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Testing old SQL Server 7 app on a free version of SQL Server 2005

Whether or not it's "enough" to use a free version of SQL Server 2005 to test compatibility with a Visual Basic application on SQL Server 7 really depends on how closely your testing environment mirrors production.

I have a Visual Basic 6 application running with SQL Server 7. I want to test compatibility with SQL Server 2005 (in preparation for a possible upgrade). Is it enough to test it on the free edition of SQL Server 2005?
As I see it, the purpose of testing before doing an upgrade is to ensure that you can minimize problems during the actual upgrade process. To that end, testing should be done in an environment that mirrors the production environment as closely as possible. So testing on the free edition (I assume you mean SQL Server Express) will only be "enough" if that is also the edition you plan to roll out in your production environment. If that's not the case, you should test against something closer to reality. Since you're developing an application, you probably have an MSDN subscription. That subscription includes access to development-licensed versions of every edition of SQL Server 2005; use those licenses and test. Don't open yourself to possible problems by not being comprehensive.
This was last published in January 2006

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