I’ve been watching some of the presentations over at the SharePoint conference site and I’ve learned that Windows SharePoint Services is going to now be called SharePoint 2010 Foundation. Even though there is nothing particularly wrong with that, I think it is going to create more confusion around the different versions of SharePoint for most people. Unfortunately, it is just something we’ll have to deal with.
What I have also heard (but can’t yet confirm) is that SharePoint 2010 Foundation (i.e. the new version of Windows SharePoint Services) will now install with SQL Express Edition rather than the SQL Embedded Edition. What’s the issue here? The issue is that SQL Express has a limit on any database of 4GB, while SQL Embedded doesn’t. So that means, on new installations of SharePoint 2010 Foundation your content is going to be limited to 4GB unless you use another version of SQL Server.
This is big step backwards if this is the case since many existing SharePoint v3 installations I see are already crossing the 4GB database boundary. Apparently, if you do an in place upgrade to SharePoint 2010 Foundation it will continue to use SQL Embedded Edition (without the database limit) but any new installation will be limited to a database size of 4GB. It seems that Microsoft wants to drive people to the higher end version of SharePoint by configuring the new version this way. As the amount of data continue to grow this really doesn’t make a lot of sense if it is the case, especially when SQL Embedded Edition, like SQL Express, is free. Such a decision may impact people’s choice to utilize SharePoint 2010 Foundation, given it is placing a limitation on the product that was evident 2 versions ago (i.e. in Windows SharePoint v2)
Again, I have only read about this limitation and can’t confirm it fully until I actually get my hands on the beta (which is due out this month). I will be very interested to see what SharePoint 2010 Foundation incorporates and whether it will operate on SBS 2008. Stay tuned here for updates.