Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition 9.00.1399

Powerful tool to try out different coding techniques and run them to see their results

  • Category:


  • Version:


  • Works under:

    Windows 2000 / Windows 2003 / Windows XP

  • Program available in:In English
  • Program license:Free
  • Vote:
    6.6 (134)

Easily the most popular of Microsoft’s free releases of SQL Server, the Microsoft SQL Server Express Edition includes many of the powerful features of the full product. Although SQL Server 2005 entered Beta testing in 2003 the product’s maturity and widespread use makes it ideal for novices, especially those who want to get up to speed on newer technology. Out of the box, SQL Server 2005 Express Edition comes natively compatible with Microsoft’s Visual Studio 2005 and 2008 Express Editions and all of the .NET languages included with Visual Studio.

Although Microsoft Visual Studio functions natively with .NET version 3.5, it also supports development and maintenance of applications for earlier versions of .NET. This gives upgrading to SQL Server 2005 Express Edition wide utility for both legacy applications and current development. Unfortunately, installation of SQL Server 2005 Express Edition rarely goes without a hitch. Among other things, whole books have been dedicated to the different ways SQL Server can be installed.

To help several authors and bloggers offer advice, tutorials and tips are provided to ease the process for novices. Since most modern work-related applications development involves using data in relational databases like Microsoft SQL Server, the highly sought-after nature of these skills make working through the installation worth the effort.

The 2005 release of SQL Server was the first for Microsoft in five years, intended to expand both access to relational database programming and improved business intelligence. In addition, enhanced security features and interface-driven options limit the scope of access of each instance of SQL Server.

Importantly, SQL Server 2005 Express Edition does not permit full text search or partitioning, and while it provides automatic performance tuning, and permits online system changes, it will not scale up to Enterprise applications. If the application requires unlimited CPU’s or databases greater than 4GB in size, consider alternative solutions. While users of the paid editions of Microsoft SQL Server usually install it as a client-server database, that is, the database is on the server to be accessed by client workstations, the lighter express edition is usually installed on the same workstation as the IDE.

Although SQL Server 2005 Express Edition will not scale up to support a modern enterprise, it comes with the same security features as the Enterprise edition, including authentication, encryption, key management and best practices analytics. It comes with the same programmability support features as the Enterprise edition, as well. Since the SQL Server 2005 Express Edition integrates the Common Language Runtime and features full .NET support it covers a lot of ground. Like the Enterprise edition, it permits stored procedures and triggers, user-defined and XML data types, and it supports XQuery. The Express edition also includes all of the enhancements Microsoft made to Transact-SQL for the 2005 Enterprise edition and integrated debugger let the developer see all files in the solution in outline form, step through draft code, and interactively observe runtime across multiple languages and processes.


  • Powerful, mature, supported relational database tool
  • Free and distributable
  • Handles datasets up to 4GB in size
  • Permits online system changes
  • Built-in productivity tools
  • Integrates Common Language Runtime
  • Full .NET support
  • Uses Microsoft’s Management Studio
  • Includes Best Practice Analytics
  • Native security support
  • Automatic performance tuning
  • Includes all 2005 T-SQL enhancements


  • Big download
  • 4GB data limit
  • Limited customer support
  • No full text search capability
  • No database tuning advisor
  • No data mining functionality
  • Limited data warehousing

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