Unlike SQL Server, MSDE did not ship with its own Enterprise Manager tool. Developers and users of MSDE applications lack the tools necessary for database design, management, and administration.
MSDE databases are limited to 2 gigabytes (GB) of data. This limit is per database, and not per server, so a single MSDE server can support multiple MSDE databases, each containing up to the 2 GB limit. If you anticipate that your database is currently or will grow beyond 2 GB, consider upgrading to Microsoft SQL Server™ 2000 Standard Edition for a more scalable database platform on which to build.
MSDE is tuned for desktop and shared solutions where there are fewer than five concurrent workloads hitting the database at any one time (only five concurrent batch workloads or 25 concurrent connections for websites.) If your solution needs to support more than this number of concurrent batches, you may need to migrate to SQL Server or SQL Server Enterprise editions for optimal performance at this higher level of scalability.
MSDE can participate in most types of replication with either a centralized SQL Server or another MSDE. Specifically, MSDE can participate fully in snapshot and merge replication, but only as a subscriber in transactional replication (MSDE cannot be a publisher in transactional replication.) Also note that a per-set Client-Access License (CAL), or processor license is required if MSDE is participating in any type of interaction with a SQL Server, including replication. A CAL or processor license is not required if MSDE is replicating with another MSDE.
MSDE 2000 is a redistributable version of SQL Server 2000. It is a database engine provided by Microsoft that is based on the core SQL Server technology and supports single- and dual-processor desktop computers. In other words, MSDE 2000 is a scaled down copy of SQL Server. MSDE 2000 was introduced to provide application developers a database engine that is more powerful than the Jet engine and at the same time expandable to SQL Server. It is ideal for client applications requiring an embedded database and websites serving up to 25 concurrent users.
The common technology base shared between SQL Server and MSDE 2000 enables developers to build applications that can scale seamlessly from desktop solutions to multiprocessor enterprise clusters.
As an alternative to the Jet engine, MSDE 2000 provides a cost-effective option for developers who need a database server that can be easily distributed and installed. Because it is fully compatible with SQL Server, developers can easily target both SQL Server and MSDE database objects with the same application code base. This provides a seamless upgrade path for MSDE database instances to SQL Server if an application grows beyond the storage and scalability that a MSDE can provide.
Multi-server, multi-transaction operations
Multiple-transaction processes across servers cannot include any machines running MSDE. These advanced operations cannot involve any MSDE databases. MSDE databases cannot request services from a SQL Server without a per seat SQL Server CAL (Client Access License) or processor license.
MSDE and under Windows 95, 98 and Me
MSDE cannot use integrated security features of Microsoft Windows NT® when operating on a Microsoft Windows® 95, Windows 98 or Windows Me platform. Also, MSDE cannot be started remotely, and some third-party network protocols are not supported.