What Is SQL Server Express & Why Would You Use It?

What Is SQL Server Express & Why Would You Use It?

SQL Server Express is extremely powerful when it comes to development or other basic database needs. With 10GB of storage and the same powerful features as SQL Server, plus its low price tag (free!), it’s a wonder why more people and small organizations don’t use SQL Server Express.

The main reason more people don’t use SQL Server Express is most likely because they don’t know it exists. So let’s go over a few things about SQL Server Express so we can find out what it is, and why you would use it.

SQL Server Express is essentially the same as SQL Server, just with less storage space. According to Microsoft, “SQL Server Express includes 10GB of storage per database, easy backup and restore functionality, and compatibility with all editions of SQL Server and Microsoft Azure SQL Database.” What’s not to like?

Not only is SQL Server Express a handy tool for smaller organizations or individuals, it has several versions to choose from, including:

  • SQL Server Express w/ Tools – contains the core SQL Server database along with the tools to manage SQL Server instances, including SQL Server Express, LocalDB, and SQL Azure.
  • SQL Server Management Studio – Tools to manage SQL Server instances, including LocalDB, SQL Express, SQL Azure (does not contain SQL Server)
  • SQL Server Express LocalDB – Do you need to embed SQL Server Express into an application? LocalDB is a lightweight version of Express that has all its programmability features yet runs in user mode and has a fast, zero-configuration installation.
  • SQL Server Express w/ Advanced Series – Experience the full feature set of SQL Server Express. This package contains the database engine, Express Tools, Reporting Services, Full Text Search, management tools, and all the components of SQL Server Express

SQL Server Express is great for:

  • Building web & mobile applications for multiple datatypes
  • Simply managing SQL server instances
  • Basic reporting services
  • Embedding a lightweight database into desktop applications

As you can see, SQL Server Express is great for application development, which has become a huge part of current technology.

Want to view more about SQL Server Express? You can view a SQL Server Comparison Chart here, and can download the free SQL Server Express from Microsoft.