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What Is The Difference Between SQL Server Express Edition and SQL Server Developer Edition? 

What Is The Difference Between SQL Server Express Edition and SQL Server Developer Edition? 

SQL Server Express Edition and SQL Server Developer Edition are products of Microsoft. They are used extensively for creating databases, understanding database structure, and implementing it.

 It has different languages for entering the data, improving the data, and extracting data from the database this makes SQL Server a worthy product from Microsoft. This blog will tell you all you need to know about SQL Server Express Edition and SQL Server Developer edition. 

What Is SQL Server? 

Microsoft introduced SQL Server which is a relational database management system (RDBMS). SQL Server is a software made to store, improve data and also retrieve data if requested by any other application, which can be done either on a singular computer or multiple computers through a network. 

There are dozens of editions marketed by the Microsoft of SQL Server, geared toward various audiences and suitable for workloads. It ranges from modest single-machine programs to substantial Internet-facing programs with numerous concurrent users. 

server connected with a lot of wires
server connected with a lot of wires

How SQL Servers Started? (Origin) 

It all began with the first SQL Server, SQL Server 1.0, a 16-bit server used by the OS/2 operating system in 1989 and is still used. It has an Expressive name, being a server software, it responds to any issue in SQL language. 


  • MS SQL Server for OS/2 began as a port Sybase SQL Server onto OS/2 in 1989, by SybaseAshton-Tate, and Microsoft. 
  • SQL Server 4.2 for NT was released in 1993, an entry onto Windows NT
  • SQL Server 6.0 was released in 1995, making the end of the collaboration with Sybase, Sybase would later start developing their own version of SQL Server, Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise, independently of Microsoft. 
  • SQL Server 7.0 was released in 1998, making the conversion of the source code from C to C++
  • SQL Server 2005, released in 2005, accomplishes the complete version of the old Sybase code into Microsoft code. 
  • SQL Server 2012, released in 2012, adds xVelocity
  • SQL Server 2017, released in 2017, with Linux support for the Linux platforms users: Red Hat Enterprise LinuxSUSE Linux Enterprise ServerUbuntu & Docker Engine
  • SQL Server 2019, released in 2019, came with Big Data Clusters, enhancements to the “Intelligent Database“, enhanced monitoring features, updated developer experience, and updates/enhancements for Linux-based installations. 

Currently Used Versions 

The following versions are supported by the Microsoft as of May 2020: 

  • SQL Server 2012 
  • SQL Server 2014 
  • SQL Server 2016 
  • SQL Server 2017 
  • SQL Server 2019 

SQL 2016 and onwards should have x64 processors only and must have a 1.4 GHz processor. The latest yet is the 2019 version released on November 4th 2019, The RTM version is 15.0.2000.5. 

SQL Server Express Edition 

SQL Server Express Edition is a free-to-download, share, and uses a version of Microsoft’s SQL Server relational database management system. It has a database made with embedded and smaller-scale applications in mind.  

The Microsoft Database Engine (MSDE) product, which came included with SQL Server 2000, is where the product’s ancestry can be traced. Since the introduction of SQL Server 2005, the “Express” label has been used. 

A big server room with a lot of servers connected with network
A big server room with a lot of servers connected with network


There are different variants to this: 

  • SQL Server Express w/ Tools 
  • SQL Server Management Studio 
  • SQL Server Express LocalDB   
  • SQL Server Express w/ Advanced Series 

The installers for SQL 2005 Express are prepared using the same naming scheme: 


Has installers for both 32-bit and 64-bit processors, with a basic install. 


Has only the installer for 32-bit processors. 


Has installers for both 32-bit and 64-bit processors and SQL Server Management Studio Express (SSMSE) (2008 R2). 


with basics and SQL Server Management Studio Express (SSMSE) + Reporting and Full-Text Queries. 


Has the basics and SSMSE and with Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS). 

SQL Server Developer Edition?   

A free version of SQL server used by the developer and testers. It’s a non-production environment variant, it also has features of the Enterprise edition.

If any developer is working in a non-production environment, they can use this edition for free and also for any tester, especially a QA tester

threads portraying how all of us are connected through network.
threads portraying how all of us are connected through network.

Can It Support Linux? 

Microsoft is making a lot of Linux-compatible software for Linux users and the SQL server isn’t an exception. All those versions which are supported by Windows are not supported for Linux, these include Enterprise, Standard, Developer, Web, and Express editions. 

Red Hat Enterprise 7.7–7.9, or 8.0–8.3 Server, as well as SUSE Enterprise Linux Server v12 SP3–SP5, both support SQL Server for Linux. Functionality is conceived in the same way. For additional details on the Linux version of SQL Server Developer. 

How Does a SQL Server Developer Edition Work on a Daily Basis? 

  • Creating, developing, and handling SQL databases. 
  • Ensuring database performance and stability. 
  • Creating database tables, structures, schemas, and dictionaries. 
  • Ensuring data quality, integrity, and security. 
  • Preparing documentation for database applications. 
  • Creating SQL queries that integrate with other applications. 
  • Providing authorization or databases. 
  • Creating scripts, functions, triggers, and procedures that support application development. 

Requirement For an SQL Server Developer 

  • Proficiency in SQL. 
  • Ability to create and modify databases. 
  • Experience with integrated development environments like Oracle SQL Developer, MySQL, or Microsoft SQL Server. 
  • Ability to write complex SQL queries. 
  • Familiarity with other programming languages like C, C++, PHP, and Java
  • Experience with the .NET framework
  • Knowledge of SAP. 
  • Background in Unix. 
  • Familiarity with cloud services like Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS. 
  • Knowledge of Big Data technologies like Hadoop and Hive
  • Background in reporting and intelligence tools like SAP Crystal Reports, SSRS, and Tableau
  • Problem-solving skills. 
  • Strong communication and collaboration skills. 
  • Detail-orientation. 
  • Organizational skills. 
A Full brief Video on Comparing Both SQL Server Developer and SQL Server Express Edition with the help of a Microsoft specialist

Comparing Both SQL Server Developer and SQL Server Express Edition 

Developers can construct any form of application on top of SQL Server using the SQL Server Developer edition. It has all the features of the Enterprise edition but is only licensed for use as a test and development system, not a live server. For those who develop and test applications, SQL Server Developer is the best option. 

Express version, on the other hand, is a free, entry-level database that is excellent for learning and developing desktop and small server data-driven applications. For independent software suppliers, creators, and enthusiasts creating client apps, it’s the greatest option. 

SQL Server Express can be simply upgraded to other more expensive versions of SQL Server if you need more data management features. The lightweight version of Express, SQL Server Express LocalDB, runs in user mode, has a quick installation process that requires no configuration, and has a manageable list of pre-requisites. It has all of Express’ programmability features. 

SQL Server DeveloperSQL Server Express Edition 
free developer edition (with all enterprise features)Database size cannot be more than 4 GB
Ensuring data quality, integrity and securityFree developer edition (with all enterprise features)
Ability to write complex SQL queriesMore than 1 CPU is not used
Problem-solving skillsComplex performance tuning features
 languages C, C++, PHP and JavaNo SQL Agent
Pros And Cons


  •   Both products are spectacular, specially made by the biggest tech company, they both have many different features that is amazing for a daily SQL server worker. 

·     SQL Server Developer is a non-production environment software meaning it is only for testers and developers. Many schools, colleges, and universities use this software for teaching students about SQL servers. 

·     Whereas SQL Server Express, runs in user mode, requires little to no configuration during installation, and has a manageable set of prerequisites. And can be used in a production environment, and can be upgraded easily.

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