SQL SERVER – SQL Server Express – A Complete Reference Guide

SQL Server Express is one of the most valuable products of Microsoft. Very often, I face many questions with regard to SQL Server Express. Today, we will be covering some of the most commonly asked questions.

Q: What is the cost of SQL Server Express?
A: SQL Server Express is a FREE product from Microsoft.

Q: Where can I find more details about SQL Server Express?
A: On official Microsoft Site: http://www.microsoft.com/express/sql/default.aspx

Q: Why should I use SQL Server Express when I have full version available?
A: Usually, I install only the license version product on my system. When I do not have to use all the features of SQL Server, I install SQL Server Express.

Q: What is the maximum size per database for SQL Server Express?
A: SQL Server Express supports a maximum size of 4 GB per database, which excludes all the log files. 4 GB is not a very large size; however, if database is properly designed and the tables are properly arranged in a separate database, this limitation can be resolved to a certain extent.

Q: Can MySQL be compared with SQL Server Express as both of them are free products?
A: Yes. Both are free and have their own space. However, thus far, I have never faced a situation wherein the task that can be accomplished by using MySQL is not accomplished by SQL Server Express.

Q: Does SQL Server have sufficient help available online?
A: Yes. There are so many online help resources available for SQL Server Express that user will find strongest community for any FREE product.

Let me give you quick list of the online help resources. Even though I took some time to build this reference list, I am sure that all of you will appreciate this and will share with others, which is worth the effort!


Getting Started


Quick Start




Reference : Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)

16 thoughts on “SQL SERVER – SQL Server Express – A Complete Reference Guide

  1. Very useful post Pinal (as usual)

    Just wanted to add a point that is specific to SQL server 2008.

    The 4 GB limitation is not applicable to FILESTREAM data. It means that a SQL Server 2008 Express database can store FILESTREAM data that is larger than 4 GB(the FILESTREAM data size is only limited by the size of the disk volume)


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  4. hi,

    i was installed SQL Server 2005 Express Edition. In that how to create database using visual studio 2005. Please give me the details.

    Thank u


  5. Hi,
    I need help with SQL Server 2008 Express on an XP Pro setup, because it has screwed up my system.
    To run a simple front end of a trivial, but essential piece of software, the supplier has forced me to download and install SQL Server 2008 Express. Their instructions on how to create a new database to run with their font end caused the links to SQL… to break and I tried to uninstall it using the Control Panel. No sign of the SQL.. but the files were there in the Program Files folder.
    I tried Restoring to an earlier time, but it would not go back on any restore points.
    I tried to reinstall the package from the supplier, but at the end of the install, the log file shows:-
    File trusted
    Installing using command ‘C:\DOCUME~1\ALANPE~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\VSD8.tmp\SqlExpress2008\SQLEXPR32_x86_ENU.EXE’ and parameters ‘/q /hideconsole /action=Install /features=SQL /instancename=SQLEXPRESS /enableranu=1 /sqlsvcaccount=”NT Authority\Network Service” /AddCurrentUserAsSqlAdmin /skiprules=RebootRequiredCheck’
    Process exited with code -2068643839
    Status of package ‘SQL Server 2008 Express Edition’ after install is ‘InstallFailed’

    Apart from sliting my throat and endin it there, how can I clear out the system and get it going again?



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  7. Hi… guys i want to MS SQL Server 2005 certification.
    How would i apply for this exam. m from Mumbai which are the centers dat conduct MS examination.

    [email removed]


  8. Can I assume that SQL server 2008R2 Express can be installed on a Windows-7 (personal edition) machine??

    I noticed that version 2005 could be installed on Windows-XP thus maybe 2008 can be done with a Windows-7…


    PS. you do great work


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