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  

·        The SQL Server 2005 Express Documentation and Samples at


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

If you haven’t already looked at it, you can get SQL Express Beta 2 at