I am thinking of upgrading our SQL Server 2000 databases from Standard Edition to Enterprise Edition. Are the SQL Client Access Licenses (CALs) transferable to a different edition of SQL Server 2000?

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Licensing questions are a lot harder for most technologists than straight technology questions! However, when I was working as an enterprise DBA at one of the Big 4 accounting companies, we often upgraded from Standard Edition to Enterprise Edition without any change in our CALs. Since that time, Microsoft has introduced the SA (Service Agreement) for major customers. So there are probably many subtle changes in the general licensing agreements. However, the last time I did licensing work myself, it was not an issue. When in doubt, check out  Microsoft's SQL Server 2000 Licensing FAQ for more information.


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This was first published in September 2005

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