Making a front end software to use with MSSQL 2005

I am making a front end software that utilizes database from MS SQL 2005. I am making the software using WPF .NET Framework 4.8. I want to connect the server to my software but I have no idea how to do so. I wanted to make a temporary server and database using mssql2005, without having to use the main server first. Unfortunately I cannot do that due to OS restrictions. Now what do I do? Should I try connecting to the main MSSQL 2005 directly(is it even possible to connect to a 2005 using .NET Framework 4.8?), or can I simulate MSSQL 2005 using another version of MSSQL?

Up through SQL Server 2012, you can set the database compatibility level to match SQL Server 2005. The full compatibility level matrix is in here:

Note that SQL Server 2005 is long out of support from Microsoft, and only SQL Server 2019 and 2022 are under regular support. SQL Server 2016 and 2017 have extended support available for additional cost.

You are unlikely to get a real SQL Server 2005 instance to work on any supported version of Windows, and until you upgrade to a newer version you will continue to encounter problems getting it working.

Edit: you will also miss out on a number of useful features and query optimizations by remaining in SQL 2005 compatibility.


Thank you, How likely is it to upgrade from SQL 2005 to SQL 2022? I have never worked with servers to this extent and my knowledge is pretty minimal.

The best thing I can suggest is to run Microsoft's Database Migration assistant:

Note that there's a separate link to download it:

Once you run it, you'll get feedback on compatibility issues, and have the option to do the actual migration from old/source server to new/target instance. You'd have to create a new SQL Server instance with the version you want, which may require a new paid license. (the DB Migration overview doesn't cover licensing)

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