I want to know SQL Server Express edition, like SQL Server 2008 Express edition,

  1. whether totally free or not (e.g. free for a period of time or free for ever)?

  2. I heard no management tool like SQL Server Management Studio for Express edition, is that true?

  3. If I have some code which works on SQL Server Enterprise edition and I also want to make it work on Express edition, any general steps and advice for migration and testing (to verify my code on SQL Server Enterprise edition works for SQL Server express edition as well)? Code I mean both ADO.Net client side code and server side stored procedure, table/index creation code. (or I can ask in other words, what kinds of client and server side of code can run on both Enterprise edition Express edition?)

Thanks in advance, George

Was it helpful?


  1. Yes

  2. There is a Management Studio Express. SQL Server Express 2008 Download

  3. Dunno

Extra. 4 GB limitation per database. SQL Server 2005 Express Edition Features

Here is a big feature comparison for all SQL Server 2008 editions:

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Editions


  1. yes, it's totally free forever
  2. There is a version called "with advanced services", which includes the client tools, including "SQL Server Management Studio Express"
  3. Most code will work, so long as it doesn't use analysis services, reporting services etc.
  1. Yes it is free.
  2. No, there is a management studio. The download is separate.
  3. The engine for all version of SQL Server, whether Express or the others is the same. Your code will work on both.

See the download page to download it with Management Studio.

There is a few limitation about Sql Express. See this comparison chart.

The most important limitations are:

  • Number of CPU: 1
  • Memory Utilization: 1GB of RAM
  • Database Size: 4GB

Changes concerning Sql Server 2008 R2 Express

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Express supports 10 GB of storage per database.

In addition to what New said, there are other features express edition does not support, such as partitioning. So you may have to review your database structure for such things before carrying it across. But anything in your basic structure (tables, views, stored procedures, etc) should carry across with no changes.

3) There are two flavors of Express, standard and "Advanced Edition", and advanced lets you create full-text indexes, whereas the standard version does not. So, code on your Enterpise Edition database that makes use of FTS won't work on the standard flavor of Express. But I've had good success in using the Advanced Edition.

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