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Installing SQL Server 2012 Express Edition

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Determine Whether SQL Server 2012 Express Edition Will Meet Your Needs
Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Express Edition is a free, compact version of the popular enterprise database server. The Express Edition is ideal for database professionals seeking a desktop testing environment or for those learning about databases or SQL Server for the first time who need a platform they can install on a personal computer to create a learning environment.

There are some limitations to SQL Server 2012 Express Edition that you should understand before deciding to install it. After all, this is a free version of what is otherwise an extremely powerful (and extremely expensive!) database platform. These limitations include:
  • Installations can only make use of one CPU with a four core maximum
  • Installations can only make use of 1GB of RAM, regardless of the amount of memory installed
  • Databases built with Express Edition are limited to 10GB in size
  • Express Edition does not offer the database mirroring, log shipping, or merge publication features offered in the larger product
  • SQL Server Express Edition does not include Oracle replication functionality
  • The tools available with Express Edition are limited – the installer does not include Database Tuning Advisor, SQL Agent, or SQL Profiler
For more information on the capabilities of SQL Server Express Edition, see Free and Low Cost SQL Server Options. If you are looking for an alternative database that is both free and fully functional, you may want to install MySQL instead.
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