SQL Server offers the right edition to meet your needs, including Enterprise for mission critical applications, enterprise business intelligence and data warehousing; Business Intelligence for self-service and corporate business intelligence; and Standard for basic database, reporting and analytics capabilities.
Take advantage of the same powerful database engine in a version tailored for redistribution and embedding. SQL Server Express includes 10GB of storage per database, easy backup and restore functionality, and compatibility with all editions of SQL Server and Windows Azure SQL Database.
The LocalDB, includes the database engine and SQL Server Management Studio Express. This package contains the core SQL Server database along with the tools to manage SQL Server instances including SQL Server Express, LocalDB, and SQL Azure. If you need Reporting Services or Full text search, use SQL Server Express with Advanced Services.
This package does not contain the SQL Server database, only the tools to manage SQL Server instances, including LocalDB, SQL Express, SQL Azure, etc. Use this if you already have the SQL Server database and only need the management tools.
Do you need to embed SQL Server Express into an application? LocalDB is a lightweight version of Express that has all its programmability features yet runs in user mode and has a fast, zero-configuration installation. No management tools are included.
Experience the full feature set of SQL Server Express. This package contains the database engine, Express Tools, Reporting Services, Full Text Search, management tools, and all the components of SQL Server Express. This package is a larger size and will take longer to download.
Do you already have the tools and just need the database server? This is the core Express database server. Use this if you need to accept remote connections or administer remotely and do not need the tools or advanced services.
Support structured and unstructured data while storing business data with native support for relational data, XML, and spatial data. Add geographical information to business applications and build location-aware applications. Increase granularity of temporal data with date and time data types.
Manage SQL Server Express databases with SQL Server Management Studio Express. Connect to local SQL Server Express databases and manage objects with full Object Explorer integration. Write, execute, and test queries by using visual query plans, and access management and maintenance options.
Visualize data through basic Reporting Services (available with SQL Server Express with Advanced Services) and create readable reports that answer complex user questions. Enable users to share reports by using Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel.
Take advantage of existing Transact-SQL skills, and incorporate technologies like Microsoft ADO.NET Entity Framework and LINQ. Develop applications faster through deep integration with Visual Studio, Visual Web Developer, and SQL Server Management Studio. Take advantage of rich table and query designers and drag-and-drop IDE support.
SQL Server Express LocalDB is a lightweight deployment option for SQL Server Express with fewer prerequisites. This makes it ideal for developers who need an embedded SQL Server database for desktop applications or tools. LocalDB runs in-process with applications and not as a service.