For testing purposes only, I'd like to install SQL Server 2000 Evaluation Edition on a server. From what I've read, this edition is a full Enterprise Edition, but it will expire after 160 days. But is it a full edition in the sense that users can connect to it when it's installed on a server, like if it was the Enterprise Edition? So far, I've only had it installed at local computers outside any network.
Coolberg, if you want all the fun features and toys on SQL Server 2005 you will need an evaluation version or a full licensed (i.e. paid for) version.
If you want to be able to use it in production you will need a licensed version, of which there are many. SQL Server 2005 Express is the only free one, I think. You'll want to check on Microsoft's site to be sure, and to check out the different flavors of SQL Server that there are to use.
While Evaluation Editions are not licensed for production use (in other words for use as an ongoing production system), even Microsoft's sales team will tell you that the purpose for an Evaluation Edition is to allow you to set up a system to see if it will serve your needs... The marketing folks expect you to use the Evaluation Editions that way, and will sometimes even help you set them up.
I'm absolutely against stealing copies of anything, of any kind, at any time. Microsoft's lawyers are likely to be the only folks on earth that would react faster or more decisively than I would about stolen copies of software. That said, Evaluation Editions exist for the sole purpose of allowing people to try software in their own environment before they have to buy a copy... This allows users to show management that a product works before they have to convince management to cut a check.
While disruptivehair probably has a point, Microsoft's lawyers are the only ones that might possibly care, and new customers are the folks that eventually pay those lawyers... Lawyers are lawyers, and know where the bread comes from, and who butters it for them. In this case, they won't make so much as a peep, or their Marketing brethern will ensure that those lawyers wake up unemployed tomorrow (assuming that they wake up tomorrow)!