A frequently asked question: “Can I run SedonaOffice on Windows SBE Server (Small Business Edition)?”

The answer is complicated but essentially ‘NO’ or at least ‘SedonaOffice cannot offer support for installations on SBE’

The next question is always “Why not?”

The fact of the matter is, SBE is designed as a low cost alternative for OEM manufactures like Dell and HP to include in their entry level servers.  SBE includes many features that a small business user may find attractive, like Microsoft Exchange Server, plus it is offered at a greatly reduced price over Windows 2008 Standard Server.

But it’s import to keep in mind, SedonaOffice is designed as an enterprise class application. The reality is, SedonaOffice needs the full resources of Microsoft SQL “Standard” edition (or better) to run at its peak efficiency. Even if you acquire a version of SBE that will run SQL Standard Edition (keep in mind, most versions of SBE will NOT), you server’s performance will always be held back by the other services running on SBE like Exchange.

“So what?” you say, you run a small organization, you only have 4 or 5 workstations and the Standard versions from Microsoft are so much more money verses SBE! Well, it’s truly a case of you get what you pay for. SBE is a great cost alternative yes, but it’s extra features also bring extra overhead that could, should be used by SQL. Even if you find the performance expectable on day one, there’s a good chance on day 600 you will be wondering why things are running so slow.

Another frequent question: “I have or can purchased a version of SBE that comes pre-packaged with SQL 2008, what’s wrong with it?” Did you check what version of SQL is packaged with it? Most versions of SBE that have SQL contain the ‘Workgroup’ edition. SQL Workgroup is a stripped down, feature limited version of SQL with minimal management and diagnostic abilities. If something were to go wrong with your database, it is very difficult if not impossible for us to diagnose those problems on SQL Workgroup where with the Standard editions most problems can be fixed in real time right on your server. This is the reason for ‘SedonaOffice cannot offer support for installations on SBE’.

If you’re in the market for a new server or an upgrade to your existing system and want to achieve peak performance and compatibility, you should resist the urge to purchase SBE in favor of ‘Microsoft Server 2008 x64 Standard’ in conjunction with ‘Microsoft SQL Server 2008 x64 Standard’. Your investment in the better (and yes, more expensive) OS will pay for itself over the life of the server.