SQL SERVER – 2008 – Download Copy of Developer Edition for Free Is Myth

It is quite common myth that SQL Server 2008 Developer Edition is FREE.

SQL Server 2008 developer edition has same code base and same features which are available in SQL Server 2008 enterprise edition. Only difference between them is licensing terms. Developer Edition can not be used in production environment and it can be used on development server only.

I have received quite a lots of emails how this can be downloaded for free. First of this version is not free. It is available for $50 to download. However, those developer who are really looking for free edition of SQL Server 2008 should try SQL Server Express Edition.

SQL Server Express Edition is Freely available to download.

Please refer here for additional information regarding pricing of different SQL Server Editions.

Update: You can Download SQL SERVER 2016 Developer Edition for FREE

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

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68 Comments. Leave new

  • Thanks for that?

    Thanks for the link,,,,for free sql server 2008….
    i also have an question that is there be any course to be a Professional DBA in SQL. i found a course in ORACLE but i dont have details of any course in SQL so guide me for that thanks,,,,

  • It is free for developers that are using Visual Studio via MSDN subscriptions, though – that’s how most corporate developers I know use it.

  • It’s free in a manner of speaking. If you attended the launch event, and were lucky enough to follow the instructions, including the sacrifice of a small animal on an alter one hour after the setting of the full moon, then you will receive your ‘free’ developers edition.

  • IF you are a student AND you can prove it (they WILL verify this), you can download:

    SQL Server 2008 Developer for free

    Windows Server 2008 for free

    Windows Server 2003 for free

    SQL Server Express for free

    I know because I am a student and they verified I was a student and I receieved the download links and registration keys.

    • I am a student, I can prove it (what proof do they want? ID card? school/ID#?).

      what is the URL to download SS 2008 Dev?

  • Hi PCAddict,

    Can you please give us the URL for the SQL Server 2008 Developer for free download.

  • @Jimbo,

    It costs almost $50 to get SQL Server 2008 Developer, it is not free like Pinal said in his article.

    Link :


  • Wow. All you people making comments need to learn how to read. Pinal was very clear in his article.

    SQL Server 2008 DEVELOPER Edition is NOT free. It costs money to get. Developer Edition is idential to Enterprise Edition. The only difference being licencing terms.

    SQL Server 2008 EXPRESS Edition is free. Express Edition is a cut down version. It is NOT the same as DEVELOPER nor is it the same as ENTERPRISE.

  • Can a database created using sql 2008 developer environment be distributed on a server running 2008 sql express.

  • what is sql server express edition and what is major difference between express edition and rest of sql server editions.

  • There’s the link for you, I hope it helps :-)

  • Is it possible to download SQL 2008 Developer edition trail and Later make it Lincensed without re-installing it. Since I am going to try it and then buy it

  • Hi Daniel,

    Yes you can activate your trial version of SQL Server 2008 Enterprise Edition (as there is no trial version of SQL Server 2008 Developer edition) before its expiry date (after 180 days of installation date) without re-installing it. Even you can upgrade after expiry date but then you will have to perform some extra work around to successfully upgrade the edition.

    Kind Regards,
    Pinal Dave

    • Jerry Goldberg
      January 12, 2010 3:09 am


      Sorry to ask almost an identical question, but:

      I am about to download and install a free SQL Server 2008 Enterprise Trial Edition today. Later, perhaps in a few days even (before the 180 days) I intend to purchase a 2008 Developer Edition. At that time, will the install process simply activate the Enterprise Trial Edition, without a re-install, turning it into a licensed Developer edition.


      • Hello Jerry,

        Yes you can activate your trial version of SQL Server 2008 Enterprise Edition (as there is no trial version of SQL Server 2008 Developer edition) before its expiry date (after 180 days of installation date) without re-installing it. Even you can upgrade after expiry date but then you will have to perform some extra work around to successfully upgrade the edition.

        Kind Regards,
        Pinal Dave

      • 1. You will write a stored procedure that returns the PhotoID of the closest photo, that points to the location.
        2. Even though our photos are panoramic, a photo is considered to point towards a destination only if the direction is within +30 degrees and -30 degrees from the direction in the database table for that photo.
        3. As an example, the building at 383 Richmond Street is located at Latitude 42.9827 (North), and Longitude -81.2494 (West). The best photo for that location is PhotoID 11090179, located at Latitude 42.98274291, Longitude -81.24926685.

        Anybody has a idea on this question

    • Hi Pinal, Would like to know if I install sql r2 developer version will i get ssis/rs/as with that installation. I was searching to get free sql 2008 r2 developer version but couldnot find any where in the Microsoft site. pls suggest where could i get it.

  • Hello Pinal,

    I wanted to install sql server 2008 for personal use and wanted suggestions as to what is the best edition. I am primarily interested in all the BIDS tools — SSIS, SSRS and SSAS.

    What is the best route? SQL server express has SSRS but not the rest.

    Is the 50.00 charge a one time thing?

    Please advise.


  • Ashish Gilhotra
    January 30, 2010 2:42 pm

    You can use SQL Server Developer edition.
    here is more details about this

    • Thanks Ashish — but I have windows 7(home edition) and I am interested in sql server 2008 developer edition. Any ideas?

  • I would appreciate if somebody would be kind enough to shed some light on this. I have windows 7 home edition and wanted to get sql server 2008 developer version installed on it. My question is, is it compatible? I am primarily interested in using SSIS / SSAS hence cannot use sql server express 2008.

    I would appreciate any insight.

    Thank you.

    • Suhasini

      I have Windows 7 home edition and have installed successfully the SQL2008 developer edition. There is a quirk that I found which is: Win 7 does not have a UI menu to add groups, however the way around it is to add a user group via the command line. There is also some graphical interface that is not supported in Win 7, like Perf Mon.
      Hope this helps.

  • Ashish Gilhotra
    February 2, 2010 10:19 am

    @suhasini Developer edition with service pack and and greated works file on it.

  • @Subhasini.

    A little bit effort from your side would decrease your waiting time to get an answer and increase our patience towards answering those who need us most.

    Answer: Please Google with key word, “Sql server 2008 developer edition on windows 7”

    Please share with information that you read on web.

    ~ IM.

  • I agree with Imran’s post. I originally selected Notify me of follow-up comments but they all are silly questions that 10 seconds of research would solve.

    People, when you post on a blog, do it to ask a question you can’t find an answer for, or to share information to help others. Example: if you want to know if SS 2008 works on Windows 7, go to microsoft.com and search for SQL Server 2008. There will be a hardware requirements section AND a software requirements section. read it. post your findings here if you want, that may help someone (like you).

    Also, post a link in your answers, like:

  • Hi Pinal,

    We have installed SQLServer 2008 trail version and used it for dev purpose and the trail expires next month. We would like to move it to production, so want to make it as full version. We are partners of microsoft and have volume license CD with us. Could you tell me how to activate my trail version to full version from it?

    Thanks for your help


  • Md. Marufuzzaman
    February 20, 2010 9:26 pm


    I’m using Windows 7 home edition…..In that case which SQL Server 2008 edition you prefer for light weight database software development.

    Md. Marufuzzaman


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