Microsoft has several standard editions of the SQL server product. It offers a special SQL developer edition so that development work can be carried out before installation on a production server. This SQL Server edition is also available directly from Microsoft too. If you were to look at the product page (for example, example the 2012 edition), it will tell you that the developer edition is really an Enterprise edition of the SQL Server on top of which development work can be carried out but cannot be used as a production server in your enterprise.
SQL Server development edition has features (2012 versions used as the reference point) that are useful in development environment and are useful in testing them out too prior to deployment. The OS environment needs to be at least Vista or the later 7 version. Here are some of the highlights
- Development of applications can be carried out on the SQL Server developer and deployed straight to the production version 2012.
- Validation of the applications is facilitated in the developer edition.
- Demonstration of applications in the MSSQL Server developer edition can be carried out for decision makers in close to production environment.
- Performance, availability, security, business intelligence and manageability issues could be tweaked easily until it is ready for the production environment.
- The SQL developer edition has a Power View tool for data visualization, browsing/exploration and presentation development for the end user.
- It helps development based on a common architecture that works across server configurations and can even be extended to the cloud.
- The developer edition helps take advantage of Microsoft’s Azure cloud based sync of multiple servers distributed over locations of a distributed corporation.
- The SQL Server developer edition will help optimize the demands on your applications required due to the end user needs. These arise from the need for monitoring the data and analytics, data source usage, monitoring of different kinds of dashboards, etc.
The licensing situation related to the SQL server developer edition is slightly involved. Each developer working on the software needs an individual customer access license (CAL). Then there are issues about devices being managed and users/entities that may connect externally, etc. So, it would be prudent to ensure the licensing is scenario is very clear and development work can proceed without any hindrance. More info on licensing can be found here:
Transact-SQL is the SQL product that your developers will need to use for their work. It comes with the product, so there is no hassle there. All you need to ensure is that you have people who are familiar with the transact-SQL of earlier version. If this is the first encounter of your organization with the SQL Server with the 2012 version, you will need to hire people with previous experience with t-SQL. A second resource you are going to need with the SQL Server developer edition is the Visual Studio 2012 version to help in the application development. As with the t-SQL, you will need developers who have worked with earlier and/or the 2012 version of the Visual studio to manage development with SQL Server developer edition. Get them from within the organization or hire the people you need.