Two things not available in Standard that caught my eye were:
- Online indexing
- Online schema change
On the Standard version, SQL Server will lock your object (i.e. table) until the create index or alter table is complete.
If you have the Enterprise Edition, then you could specify the
WITH (ONLINE=ON) option to alter tables or create indexes, so you could still access (SELECT) your object even while the create index operation is running. This is really useful if you have large objects or if you don’t have a maintenance window.
In Standard Edition, tables are locked while being rebuilt and can’t be accessed by users. On-line indexing, available only in Enterprise Edition, allows you to rebuild indexes while users are still able to use the database. That means that truly 24/7 applications must use the Enterprise Edition to maintain their indexes to preserve good performance while still allowing users to access the database at any time.