Editions of SQL Server

The available features in SSIS and SQL Server vary according to what edition of SQL Server you’re using. Of course, the more high-end the edition of SQL Server, the more features are available. In order from high-end to low-end, the following is a partial list of SQL Server editions:

SQL Server Enterprise Edition:

This edition of SQL Server is for large enterprises that need high availability and more advanced features in SQL Server and business intelligence. For example, there is no limit on processors or RAM in this edition. You’re bound only by the number of processors and the amount of RAM that the OS can handle. Microsoft will also continue to support Developer Edition, which enables developers to create SQL Server solutions at a much-reduced price. Ultimately, if you’re trying to scale your solution into terabytes of data storage in SQL Server then Enterprise Edition is the right choice for you.

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SQL Server Business Intelligence Edition:

This edition includes all the features of Standard Edition and also includes additional data cleansing features like Data Quality Services, which helps you create business rules that SSIS consumes. It also has many SharePoint integration features outside of SSIS and some scalability features. You can scale all the BI features other than the database engine to the OS maximum of cores with this edition.

SQL Server Standard Edition:

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This edition of SQL Server now offers even more value than before. For example, you can create a highly available system in Standard Edition by using clustering, database mirroring, and integrated 64-bit support. Like Enterprise Edition in SQL Server 2012, it also offers unlimited RAM. Thus, you can scale it as high as your physical hardware and OS will allow. However, there is a cap of four processors with this edition.

As for SSIS, you’ll have to use at least the Standard Edition to receive the bulk of the SSIS features. In the Express Edition, only the Import and Export Wizard is available. BI Edition gives you access to items like Data Quality Services and the DQS Cleansing Transformation. You need to upgrade to the higher editions in order to see some features in SSIS. For example, the following advanced transformations are available only with Enterprise Edition:

  • Analysis Services Partition Processing Destination
  • Analysis Services Dimension Processing Destination
  • CDC Source, Destination, Splitter Transformation, and CDC Control Task
  • Data Mining Training Destination
  • Data Mining Query Component
  • Fuzzy Grouping
  • Fuzzy Lookup
  • Term Extraction
  • Term Lookup

Frequently Asked SSIS Interview Questions & Answers

Half of these transformations are used in servicing Analysis Services. Along those same lines, one task is available only in Enterprise Edition: the Data Mining Query Task.

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