is running (and needed). I don't see anything mentioned about SQL server in the migration documentation. Can it be done, and what about the licenses (we use it in a commercial environment)?

A full SQL server would cost around $3.000, which is not acceptable in our budget.

We run the SQL version included in the SBS 2003 Premium version, and only use the 'SQL Server Agent' for scheduled maintenance plans and some cleanup jobs.

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    You haven't provided enough information to guide you. Migrating mssql databases isn't overly difficult but it sounds like you have more of a licensing question. Will the express version meet your needs? msdn.microsoft.com/library/cc645993.aspx – Chance Mar 17 '15 at 19:28

We can't help you with licensing here, but I can offer a couple tips with SQL.

You will want to take note of the SQL features you have installed on your SBS 2003 box, and setup the installation the same way on the 2012 machine (features, instance name, etc). You can script out the stored procedures and run them on the new instance, and restore your databases. As for the code running that is 3rd party, you will want to work with the developers of it to migrate.

Other things to note, what version of SQL is running on the SBS 2003 box, Express? You would need SBS 2003 Premium to have it included as a full version. Do you have jobs that require an agent in SQL? If so, you can't use Express on the new box.

Essentials 2012 does not come with a full version of SQL, you will need to use Express if you want a free database engine.

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