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SQL Server 2005 Mobile Edition : free like Express or has a price ?

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  • User profile image

    In this web page:

    there's a link to "How to Buy SQL Server Mobile".

    That page has a table with prices for various SQL Server editions.
    Also the free Express edition is shown, but Mobile edition is missing !

    Anyone has correct info about this subject ?


  • User profile image
    Mike Dimmick

    See How to Obtain SQL Server 2005 Mobile Edition.

    "You can deploy SQL Server Mobile to an unlimited number of mobile devices that run Microsoft Windows CE 5.0, Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, Windows Mobile 2003 Software for Pocket PC, or Windows Mobile 2003 Software for Smartphone, provided that they operate in stand-alone mode. In stand-alone mode, the device does not connect to or use the resources of any SQL Server system not present on the device."

    [I think the reference to XP Tablet PC Edition is erroneous, SQL Mobile will not run on this platform AFAIK.]

    So, if you're only using SQLCE and not using replication connecting to a server, it's free.

    If you are using replication, you need to have a server CAL for each handheld that will connect to the server (in addition to any other applications connecting to the server), or use per-processor licensing.

  • User profile image

    Thank you for your help !


  • User profile image

    SQL Server Mobile will run on a Tablet PC.

    It will not run on a laptop, desktop or server. It detects which operating system is installed and says "Shan't!".

    SQL Server licencing can be per user, per device or per processor.

    If you have multiple devices per user (eg desktop, laptop and PDA) you can licence per user as it is cheaper.

    If you have more users than devices (eg shift workers where three workers may sit at the same desk, using the same computer, during the 24 hours) then you licence per device as that would be cheaper.

    If you have more than 25 users (standard edtion) or more than 75 users (enterprise edition), per processor licencing will very likely work out cheaper.

    You can licence SQL Server for one processor even if your server has multiple processors. It will only use the number of processors you tell it you have licences for. You can then buy a second processor licence later if you need extra performance.


  • User profile image

    This link,, explains how the pricing models relate to Sql Mobile. While it is somewhat ambiguous in my mind, my take away is that if you are using the server plus user model, you do have to pay for each device running Sql Mobile that will touch a real Sql database, however if you are using the processor model, about 25k per proc, then there is no additional cost. Hopefully if this is not correct someone from MS can correct.

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