Understanding the .NET Framework requirements for various versions of SQL Server

Applies to: SQL Server 2008 DeveloperSQL Server 2008 EnterpriseSQL Server 2008 Express


Different versions of Microsoft SQL Server have different .NET Framework versions as a prerequisite for setup, and the procedure to install the .Net Framework may be different on different operating systems. Also, the .NET Framework requirements vary based on the edition of SQL Server that you are installing. This article describes these requirements and gives you the necessary information so that you can install the correct .Net Framework that is required.

More Information

How to use this document
  1. Use Table 1 in the "Microsoft .NET Framework prerequisites for SQL Server" section to check the .NET Framework requirements for the version and the edition that you are installing.
  2. Check whether the .NET Framework is already included as part of the operating system or whether you must download it separately from Microsoft downloads that are listed in Table 2 in the ".NET Frameworks for SQL Server on various operating systems and download links" section.
  3. Use the last column in Table 2 to check whether any special procedures are required to install the Framework on the target operating system. If the entry is Yes, check the later sections of this document for the necessary procedures. If the entry is No, you can download the corresponding Framework from the corresponding link in Table 2 and install it on the target operating system.

Microsoft .NET Framework prerequisites for SQL Server

The following table summarizes the .NET Framework version requirements for various versions and Editions of SQL Server and explains whether the product is included with setup media and whether it is installed as part of setup.

Table 1:
SQL version or Edition.NET Framework versionIncluded with the product?Installed as part of setup?
SQL Server 2005 (all Editions)2.0YesNo
SQL Server 2008 express (core)2.0 SP2NoNo
SQL Server 2008 on Windows Server 2003, (64-bit), IA-642.0 SP2YesYes
SQL Server 2008 (all other Editions)3.5 SP1YesYes*

* For SQL Server 2008 and for SQL Server 2008 R2 Failover Cluster and Express Edition installations, the Setup program does not install the .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 on systems that run Windows Server 2008 R2 Edition. For more information about how to enable the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 on these systems, see the How to install or enable .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 on Windows Server 2008 R2 for SQL Server 2008section.

 .NET Frameworks for SQL Server on various operating systems and download links 

The following table indicates whether the .NET Framework that is required for the SQL Edition and version that you are installing is included as part of the target operating system. The table also indicates whether any additional steps are required to install or enable the Framework on the corresponding operating system. And, the table provides a download link for the corresponding .NET Framework redistributable files. 

Table 2:
.NET versionVersion numberIncluded with operating systemDefault with operating systemsInstalled with Visual Studio .NETRedist or download linkAre special  procedures required to install redist? Server 2003 R2NoneMicrosoft Visual Studio 20052.0No
2.0 SP22.0.50727.3053NoneNoneNone2.0 SP2No
3.5 SP13.5.30729.1Windows Server 2008 R2NoneNone3.5 SP1Yes, for Windows Server 2008 R2

  1. For more information about the various .NET Framework versions, see the following blog post:
  2. If you are installing SQL Server 2008 on a system where the RTM version of Visual Studio 2008 is installed, see the following blog post:

How to install or enable .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 on Windows Server 2008 R2 for SQL Server 2008

In Windows Server 2008 R2, the .NET Framework is a feature, and installing it is different than previous versions of the Windows operating system. The following procedure explains how to verify that the .NET Framework 3.5.1 is installed. The procedure also explains how to determine whether the .NET Framework is not installed and how you can add it in these environments.

How to determine whether the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 is installed:

To determine whether the .NET Framework 3.5.1 is installed on Windows Server 2008 R2, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Administrative Tools, and then click Server Manager.
  2. Click Features to display all the installed features in the pane on the right side. 
  3. Verify that .NET Framework 3.5.1 is listed as an installed feature.

If .NET Framework 3.5.1 is not listed as an installed feature, use one of the following methods to install it.

Method 1: Use Server Manager
  1. In Server Manager,  click Add Features to display a list of possible features.
  2. In the Select Features interface, expand the .NET Framework 3.5.1 Features  entry.
  3. After you expand .NET Framework 3.5.1 Features, you see two check boxes. One check box is for .NET Framework 3.5.1 and other check box is for WCF Activation. Click to selet the check box next to .NET Framework 3.5.1, and then click Next.

     If you do not expand the .NET Framework 3.5.1 Features item and check it, the following Add Features Wizard is started: 

    Add features wizard

    If the wizard starts, click Cancel, expand .NET Framework 3.5.1 Features, and then click to select the .NET Framework 3.5.1 check box. 
  4. You cannot install .NET Framework 3.5.1 Features unless the required role services and features are also installed.
  5. In the Confirm Installation Selections , review the selections, and then click Install.
  6. Let the installation process complete, and then click Close.

Method 2: Use Windows PowerShell
  1. Click the Start, click All Programs, and then click Accessories.
  2. Expand Windows PowerShell, right-click Windows PowerShell, and click Run as administrator. Click Yes in the User Account Control box. 
  3. At the PowerShell command prompt, type the following commands, and then press ENTER after each command: 
    • Import-Module ServerManager
    • Add-WindowsFeature as-net-framework
     Note See the following screen shot for more information: