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What Are The Different Versions Of SQL Server?

Updated: Mar 23

Microsoft SQL Server is a relational database management system (RDBMS) that is used to store, retrieve, and manage data. It is available in several different versions, including:

  • SQL Server Enterprise: This is the top-tier edition of SQL Server and is designed for mission-critical applications and high-end data warehousing. It includes a range of advanced features and capabilities, such as support for in-memory processing, data warehousing, and advanced security.

  • SQL Server Standard: This is the mid-level edition of SQL Server and is designed for departments and small to medium-sized businesses. It includes a range of features and capabilities for data management and business intelligence.

  • SQL Server Web: This is a low-cost edition of SQL Server that is designed for web-based applications. It includes a subset of the features and capabilities of the Standard edition.

  • SQL Server Express: This is a free edition of SQL Server that is designed for developers and small organizations. It includes a subset of the features and capabilities of the Standard edition and is limited to 10 GB of data storage.

  • SQL Server Developer: This is a fully-featured edition of SQL Server that is available to developers at no cost. It includes all of the features and capabilities of the Enterprise edition and can be used for development and testing purposes.


SQL Server Enterprise is the top-tier edition of SQL Server and is designed for mission-critical applications and high-end data warehousing. It includes a range of advanced features and capabilities that are not available in the Standard and Web editions of SQL Server.

Here are some of the key features of SQL Server Enterprise:

  • In-memory OLTP: This is a feature that allows you to create memory-optimized tables and stored procedures, which can improve the performance of transactional workloads.

  • Data warehousing: This is a set of features that are optimized for data warehousing and business intelligence workloads, including columnstore indexes, partitioning, and data compression.

  • Advanced security: This is a set of features that provide enhanced security for SQL Server, including data masking, transparent data encryption, and auditing.

  • Advanced analytics: This is a set of features that allow you to perform advanced analytics on your data, including support for advanced machine learning algorithms and data mining.

  • Hybrid scenarios: This is a set of features that allow you to use SQL Server in hybrid scenarios, such as replicating data to the cloud or using Azure Machine Learning to build predictive models.

  • High availability: This is a set of features that allow you to achieve high availability for your SQL Server deployment, including failover clustering, database mirroring, and replication.


SQL Server Standard is a mid-level edition of SQL Server and is designed for departments and small to medium-sized businesses. It includes a range of features and capabilities for data management and business intelligence, including some features that are not available in the Web edition of SQL Server.

Here are some of the key features of SQL Server Standard:

  • Data warehousing: This is a set of features that are optimized for data warehousing and business intelligence workloads, including columnstore indexes, partitioning, and data compression.

  • Advanced security: This is a set of features that provide enhanced security for SQL Server, including data masking, transparent data encryption, and auditing.

  • High availability: This is a set of features that allow you to achieve high availability for your SQL Server deployment, including failover clustering, database mirroring, and replication.

  • In-memory OLTP: This is a feature that allows you to create memory-optimized tables and stored procedures, which can improve the performance of transactional workloads.

  • Advanced analytics: This is a set of features that allow you to perform advanced analytics on your data, including support for advanced machine learning algorithms and data mining.

  • Data integration: This is a set of features that allow you to integrate data from a variety of sources, including support for extract, transform, and load (ETL) operations with SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS). is a mid-level edition of SQL Server and is designed for departments and small to medium-sized businesses. It includes a range of features and capabilities for data management and business intelligence, including some features that are not available in the Web edition of SQL Server.

SQL Server Web is a low-cost edition of SQL Server that is designed for web-based applications. It includes a subset of the features and capabilities of the Standard edition, and is licensed on a per-user basis.

Here are some of the key features of SQL Server Web:

  • Data warehousing: This is a set of features that are optimized for data warehousing and business intelligence workloads, including columnstore indexes, partitioning, and data compression.

  • Advanced security: This is a set of features that provide enhanced security for SQL Server, including data masking, transparent data encryption, and auditing.

  • Data integration: This is a set of features that allow you to integrate data from a variety of sources, including support for extract, transform, and load (ETL) operations with SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS).

  • In-memory OLTP: This is a feature that allows you to create memory-optimized tables and stored procedures, which can improve the performance of transactional workloads.

  • Advanced analytics: This is a set of features that allow you to perform advanced analytics on your data, including support for advanced machine learning algorithms and data mining.

  • Scalability: This is a set of features that allow you to scale out your SQL Server deployment to meet the needs of your application, including support for distributed queries and multiple instances of SQL Server.


SQL Server Express is a free edition of SQL Server that is designed for developers and small organizations. It includes a subset of the features and capabilities of the Standard edition and is limited to 10 GB of data storage.

Here are some of the main limits and drawbacks of using SQL Server Express:

  • Data storage: SQL Server Express is limited to 10 GB of data storage, which may not be sufficient for larger organizations or applications with high data storage needs.

  • Memory and CPU usage: SQL Server Express is limited to using a maximum of 1 GB of memory and 1 CPU core, which may not be sufficient for applications with high resource usage requirements.

  • Advanced features: SQL Server Express does not include some of the advanced features and capabilities of the Standard and Enterprise editions, such as support for in-memory processing, data warehousing, and advanced security.

  • Backups: SQL Server Express does not include support for scheduled backups or the ability to perform transaction log backups.

  • Replication: SQL Server Express does not include support for replication, which is the process of copying data between databases.

Despite these limitations, SQL Server Express can be a useful tool for developers and small organizations who need a lightweight and easy-to-use database management system.

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