The latest free version of SQL Server is ready for action. Microsoft officially shipped the Express edition of
SQL Server 2008 R2 recently, roughly three months after its full-fledged counterpart hit the streets.
The latest stripped-down edition ups its maximum database size limit to 10 GB, a major upgrade over the 4 GB limit of previous versions. Users should note, however, that the usual restrictions of 1 GB RAM and a single CPU still apply.
SQL Server 2008 R2 Express comes in four flavors for x86 and x64 systems: Express with Tools, Express Advanced Services, Management Studio Express and the standard Express download. The Advanced Services option is the most functional of the four, as it’s the only one to feature both full-text search and SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) capabilities.
Microsoft also provides documentation to simplify the installation process for the new release, which the company says should decrease clicks by about half.
The download is compatible with all editions of SQL Server 2008, as well as the company’s cloud-based SQL Azure database service. Customers can download SQL Server 2008 R2 Express from the Microsoft website.