A Quick (and incomplete) Look at the SQL Editions

Developer Edition/Enterprise Edition

The developer edition of SQL is generally the best alternative to use when developing a new site.  As of the current release (SQL 2016), this product is free for development purposes and the functionality matches the top-of-the-line SQL Enterprise version.  Since the SQL products seem to vary from release to release, I will not dig too deeply into the differences between editions/products.  The reader is encouraged to review the Microsoft product guides for the current release to understand the differences.

The great thing about working with the developer/enterprise edition is that the developer can explore the full set of features in the product to determine what works best for their particular solution.  In addition, the developer edition can use the full capabilities of the development machine to tune and optimize the final database.

Express Edition & LocalDB

These free editions of SQL are confusing and their target audience is not clearly defined in my mind.

LocalDB is supposed to be target at a developer who doesn’t want to load the SQL Services on their laptop.  But what developer today has a laptop or other machine that can’t fire up SQL Express?  Heck, for all of my development, I run SQL on a Virtualbox VM and it runs fine.  My advice: skip the LocalDB work.

The Express Edition comes with and without “Advanced Services”.  Every developer will want the Advanced Services edition for development, and then perhaps switch to the non-advanced version for production deployment.  We will talk about the limitations of SQL Express and some ways to work around them in future articles.

In the next article, we’ll walk through a typical SQL Developer installation and I will show how you will want to configure things to maximize your development productivity

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