What Is the Difference Between SQL Server Web and Standard?


Scott Campbell

What Is the Difference Between SQL Server Web and Standard?

When it comes to choosing the right edition of SQL Server for your web application or business needs, it’s essential to understand the differences between SQL Server Web and SQL Server Standard. While both editions offer powerful features for managing and storing data, they cater to different usage scenarios and come with distinct licensing considerations.

SQL Server Web Edition

The SQL Server Web Edition is specially designed for web hosting companies and individuals who want to host their websites on a dedicated server. It provides all the necessary tools and capabilities required to support small to medium-scale web applications.


  • The Web Edition is licensed per core, with a minimum requirement of 4 cores.
  • It offers a cost-effective option for hosting multiple websites on a single server.
  • This edition allows an unlimited number of users who access the database through your website(s).


  • Database size limit: The maximum size of a database in SQL Server Web Edition is 524 PB (petabytes), which is more than sufficient for most web applications.
  • Mirroring: It supports database mirroring, enabling high availability by maintaining a redundant copy of the database on another server.
  • Backup compression: This feature helps reduce storage requirements by compressing backups without compromising data integrity.

SQL Server Standard Edition

The SQL Server Standard Edition offers more advanced features compared to the Web Edition. It caters to organizations that require additional functionalities beyond what the Web Edition provides.

  • The Standard Edition is also licensed per core, with a minimum requirement of 4 cores.
  • It offers a comprehensive set of features at a higher cost compared to the Web Edition.
  • Each user or device accessing the SQL Server database requires a separate Client Access License (CAL).
  • Database size limit: The Standard Edition supports databases up to 524 PB (petabytes) in size, similar to the Web Edition.
  • Mirroring: It includes database mirroring for high availability, just like the Web Edition.
  • Data Quality Services: This feature helps ensure data accuracy and consistency by providing data cleansing and deduplication capabilities.
  • Transparent Data Encryption: It allows encrypting the entire database at rest, protecting sensitive data from unauthorized access.

Choosing the Right Edition

When deciding between SQL Server Web and Standard, consider your specific requirements and budget. If you are primarily hosting web applications and do not need advanced features like data quality services or transparent data encryption, the SQL Server Web Edition is a cost-effective choice. On the other hand, if you require additional features beyond web hosting, such as more robust security and data management capabilities, then investing in the SQL Server Standard Edition might be worth considering.

Remember to evaluate your current needs and plan for future scalability when making your decision. Both editions offer powerful tools for managing databases, so choose the one that best aligns with your goals and requirements.

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