SQL Server 2008 Editions
If you are serious about installing (or upgrading) SQL Server, this page provides a quick overview of your options.
SQL Server 2008 comes in many different editions. The edition you choose will depend on your requirements. If you are looking for a free database management system, you will need to choose one of the Express editions or the Compact edition. You could also try the Evaluation edition, which allows you to trial SQL Server 2008 for 180 days.
Here are the different editions available for SQL Server 2008.
- Enterprise Edition
Data management and business intelligence platform providing enterprise class scalability, high availability, and security for running business-critical applications
- Standard Edition
Data management and business intelligence platform providing ease of use and manageability for running departmental applications
- Workgroup Edition
Data management and reporting platform providing secure, remote synchronization, and management capabilities for running branch applications
- Developer Edition
May be installed and used by one user to design, develop, test, and demonstrate your programs on as many systems as needed
- Web Edition
A low-TCO, scalable, and manageable database option for web hosters and end customers looking to deploy publicly facing web applications and services
- Express Edition
A free edition of SQL Server ideal for learning and building desktop and small server applications and for redistribution by ISVs
- Compact Edition
A free, SQL Server embedded database ideal for building stand-alone and occasionally connected applications for mobile devices, desktops, and web clients
- Evaluation Edition
This edition may be installed for demonstration and evaluation purposes until an expiration period of 180 days.
SQL Server Edition in this Tutorial
The examples in this tutorial were made using the (free) Express edition of SQL Server 2008. To be more precise, it is SQL Server 2008 Express with Advanced Services.
SQL Server 2008 Express with Advanced Services includes the following features:
- SQL Server database engine - create, store, update and retrieve your data
- SQL Server Management Studio Basic - visual database management tool for creating, editing and managing databases
- Full-text Search - powerful, high-speed engine for searching text-intensive data
- Reporting Services - integrated report creation and design environment to create reports
The Express edition also comes as SQL Server 2008 Express with Tools, which only includes the SQL Server database engine and the SQL Server Management Studio Basic, and SQL Server 2008 Express (Runtime Only) which doesn't include the SQL Server Management Studio.
While the free version of SQL Server does have its limitations, it is a good start for those starting out with SQL Server.
You can download SQL Server 2008 Express from Microsoft's website.