Details on SQL Server 2005 Express


Article ID: 179555


Updated On:


Management Platform (Formerly known as Notification Server)





What are the technical details on SQL Server 2005 Express, the SQL 2005 replacement for MSDE?


Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition ("SQL Server Express") is the next version of MSDE. It is a free feature-limited version of Microsoft SQL Server 2005.

Technical Details

  • The SQL Express buffer pool won't use more than 1 GB RAM. Note: this is a maximum buffer pool of 1 GB - the overall RAM that the process uses can go over 1 GB. The memory used for non-buffer pool structures (for example, for managing locks, etc.) does not count toward the 1 GB.
  • SQL Express databases can be backed up and restored to full-blown SQL Server 2005, but not SQL Server 2000.
  • Express 2005 can have more than five connections as there is no workload governor to throttle connections.
  • SQL Express will handle connections exactly as higher editions with no reduced performance for Express. There is a limit on the overall number of connections - but this is the same as other editions and is thousands.
  • The only real security difference for Express when compared to SQL 2005 from a security perspective is that the service account in Express goes to LocalService from LocalSystem. Other than that they should be the same.
  • SQL Express can upgrade to any other edition of SQL Server 2005. Upgrades and service packs will work on Express just like any other Edition.
  • Perfmon counters are the same as SQL Server 2005.
  • SQL Express supports group aggregation.
  • The max size for a SQL Express 2005 database is 4 GB.
  • The license agreement for SQL Express will be similar to MSDE Release. Anyone can download and use it but registration will be required to redistribute SQL Express.
  • Only Windows Installer based MSI technology is being supported for SQL Express so that the product can easily be discovered and patched. It should be integrated with Microsoft Update so that it can be automatic.
  • SQL Express optimizes a query but there are no hash joins or aggregations. This is different than other versions of SQL 2005 but other than this they are the same.
  • SQL Management Studio tools can be used to administer Express but there is also a tool called Express Manager which will provide admin and query tool functions for Express.

Install Details

  1. Admin rights are needed on the computer to install SQL Server Express.
  2. Windows Installer 3.0 is required. Download and Install if not present. Note that Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) or Windows XP SP2 already have this.
  3. Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 is required. On 32-bit platforms, download and install the 32-bit version; and on 64-bit platforms (x64 and EMT64 only), download and install the 64-bit version.
  4. Download SQL Server Express and install. Note: SQLExpr.exe is a self-extracting installation package of SQL Server Express.
  5. Follow the installation instructions in the Readme.

System Requirements

Processor - 600-megahertz (MHz) Pentium III-compatible or faster processor; 1-gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor recommended

Operating System - Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or later; Microsoft Windows 2000 Server with Service Pack 4 or later; Windows Server 2003 Standard, Enterprise, or Datacenter editions with Service Pack 1 or later; Windows Server 2003 Web Edition SP1; Windows Small Business Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 or later

Memory - 192 megabytes (MB) of RAM or more; 512 megabytes (MB) or more recommended

Hard Disk Space - Approximately 350 MB for the recommended installation.Approximately 425 MB of additional space for SQL Server Books Online, SQL Server Mobile Books Online, and sample databases

Drive - CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive

Display - Super VGA (1,024x768) or higher-resolution video adapter and monitor

Other Devices - Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device

Other Requirements - Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 SP1 or later

Additional Details

  • SQL Server 2005 does not support the following network protocols: Banyan VINES Sequenced Packet protocol (SPP), Multiprotocol, AppleTalk, or NWLink IPX/SPX. Agents using this previously must select a different protocol to connect to SQL Server 2005.
  • SQL Server 2005 Express Edition will run on Microsoft Windows Server 2003 64-bit x64 Standard, Enterprise, or Datacenter edition with Service Pack 1 or later running in Windows on Windows (the compatibility process which runs 32-bit apps on the Windows 64-bit OSs).
  • Actual requirements will vary based system configuration and the applications and features installed. More hard-disk space may be required.