Difference between SQL Server Express and MSDE

Hi, I'm attending Teched Europe where we announced the Express Products earlier this week.  Several people here have asked me the difference between MSDE and SQL Server Express.  I thought that that I'd include a quick high level summary here:


SQL Server Express 2005

MSDE 2000

DB Engine Features

·         Stored Procedures, Triggers, Views, & Cursors

·         Stored Procedures, Triggers, Views, & Cursors


·         SQL Express Manager

·         None

Database size

·         4 GB

·         2 GB


·         CLR + T-SQL

·         T-SQL

Workload support

·         1 CPU, 1 GB RAM

·         Workload Governor

Replication support

·         Transactional & Merge (Subscription only)

·         Full Merge only


·         GUI, Command line, Silent

·         Command line, Silent

Application XCopy

·         Available

·         Not Available

DTS Runtime

·         Not Available

·         Available

XML Support

·         Native XML

·         Non-native support

You can find more details here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dnsse/html/sseoverview.asp

I hope that this helps

Many Thanks,

Corey Thomas, Product Manager SQL Server Express

Comments (19)

  1. SQL Server Express installation and blog

  2. senkwe says:

    There doesn’t seem to be alot of info regarding licensing and redistribution in commercial applications where previously we would have used MSDE for example

  3. Rushi Desai says:

    You forgot to mention SQL Service Broker, a new feature that was non existent in previous versions of SQL.

  4. Dave says:

    You forgot to mention SQL Express does not have the SQL Agent.

  5. Jim Bolla says:

    Is Workload Governor the thing in MSDE that limits the amount of work it does based on connections and such? Does this mean SQL Server Express 2005 will not have this limitation?

  6. I noticed that the DTS Runtime will not be included. In Access, you get the DTS Runtime when you install MSDE. Does this mean that DTS will not be available in Access?

    Currently, I have customers that use DTS to interact with SQL Server databases hosted at ISPs. It is a quick and easy solution to use the DTS Wizard to upload data from the Access database to the SQL Server database using bulk insert. I would hate to see that go away.


  7. Euan Garden says:


    Correct the workload governor limits the amount that can be done based on batchs(rather than connections). SQL Express does not have this limitation.

  8. Mike says:

    Report services?

  9. ShadowChaser says:

    What kind of connection limits does SQL Server Express have?

    Is it suitable for deployment for small, non-commercial websites, for example?

  10. Corey Thomas says:

    SQL Server Express does not have any connection limits.

    Thanks to those you reminded me that i left out a few things like SQL Agent. I’ll go back through and take another pass and update this list.

    Thanks, Corey

  11. Noel says:

    Better "WITH ENCRYPTION" … I saw utilities that allows users to decrypt.

  12. Jeffrey M. says:

    Will SQL Server Express support Full Text Search?

  13. Corey Thomas [MS] says:

    SQL Server Express will not support full text serarch

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