Express Yourself

I am interested in the Express version of our developer products for a couple of reasons:

Express products are FREE!

1. These products provide a gateway to Microsoft developer technologies for free

2. SmartCare (the project that I personally volunteer for in Zambia) uses SQLExpress

3. These products are really lightweight and will install and run on older and/or more lightweight developer machines

To that end I spent a couple of hours last night installing the following:

1. SQL Server 2008 Express with Advanced Services - this includes SSMS light and SSRS (for local data)

2. Visual C# 2008 Express Edition with SP1

I thought you might save time by reading about my install experience, there are several dependencies and I had to re-boot several times.  I installed on a Sony Vaio TZ130N, dual core with 2 GB RAM.  The laptop runs Vista Business.  First you'll have to download a number of products.  The Microsoft download page describes the dependencies as well.  Here is the install order I followed:

1. Visual C# 2008 Express with SP1 

Look what you can make using Visual C# 2008 Express

The development environment is surprisingly rich in this Express product.  I haven't done much production work with WPF and I am happy to see the support for WPF in this product.  It really feels like I am working in the full retail version of Visual Studio 2008 after I launch the WPF Application template and start to play around with it.

WPF development is fun!

2. for SQL Server 2008 Express Advanced Services, you'll need the following (also I installed the sample database AdventureWorks LT from CodePlex)

a. .NET framework v 3.5 SP1 (only needed if an express edition of Visual Studio is NOT installed first)

b. Windows installer v 4.5

c. Windows Powershell

d. SQL2008.AdventureWorks LT DB

CodePlex samples

Of course, the 'real reason' I've installed all of this is to push SQL Server 2008 Express with Advanced Services to see what limits are included in the product.  I really like the 'slimmed-down' version of SQL Server Management Studio (called light).  Oh, what's this I see? Why it's Intellisense in the query writer!  Cool.  Oh, it's the little things that make me happy 🙂

Look I've got Intellisense!

Do you use any of our Express products?  Which ones?  Why?  How do you like them?  I'd be interested to know.

Comments (7)

  1. I am interested in the Express version of our developer products for a couple of reasons: 1. These products

  2. Garry Trinder says:

    Hi Lynn…Love you About page. 😉

    I’m with you on this Community love.

    As a Technical Evangelist I help thousands of developers with the Express products.

    Just as exciting is the moves they make to the Pro versions.

    This is an exciting time for SQL Server, never before has SQL Server 2008 Express offered so much.

     All the best,

       Mark Wisecarver

  3. You’ve been kicked (a good thing) – Trackback from

  4. Larry says:

    These are great free products, and did I mention they are free.  Just when I thought Linux freeware would rise up…BAM…Microsoft starting giving away its development and database software (for free).  And, these are not trivial products, they are well designed, integrated, and have complete documentation with samples.  I’ve seen SQL Express incorporated into a software package that sold for over $1 million, so it’s as solid as the full blown version.  (Make sure you download the ‘Advanced Services’ to get all the goodies)

    Of course, I’m still greedy enough to ask for Expression Studio Express…please?

  5. Ihor says:

    Yes, I am using Express very often. first of all, SQL Express is feature rich enough to be a core of small business solution. with SSIS addad in 2008 it’s just avesome package!

    Visual Studio Express (either C# or Web edition) are very useful for support at customer location – you can have everything you need in hands to handle most urgent issues



  6. Hi

    I’m also a great fan of the Express Toolkit

    see ?

  7. Jere says:

    I downloaded vs 2008, sql 2008, then vb 2008. vb works   sql not sure   but vs –. has nothing for using vb like templates toolbox nothing  do you have any ideas for a fix. appreciate any help.


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