So SQL express in hosted on a machine, and I am assuming that SQL Enterprise or Standard is hosted on a dedicated server or something??

So I am a total rookie at this and am looking for learning resource for the host/connection/server side of this.....

Can anyone point me in the right direction please?



Your question is difficult because it seems like it's covering 2 different aspects; a SQL Server setup and connecting to it.

The SQL part is actually not that difficult and is quite similar to installing it on your home PC. All you would do is install a version of SQL (even Express is okay) on to a server. One important aspect of this installation is the use of an instance name. On a workstation this might not be as important, but for a production SQL Server database it's very important. You can have multiple instances of SQL Server on one server so instance names help you define which one you would be connecting to. In most cases, the default instance name, MSSQLSERVER, is fine.

Outside of that, it gets more dependent on how you'll be connecting to the SQL server. Did you have something in mind that would require a dedicated server? We might be able to give you more advice if you had something in mind.

Here are some links in regards to setting up SQL Server as well as information about instances:

Server Fault question about instances
MSDN for Planning a SQL Server Installation
MSDN for Multiple SQL Server Instances
Multiple SQL Server Instances article from InformIT

  • ah....i see. I am actually just trying to learn this out of personal interest. Is there any resource that you could kindly point me toward to learn about instances? thanks! – Justin Jan 22 '10 at 3:57
  • lots of help can be found on this subject by searching this forum. – djangofan Apr 13 '10 at 20:26

Not necessarily. SQL Express is frequently used on servers and even hosting environments. It's free! There are feature limitations that it has, though, which make it not an appropriate choice for large scale deployments. Standard and Enterprise editions have more enterprise features, and requirements, which make them better choices. For small volume apps / web sites Express is very very often an acceptable choice.

Have a look at the edition comparison on the MS SQL site.

If you can give us some details as to your environment and what you need to get set up then we could probably help you figure out what would be best for your situation.

  • I am just interested in learning about this basically. I have SQL Server Express on my home computer, and I got that impression form some training material i have to teach me about it, Visual Studios, ADO & ASP.NET, etc. But I thought....configuring this User Instance versus Multi-User while hosting on a single machine, I understand, but what happens when you have some large scale database....and you need to host on a server? Just trying to learn more about that. Thanks! – Justin Jan 21 '10 at 20:13
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    @Frewizard: I would suggest, then, going through the deployment articles at the MSDN and TechNet sites. They're full of information on how to plan for different scenarios. HTH. – squillman Jan 21 '10 at 20:19
  • I use SQL Express in server environments all the time. The only limitation is the limit of 1 cpu but I never really notice the performance difference. – djangofan Apr 13 '10 at 20:26

All versions of SQL Server are service applications that you install and run on top of Windows. Architecturally, there are no differences in how the Express version runs vs. the others. SQL Server Standard, Enterprise, and Development just give you access to additional features (such as Reporting Services and Analysis Services), and don't have restrictions on the size of the databases.

I also believe that Standard and Enterprise can only be installed on a server version of Windows (Server 2003, Server 2008), where as Express and Development may be installed on either a server or client (XP, Vista, 7) version.

  • thanks for the info. i am still learning, but this helps my basic understanding. know of any additional resources for learning this type of topic for a beginner? thanks! – Justin Jan 22 '10 at 3:55

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