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.

The Editions

Here are the different editions available for SQL Server 2008.

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:

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.