What's the difference between version and edition?


For software products...
I'll better give examples.

Inside each release of SQL Server 2008 (2000 or 2005) there are editions like:

  • Standard Ed.
  • Enterprise Ed.
  • Developer Ed.
  • Express Ed. (free)

which are bound to different sets of provided functionalities or features.

Hoping that you've read answers to your "differences between “update” and “upgrade”?", you may update your MS SQL Server 2005 by installing a service pack or hotfix getting after that an elevated version number (of the same edition). Or, one can upgrade from Express Ed. 2005 to Enterprise Ed. 2005 with the same version. Or from the same version to elevated version of SQL Server 2008, really new major release.


There are many different uses of each of those words (including the heavy use of version for software), but in their main meaning, the difference is mainly given by the (New Oxford American Dictionary) definition of edition:

edition (noun): a particular form or version of a published text

The emphasis is mine, and it outlines the core of the matter. If you're thinking of a text, each state of the manuscript or typescript is a version of the text, while only published versions are editions

To give an example: over a span of one year, there were many many versions of my thesis, but there was only one edition of it (the final, published work).

  • @Jasper: just like text, they go through a publication process; I can have made 20+ versions of that soundtrack I'm working on, but the first edition will be when the CDs are pressed (and the second edition, if I change something and press a new batch of CDs) – F'x Mar 4 '11 at 8:39

For one, 'edition' pertains to a publication of sorts in particular, whereas 'version' could pertain to anything from a software program to a narrated story.

Also, 'a newer version' implies improvements or corrections have been made, whereas 'a newer edition' could just have been commissioned because the previous edition sold out.

  • 1
    When an edition sells out and they make more, I'm used to that being another "printing", not another "edition". A new edition has some change in the contents. – Monica Cellio Jul 11 '11 at 15:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.