SQL Server 2008 vs. Express

Difference Between SQL Server 2008 and Express

SQL server is produced by Microsoft and SQL server Express is a free version of SQL server with limited features. SQL server is a relational model database while SQL server Express is the scaled down version. SQL server 2008 R2 is the latest version of SQL server and Server Express 2008 is its corresponding edition in Express.

Features and functions of Microsoft SQL Server are given below. These points will make it easy to understand Microsoft SQL server and its features.

  • T-SQL and ANCI SQL are the query languages of Microsoft SQL Server.
  • It supports some of the main data types like text, binary, decimal, float, integer etc.
  • It also allows ser defined composite types.
  • It supports concurrency.
  • Main mode of retrieving data is the use of using T-SQL queries.
  • It performs query optimization to improve the performance.
  • It also allows stored procedures which are not executed like normal queries by the client application. These stored procedures are the parameterized T-SQL queries stored in the server.
  • It includes SQL CLR or Common Language Runtime that helps in integrating the server with .NET Framework and this integration allows you to write stored procedures and triggers in any .NET language like C# or VB.NET.
  • It also providers many additional services like, Notification Services, replication Services, analysis services, reporting services, Integration Services, Service Broker and Full Text Search.
  • The XQuery support provided by it gives accesses to XML features.

A database may have views, indexes, tables, stored procedures and constraints. Primary data is stored in .mdf extension files, secondary data in .ndf and log data in .Idf extension files. To make sure that the database always reverts to a known regular state, it uses transactions which are implemented by using write-ahead log.

UTDs can also be defined using .NET languages and classes in ADO.NET, which provide functionality working with tabular or single row of data, or internal metadata, can be easily used for accessing data from the database.

SQL Server Express has limited functionalities but there is no limitation on the number of users and databases which can be sported by the server. You can see its limitation in terms of utilization of processor, memory and database files. It is limited to use a single processor, 10 GB database files and 1 GB memory. This makes it fit to be used for XCOPY deployment where the entire database is limited to just one file in .mdf format.

It also lacks the services related to Analysis, Integration and Notification but if you wish to learn SQL server then this scaled down version is a great option because you can build small scale desktop and web applications with it and that too without paying anything.

Now we can summarize the differences between SQL Server and SQL Server Express edition with the help of following points:

  1. SQL server is not available for free while SQL Server Express can be downloaded for free.
  2. SQL server is used where advanced level of work requiring built-in business tools and redundancy is to be handled while SQL Server Express is good for beginners.
  3. SQL server can perform far more than SQL Server Express which can utilize only a single processor, 1GB memory and 10GB database files.

SQL server provides services related to Analysis, Integration and Notification which are not available in SQL Server Express edition.

 

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