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SQL Server 2008 Express Series Is Available

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Microsoft has made available three versions of SQL Server 2008 Express. Express editions are free versions of SQL Server intended for leaning or building small server applications, or for ISV redistribution. The Tools edition contains the Management Studio, while the Advanced Services edition has full-text search and Reporting Services.

SQL Server 2008 Express is described by Microsoft as following:

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express is a powerful and reliable data management system that delivers a rich set of features, data protection, and performance for embedded application clients, light Web applications, and local data stores. SQL Server 2008 Express is available at no cost, and you are free to redistribute it with applications.

SQL Server 2008 Express with Tools contains the same database engine as the Express edition, but has the additional Management Studio Basic which is a graphical server management tool.

SQL Server 2008 Express with Advanced Services has the following features, according to Microsoft:

  • SQL Server database engine.
  • Manage and administer SQL Server 2008 Express with a graphical management tool - Management Studio Basic.
  • Issue full-text queries against plain character-based data in SQL Server tables. Full-text queries can include words and phrases, or multiple forms of a word or phrase.
  • Run SQL Server Reporting Services reports on local relational data.

Using SQL Server 2008 Express editions with Visual Studio 2005 requires Visual Studio 2005 Support for SQL Server 2008 CTP, and the Release Notes should be carefully read before using an Express edition with Visual Studio 2008.

The Express editions can be downloaded and used for free from the following links: SQL Server 2008 Express, SQL Server 2008 Express with Tools, SQL Server 2008 Express with Advanced Services. More information is available on Microsoft's SQL Express page.

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