I do a lot of research on sde user and dbo user; however, I am still confused. I am a geospatial database administrator. We have SQL SERVER 2008R2 and ArcGIS 10.1. I don't think we run ArcSDE post installation Wizard now. We usually create a geodatabase by "Create an Enterprise Geodatabase" tool. So, I have to give some of GIS people 'sa' account password and 'sde' account password so that they can create their own enterprise geodatabase. I don't want to do this. My idea is create two different login accounts for two different department in sql server. These two login accounts are mapped to dbcreator role only in order to create database. And then GIS people can add user to their own database; finally enable database to enterprise geodatabase using "Enable Enterprise Geodatabase" tool. This process a dbo geodatabase. My question are: What are they different and when should I use dbo user when should I use sde user? Do they will influence version? Thanks!
No matter which schema they are in (dbo or sde), geodatabases have the same functionality. The difference is just in who "owns" the geodatabase system tables, procedures, and views. Since your users are creating their own databases, they are dbo in the databases they create. When you enable a geodatabase while connected to the database as a login that is dbo, the geodatabase is created in the dbo schema.
Some people prefer to create an sde user and schema in the database, connect as the sde user, and create the geodatabase. The geodatabase is then created in the sde schema. This makes it easier to identify which objects are geodatabase system objects. But if you aren't concerned with visually identifying the geodatabase system objects, dbo schema is fine. :)