Managing SQL Server 2005 Express installation & FAQ.

SQL Server 2005 Express Edition is the next version of MSDE and is a free, easy-to-use, lightweight, and embeddable version of SQL Server 2005. Free to download, free to redistribute, free to embed, and easy for new developers to use immediately, SQL Server Express includes powerful features such as SQL Server Management Studio Express, for easily managing a database.

System requirements:

Latest service pack on Windows 2003, 2000, XP Pro, XP Home, XP Tablet, XP Media, Windows SBS 2003, Virtual Server & PC. Internet Explorer 6.0 SP1 or higher with .NET framework. Hardware: PIII with minimum 512 MB RAM & 600 MB disk space.

In case the user wish to obtain the features of SQL Server Express with Advanced Services &  Edition Toolkit then a pre-requisite of .NET Framework 2.0 in addition to any of above operating system & hardware configuration is required.

Working Limitation:

Maximum 1 GB memory limitation per instance of SQL Server Express.

Maximum 4GB database size limitation

SQL Express instance can be used only as a ‘subscriber’ on Merge, Transactional & Snapshot type of replication.

No Database tuning wizard.

SQL Profiler tool is not installed.

SQL Server Agent is not installed.

Supported features:

SQL Server Management Studio Express (SSMSE) – a graphical management tool for SQL Express instance.

SQL Profiler can capture SQL Express isntance events only if another edition of SQL Server 2005 is installed on the same machine.

Active Direcotry registration.

To install replication component features on SQL Express go to the Feature Selection page, expand Database Services. Click Replication, and then click Entire feature will be installed on local hard drive.

SQL Server Configuration manager.

Native XML support, including XQuery and XML Schema.

Dedicated Administrator Connection to be used in case of emergency.


Integration with Visual Studio 2005 with SMO & RMO enabled.

By default SQL Server Express installs and uses .\SQLExpress which is a named instance and in order to install default instance you need to specify ‘.’ during the installation. If the user did not manually change the setting to install default instance, the setup will install instance name as SQLEXPRESS.

When running setup.exe from the command prompt, specify DisableNetworkProtocols = 0, in order to install the required network protocols such as TCP/IP & Named-pipes. The Network Service account is used as a service account for SQL Express, by default this account does not have any permissions for instance to attach a database from a directory. In order to perform any admin activities either the user can use a user instance by adding User Instance=True to the connection string. As this is a special type of instance tha SQL Express supports that runs a separate SQL process in the user context that has permissions on the requriedprofile directories.

In SQL Server Express with Advanced Services instances the user might get error “The file ‘devenv.exe’ is missed” when the Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS) is opened. The workaround for this problem is

Redirect the BI Development Studio shortcut to the location where devenv.exe actually exists.

  • From the Start menu, choose Search.
  • Search for “devenv.exe”
  • Record the location where you find it.
  • On the Start menu, right-click the shortcut from BIDS.
  • Enter the correct path to devenv.exe in the Target text box.
  • Click OK, to update the shortcut.

More information to follow on SQL Server Express edition…


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