Microsoft SQL Server Express

SQL Server Express is a free edition of SQL Server ideal for developing and powering desktop, web and small server applications. It includes SQL Server Express LocalDB, a new lightweight deployment option for Express.

Take advantage of the same powerful database engine as the other versions of SQL Server in a version great for redistribution and embedding, free! SQL Server Express includes enhanced storage per database, easy backup and restore functionality and compatibility with all editions of SQL Server and SQL Azure.

Highlights of SQL Server Express
  • Same database engine as other versions of SQL Server.
  • Compatible with all editions of SQL Server and SQL Azure.
  • Offers reporting capabilities, full-text search, and spatial support.
  • Backup and restore with ease.
  • Designed to work with Visual Studio and ASP.NET
  • Available with a graphical management tool.
  • Quickly build and deploy your database solution.
  • Build websites and web applications.
  • Create small scale line-of-business applications.
  • Redistribute with ISV applications.
  • Learn database development and management.
  • Create compelling analysis and reports with the free PowerPivot for Excel.

Microsoft SQL Server provides extensive capabilities in the hands of developers to create, experiment and deploy enterprise class applications with the powerful SQL Server database engine in the background.

Simplify Development Efforts
  • Faster development
    Take advantage of existing Transact-SQL skills, and incorporate technologies, including the Microsoft ADO.NET Entity Framework and LINQ. Develop applications faster through deep integration with Visual Studio 2008, Visual Web Developer 2008, and SQL Server Management Studio.

  • Development acceleration
    Model data by using the ADO.NET Entity Framework to hide database schema details and access data by using entities that closely resemble business logic. Take advantage of support for LINQ, including LINQ to SQL and LINQ to Entities, which allows data to be retrieved from entities natively from any Microsoft .NET language.

  • Improved developer productivity
    Increase developer productivity and simplify deployment through integration with Visual Studio 2008 and Visual Web Developer. Take advantage of advanced capabilities, including rich table and query designers, full integration with Server Explorer, and drag-and-drop IDE support, for rapidly building data-bound applications. Access data with PHP by using the SQL Server driver for PHP.

  • Easy design process
    Manage SQL Server 2008 R2 Express databases with SQL Server Management Studio Express. Connect to local SQL Server 2008 R2 Express databases and manage objects with full Object Explorer integration. Write, execute, and test queries by using visual query plans that provide hints to tune queries and access management and maintenance options.

Develop High Performance Applications
  • Robust applications
    Create applications by using advanced features while centralizing business logic and increasing application performance with stored procedures, CLR integration, triggers, and views. Dynamically respond to data changes by using query notification, and extend data to remote locations with Service Broker and Replication.

  • Management of any data type
    Take advantage of data, including support for structured and unstructured data while storing business data with native support for relational data, XML, and spatial data. Store and validate XML data and use XQuery to retrieve data. Increase granularity of temporal data with data types such as date and time.

  • Data mapping
    Add geographical information to business applications and build location-aware applications.

  • Relevant information delivery
    Visualize data by using Reporting Services and create readable reports that answer complex user questions. Enable users to share reports by using Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel.

Develop Flexible Applications
  • Anywhere data access
    Create occasionally connected applications that function even when disconnected from the network. Develop desktop applications that automatically synchronize with central databases.

  • Simple remote management
    Manage data infrastructures with policy-based management and apply policies to all instances. Reduce maintenance time by defining common policies for operations, such as query optimizations, naming conventions, backup, restore, and index management. Apply policies to multiple servers for consistent management across the enterprise.

  • Corporate data synchronization
    Keep data synchronized with subscriber support for SQL Server transactional and merge replication. Take advantage of advanced conflict resolution capabilities to build robust business solutions, and synchronize data automatically with support for change tracking and the Microsoft Sync Framework.

SQL Server Express LocalDB
  • LocalDB
    LocalDB is a new lightweight deployment option for SQL Server Express Edition with fewer prerequisites that installs very quickly. This makes it ideal for developers who need an embedded SQL Server database for desktop applications or tools. LocalDB has all of the same programmability features as SQL Express, but runs in user mode with applications and not as a service. It is available as part of the SQL Server 2012 RTM download.

  • Integrated
    LocalDB is designed to be bundled with and function as an integrated part of tools or desktop applications that need a lightweight local database runtime. This includes tools like SSDT, or custom developed desktop applications, or tools that need a lightweight single-user database runtime that supports full Transact-SQL functionality.

  • Simple
    Apps that use LocalDB simply open a file. Once a file is opened, you get SQL Server functionality when working with that file, including things like ACID transaction support. The app that opens the file has exclusive use. It's not intended for multi-user scenarios or to be used as a server. (If you need that, you should install SQL Server Express.)

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