SQL Server Express Edition

The Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express edition is a scaled-down version of SQL Server 2005. Microsoft provides this product for free and it can be distributed for free as one of many ways to integrate data with .NET applications. It is ideal as an embedded database for small desktop applications that call for a fully functional SQL Server database, but do not require a large number of users. Some of the features in SQL Server Express include new reporting tools and many feature enhancements for data views. SQL Server supports database triggers and stored procedures, which are database features not supported by the ACE database engine, although they can be used by Access in an Access project (ADP) file.

However, database development using SQL Server Express requires fair knowledge and there is no built-in forms package. You would not be able to build a complete Windows database application using only SQL Server Express in the same way you could using Access. Probably the most common scenario for using SQL Server Express is when developing a front-end application using Microsoft .NET Framework technology, in a programming language such as C#, which connects to the SQL Server database engine to manage data. It is worth noting that a fully functioning front-end database application (complete with forms, reports, and charts) easily could be created in Access 2007 and connected to a back-end SQL database on a machine running any version of SQL Server 2005 to enjoy many of the benefits of the SQL Server database engine.

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