I’ve been doing some investigating into some questions I’ve had for a while around Windows Server 2008 Web Edition. Web Edition is a basic version of Windows Server that is really only designed to run web sites. It won’t allow the installation of high end database applications and also has certain memory restriction. The good thing is that it is cheaper than Windows Server Standard given it is designed for a single purpose.
I have always wondered -
Q1. Will Windows SharePoint Services run on Windows Server 2008 Web Edition?
A. Yes it can.
Q2. Will Search Server Express 2008 also run on Windows Server 2008 Web Edition?
A. Yes it can.
Don’t believe me? Here’s a screen shot of my test machine.
The top windows shows Search Server, the middle window shows Windows SharePoint and the lower window shows the system is running on Windows Server web.
My preference is normally to run Windows SharePoint and Search Server Express on a separate machine for performance and reliability reasons. That would always require an additional Windows Server license (typically Windows Server Standard). Even though both Windows SharePoint and Search Server Express are free it makes doing things this way pricey. However, now that I know you can use the Windows Server 2008 Web Edition it significantly reduces this price, making it a very viable option in my opinion.
So what you could provide is a stand alone server running Windows Server 2008 Web Edition, Windows SharePoint and Search Server Express. Not only does that give you a great intranet solution but it also provides a search solution for all the documents and public folders in your network. If you then install this configuration on a virtual machine (i.e. no hardware cost) all you are up for is the cost of Windows Server 2008 Web Edition. That’s a a lot of functionality for very little cost.
So, if you are thinking about a stand alone SharePoint / Search Server Express server you can definitely achieve that using Windows Server 2008 Web Edition.