FAQ: Can I redistribute SQL Express?

SQL Server Express will be free to use and redistribute.  The only requirement that we have is that you register to redistribute the product. The reason we require registration for redistribution is that we want to
ensure that we can get critical security/product information to ISVs/partners if necessary.

-Euan Garden

Product Unit Manager

SQL Server Tools

Comments (14)

  1. What does this mean for MSDE?

    I.e. will there be an MSDE that we can install and just go? Or is this it?

  2. Euan Garden says:

    There will be no MSDE SKU in Yukon, we believe that SQl Express covers all the key scenarios from MSDE and more.

    Is there something specific you needed?



  3. ShadowChaser says:

    How will we be able to deploy SQL Express via our own product installers?

    One of the biggest nightmares with product deployment these days is the lack of merge modules – it seems as though they’ve almost been entirely abandoned by Microsoft for some reason (I can’t remember all the specifics).

    Will an updated Windows Installer (v3?) allow us to deploy SQL Express directly, without requiring a bootstrap?

    What happens if two programs are installed that use SQL Express. The first is another package, and the second is my product. If the first product has a nasty uninstall and removes SQL Express on me, my product will break. Will there be any solutions to that problem?

  4. Euan Garden says:


    The current plan of record for all redistributable components of SQL Server 2005 is to provide them as MSI’s and not as MSMs. I’ll pass on your feedback as this is not my area but I am pretty certain its not going to change. The primary reason is around patching IIRC.

    As to your scenario at the end, in the example you describe I would suggest that each app install its own instance of Express rather than relying on someone else’s.

  5. flipdoubt says:

    I’m not sure that this FAQ is still being maintained, but I’ll take a shot anyway …

    I’ve registered my employer to redistribute SQL Server Express via the link on http://www.microsoft.com/sql/editions/express/howtobuy.mspx. I’ve received the confirmation email, but it describes no further requirements to redistribute the MSI. Are there no other artifacts I need to distribute, such as some legal or licensing language? Can I just include the MSI in the installer and go from there?

  6. sqlexpress says:

    Response to flipdoubt:

    All the requirements for redistribution are included in the agreement that you agreed to when registering for redistribution rights. That same information is included in the EULA that installs with SQL Express, and can be found at C:Program FilesMicrosoft SQL Server90EULA or the equivalent on your install.

    There are no requirements beyond what is listed in that file; it’s pretty light weight.

    -Mike Wachal, SQL Express team

  7. zyp says:

    As Euan said,  "The reason we require registration for redistribution is that we want to ensure that we can get critical security/product information to ISVs/partners if necessary."

    For SQL SERVER 2008 R2 EXPRESS, really ?

    I'm afriad that it ask to pay for something.

    I want to known about what happens if I don't register redistribution rights.

    Thank you in advance!

  8. sqlexpress says:

    We will not ask you to pay anything. Redistribution of SQL Server Express is available for free. There is the requirement to register though, as mentioned earlier.

    From the perspective of our team, we want to know who is using SQL Server Express and how, to help us prioritize features, bug fixes and guide the future direction of the product.

    If you distribute SQL Server Express without registering you violate the End User License Agreement.

  9. Anonymous Coward says:

    Friends, could you please provide a working link where we can register ?

  10. Register Link NOT WORKING says:

    The link is NOT working… Please post the update.

  11. ISV who needs to register says:



    is rewritten to


    which has the first link.

  12. Link to register says:

    Could someone please post a valid link to register?

    Currently the link "Are you interested in redistributing your applications with SQL Server Express?" leads to Royalty Program. Which should not be applicable.


  13. ark1231 says:

    Can you please provide valid link for registration

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