“SQL Server Express is a free edition of SQL Server ideal for developing and powering desktop, web and small server applications. Download SQL Server 2012 Express RTM, which includes SQL Server Express LocalDB, a new lightweight deployment option for Express…” Microsoft
The express version of SQL Server is really a product that many developers can benefit from specially that it is reasonably powerful for a free version. Nevertheless, it has some limitations:
- Maximum database size 10GB
- Maximum usage of Ram 1GB
- Single physical CPU
- No SQL Server Agent (job scheduler)
- Profiler tool is not included
SQL Server Express comes in different versions depending on your needs. One of the latest add-on is LocalDB which is yet a lighter version of Express. Here are the differences between each version as Microsoft describe:
LocalDB (MSI installer)
New to the Express family, LocalDB is a lightweight version of Express that has all its programmability features, yet runs in user mode and has a fast, zero-configuration installation and short list of pre-requisites. Use this if you need a simple way to create and work with databases from code. It can be bundled with Visual Studio, other Database Development tools or embedded with an application that needs local databases.
Express (containing only the database engine)
The core Express database server. Use this if you need to accept remote connections or administer remotely.
Express with Tools (with LocalDB, includes the database engine and SQL Server Management Studio Express)
This package contains everything needed to install and configure SQL Server as a database server. Choose either LocalDB or Express depending on your needs above.
SQL Server Management Studio Express (Tools only)
This does not contain the database, but only the tools to manage SQL Server instances, including LocalDB, SQL Express, SQL Azure, etc. Use this if you already have the database and only need the management tools.
Express with Advanced Services (contains the database engine, Express Tools, Reporting Services, and Full Text Search)
This package contains all the components of SQL Express. This is a larger download than “with Tools,” as it also includes both Full Text Search and Reporting Services.
You can download SQL Server 2012 Express from the following link: http://www.microsoft.com/betaexperience/pd/SQLEXPCTAV2/enus/default.aspx
You can view a step-by-step installation guide for SQL Server 2012 Express from the following link: