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Does SQL Server need extensions to do spatial like Oracle does? Just wondering if there will be extra costs for implementing a SQL Server backend to SDE.

Thanks

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Which SQL Server version are you asking about? –  Mapperz Jan 17 '13 at 16:44
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2 Answers 2

@pecoanddeco is correct. As of SQL Server 2008, the spatial capabilities are built in. They even come with the express editions.

Just to be 100% clear, though, the spatial capabilities are not completely necessary for ArcSDE. ArcSDE uses its own spatial format by default, which means that you do not need a spatially enabled database in the backend. However, if you have a spatially enabled database in the backend, you have much more flexibility to use the database native spatial types instead of the SDE Binary spatial type.

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With 2008 the Sql Server Spatial Tools on Codeplex are very helpful, some might argue they are essential. You can use them with query layers without involving ArcSDE. I've heard these tools have been rolled into the core product for Sql Server 2012, but have not confirmed this. –  Kirk Kuykendall Jan 17 '13 at 16:59
    
I've used those tools. They are very helpful. I forgot about query layers. Although, those are still very new to ArcGIS. –  Brian Jan 17 '13 at 17:10
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All the SQL Server spatial stuff comes as part of the standard license so there's no extra cost, so it's a bit different to the Oracle Locator/Spatial split.

There a bit more detail here (though it's a bit buried):

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