Upgrade path SQL Server 2005 Express to SQL Server 2008 Standard
Recently I had the task of upgrading from SQL Server 2005 Express edition to SQL Server 2008 Standard edition. I assume that you would have the same issue if you had to upgrade from SQL Server 2005 Standard to SQL Server 2008 Enterprise Edition.
It seems that you can not upgrade both the version (2000 to 2005 to 2008) and also the edition ( Express to Standard to Enterprise) in one change. You have to first upgrade either the version or the edition and later you can upgrade the other. Depending on what Version and Edition of SQL Server you are running use the following two links to determine your upgrade path.
If you are reading this email after 2008 then I assume that you might be planning to upgrade to SQL Server 2008. To illustrate an example lets consider that you want to migrate from SQL Server 2005 Express to SQL server 2008 Standard. Then you can follow one of the two following paths.
1) SQL Server 2005 Express to SQL Server 2005 Standard. Later upgrade to SQL Server 2008 Standard.
2) SQL Server 2005 Express to SQL Server 2008 Express. Later upgrade to SQL Server 2008 Standard.
The path that want to take would be determined by what is more important to you. In my case the client wanted an upgrade from Express to Standard edition so I took the first path. That way in the very first segment I would have achieved what the client wanted. There could be several other things to consider before you make the decision.
One more thing to consider is upgrading from 32 bit to 64 bit. Microsoft does not support a 32 bit to 64 bit inplace upgrade. Please follow the preferred method to upgrade from 32 bit to 64 bit.