SQL Server 2005 - Express Edition for Web Hosting
SQL Server 2005 is a comprehensive database platform providing enterprise-class data management with integrated business intelligence (BI) tools. The SQL Server 2005 database engine provides more secure, reliable storage for both relational and structured data, enabling you to build and manage highly available, performant data applications for use in your business.
The SQL Server 2005 data engine lies at the core of this enterprise data management solution. Additionally, SQL Server 2005 combines the best in analysis, reporting, integration, and notification. This enables your business to build and deploy cost-effective BI solutions that help your team drive data into every corner of the business through scorecards, dashboards, Web services, and mobile devices.
Close integration with Microsoft Visual Studio, the Microsoft Office System, and a suite of new development tools, including the Business Intelligence Development Studio, sets SQL Server 2005 apart. Whether you are a developer, database administrator, information worker, or decision maker, SQL Server 2005 provides innovative solutions that help you gain more value from your data.
SQL Server Express is a free, easy to use, redistributable version of SQL Server 2005 designed for building simple data-driven applications. Developers can design schemas, add data, and query local databases, all inside the Visual Studio 2005 environment. If developers need more advanced database features, then SQL Server Express can be seamlessly upgraded to more sophisticated versions of SQL Server.
SQL Server Express was developed with two distinct uses in mind. The first is as a server product, especially as a Web hosting server or a database hosting server. The second is as a local client data store where the application data access does not depend on the network. Ease of use and simplicity are key design goals.
The three main usage scenarios for SQL Server Express are:
- Nonprofessional developers building Web applications
- ISVs redistributing SQL Server Express as a low-end server or client data store
- Hobbyists building basic client/server applications
SQL Server Express provides an easy-to-use and reliable database platform that is "feature-rich" to cover these scenarios. Special consideration is given to the ease and reliability of setup and deployment to make it easy for ISVs to use and redistribute.
Benefits of SQL Server 2005 Express Edition:
- Get up and running in as little as 20 minutes.
- Automatically tune your database for optimal performance.
- Use Microsoft Update to automatically receive the latest patches and updates, enabling a high level of security and the latest features.
- You can download the SQL Server Management Studio Express (separate download below), an easy and efficient management tool for SQL Server Express.
- Enjoy a consistent management experience across all SQL Server 2005 Editions.
- Seamlessly integrated data experience for building Windows applications and Web sites.
- Easily move or copy your SQL Server Express databases to another computer or hosted server using XCopy and ClickOnce deployment.
Comparison with Other Free Microsoft Databases
Comparison with MSDE
SQL Server Express replaces Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine (MSDE) in SQL Server 2005 and provides numerous ease-of-use features that enable it to be used by a nonprofessional developer or hobbyist. MSDE is based on SQL 2000 technology and is recommended for use with Windows 9x platforms, while SQL Server Express is based on SQL Server 2005 technology. SQL Server Express has features such as Application XCopy, Robust Setup UI, CLR support, GUI tools, and Visual Studio Integration that are not present in MSDE. However, some features are removed from SQL Server Express compared to MSDE. These features include DTS, replication publishing, and SQL Agent.
The use of merge modules for deployment has been a servicing problem for MSDE, and this functionality is not available in SQL Server Express. The workload throttle in MSDE was sometimes difficult to understand and use. In SQL Server Express, the throttle is removed and instead the engine uses CPU, RAM, and database size limitations to differentiate it from the other editions. The table below shows the comparison of these products.
Table 2. Comparison of MSDE with SQL Server Express
SQL Server Express 2005
|User Instance support||Feature not present|
|DTS in separate download||DTS runtime present|
|Easy deployment because of no MDAC||MDAC is part of install|
|MSI only, good servicing story||MSI and MSM, servicing of MSM hard|
|Subscriber Replication for Transactional, Merge, and snapshot||Merge/snapshot publication supported in addition to replication subscription|
|Robust setup UI||Basic setup UI|
|No agent||Agent present|
|Supports Windows 2000 SP4, Windows XP SP1, and Windows 2003||Supports Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows NT4, and Windows 2003|
|CLR support||No CLR support|
|GUI tools available||No GUI tools|
|Database size limit: 4 GB||Database size limit: 2 GB|
|1 CPU, 1 GB RAM||2 CPU, 2 GB RAM|
|No throttle||Workload throttle enforced for 5 concurrent workloads|
|Deep integration with Visual Studio||Basic integration with Visual Studio|
Comparison with Jet
SQL Server Express is based on the latest SQL Server 2005 technology, while Jet has been in service pack and maintenance stage for quite some time. All the latest and greatest features, such as CLR integration and XML support, are available only in SQL Server Express. The reliability and scalability story of SQL Server Express is also significantly better than Jet. Applications written to SQL Server Express can easily move to SQL Server Workgroup, Standard, or Enterprise editions, while Jet is more difficult to scale up. SQL Server Express also provides finer-grained security control over its database objects. With the Visual Studio 2005 integration and the User Instance feature, we are bringing the ease of use of Jet to SQL Server.
SQL Server Express is a significant Microsoft product release, since this product is designed specifically for nonprofessional developers, ISVs, and hobbyists. It is free, easy to use, packed with powerful features, and provides a seamless upgrade path to other editions of SQL Server. There are features such as User Instances that are unique to this SQL Server edition, and the installation and deployment is secure by default. It has big advantages over the existing free Microsoft databases, Jet and MSDE. The integration of SQL Server Express with Visual Studio 2005 also provides a simple database design and development experience.