Usually concealed as the last layer in all software architecture, the database is the core of any web application that needs to store and access information. Microsoft’s SQL Server 2008 is one of the top of the line databases that can be used for Enterprise or web related applications. It’s fast, powerful, and has excellent integration with all Microsoft products.
For normal SQL databases, Microsoft imposes a fee for each entity connected with the database. This was called a Client Access License (CAL) and could be processor based, user based, or device based. Essentially, it means that, if you purchased a user based CAL, you would have to pay a fee for each user accessing the database and for device based CAL’s, a license fee would have to be paid for each device accessing the database irrespective of the user.
This is reasonable in Enterprise applications within a company, but is a killer for small web applications.
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Web Edition.
Microsoft’s new SQL server 2008 web edition has been specially made for small business that need to economize in cost. Essentially, it allows you to run a SQL server database on up to 4 CPU’s at a very low cost with unlimited database size and memory.
This database license can only be used for web based applications and has special technological features that optimize it for this purpose such as administration tools and tight integration with .NET technologies.
Since there are no limitations on it’s growth apart from 4 CPU’s, the standard CAL scheme of licensing does not apply to the SQL server web edition. Since the overall cost is low, even small start-ups can afford to use this powerful database.
Currently, what usually happens is that businesses on a budget start off with a free RDBMS like MySQL as a proof of concept and suffer later when they need a more professional database like MSSQL due to the fact that migration is not easy (no matter how abstracted the database is).
With the web edition, they can start using MSSQL immediately and reap the benefits of the ease of use and programming integration right from day one.