Can SQL Server 2008 Express be used for offering commercial web hosting services?

I read that SQL Server 2008 Express R2 database size limit has increased to 10G. That’s good news.

Can I use the Express edition of SQL Server to offer web hosting services to the public? Microsoft should be best in answering this but I can’t find a clear answer on their site.

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  • I am also seeing several Windows web hosting plans include SQL Server as a total package for less than $5/month. I am wondering how they can afford to offer this.

    3 Solutions collect form web for “Can SQL Server 2008 Express be used for offering commercial web hosting services?”

    How do providers offer SQL Server at $5/mo? You need to become a service provider and buy volume licensing. See Licensing Options For Services Providers. Contact Microsoft for details and pricing.

    As for Express and hosting, see this guidelines from the Express weblog:

    Several questions have come up lately
    regarding whether SQL Server Express
    is an appropriate product to be used
    in a hosting environment. Here are
    the answers:
    User Instances (also known
    as RANU) available with SQL Server
    Express Edition, are NOT RECOMMENDED
    for hosting environments.
    Shared hosting: SQL Server
    Express Edition is NOT RECOMMENDED for
    shared (multi-tenant) hosting as the
    scale limits and memory handling do
    not allow it to meet the requirements
    of such an environment. SQL Server
    Standard Edition or Enterprise Edition
    are the best choice for shared
    hosting.
    Dedicated hosting: All
    versions of SQL Server including
    Express Edition are RECOMMENDED for
    dedicated (single-tenant) hosting
    environments. SQL Server Express
    Edition is a great way to provide a
    free copy of SQL Server with low cost
    Windows Server offerings. Where
    customers require more advanced
    features or higher scale, Workgroup
    Edition, Standard Edition, and
    Enterprise Edition are all options.

    And there is also this whitepaper SQL Server 2005 Deployment Guidance for Web Hosting Environments.

    Most of this guidance is for SQL Server 2005, but it largely applies to 2008 and 2008 R2, from a technical point of view. As for licensing questions, as always, contact an Microsoft representative.

    I am unaware of anything in the licences that would prevent this. MS actually has some very nice EULA’s. As for the total package they are probably accessing a single server using different table spaces in order to split the cost. The various tablespaces (or whatever the MS equivalent is) can be located on different FSs to prevent contamination.

    Yes, you can use express edition for use in hosting server.

    MS SQL Server is a Microsoft SQL Database product, include sql server standard, sql server management studio, sql server express and so on.