By now, you’ve probably heard something about Microsoft’s new SQL Express.  SQL Express is the replacement for Microsoft's MSDE database.  It’s a free, light-weight database version of SQL Server.  It is SQL Server, but it’s stripped down to make it a smaller download.  It’s less filling and tastes great too! 

 

At its core, SQL Express uses the same high-performance database engine as the other versions of SQL Server 2005. The main limitations, compared to other editions of SQL Server 2005, include:

·         Supports only one CPU

·         Supports a maximum database size of 4GB

·         1GB memory limit for the buffer pool

·         Lack of enterprise features support

 

 Some other goodies that you might want as you tinker around with SQL Express Beta 2 include:

 

·         The scripts for Northwind and Pubs databases at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=06616212-0356-46a0-8da2-eebc53a68034&DisplayLang=en  

·        The SQL Server 2005 Express Documentation and Samples at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=2adbc1a8-ae5c-497d-b584-eab6719300cd&displaylang=en

 

Plus, GutherB’s weblog has some good information on how to load data into SQL Express in the Thursday, July 1, 2004 weblog entry at http://blogs.msdn.com/guntherb/archive/2004/07/01/170674.aspx

If you haven’t already looked at it, you can get SQL Express Beta 2 at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=62B348BB-0458-4203-BB03-8BE49E16E6CD&displaylang=en