SQL Server 2022 Express database
3 min

SQL Server 2022 Express: Everything you need to know

3 min

Microsoft SQL Server 2022 Express is the latest Express edition of Microsoft SQL Server. SQL Server is generally used mostly by organisations for small to medium-sized databases. However, the Express edition is free but does come with some limitations. Below, you can read more about what SQL Server exactly is and what is possible compared to the Standard edition.

What is SQL Server 2022 Express

Microsoft SQL Server Express is a free version of SQL Server known as the SQL Server relational database management system. The Express edition can be downloaded, distributed and used for free. SQL Server allows users to manage relational databases. The software uses the SQL programming language, which simplifies communication between databases. Information can therefore be easily stored and retrieved in different databases of various software applications.

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SQL Server 2022 Express: pros and cons

SQL Server 2022 Express offers many features that can also be used in the paid, full versions of Microsoft SQL Server. However, SQL Server 2022 Express does come with some technical limitations that may make it unsuitable for some large-scale applications. Below are the pros and cons of SQL Server 2022 Express:


Not everyone needs all the features of the paid version of SQL Server. Therefore, the Express edition may already be more than enough for you and/or your organisation in some cases. One of the biggest advantages, of course, is the fact that it is completely free. This makes SQL Server 2022 Express a good option for users who want to experiment with SQL Server. In addition, the Express version also offers automatic updates and automatic backups. This way, you can be sure that you are using the latest version, and the automatic backups mean that you won't lose all your data just like that. If SQL Server 2022 Express is no longer adequate for your organisation, you can easily switch to SQL Server Standard.


When a company needs additional tools or features, SQL Server 2022 Express is often not enough. This is because this edition lacks important features and has more restrictions on memory and the size of relational databases. The maximum size of a single database is 10 gigabytes. There is also no SQL Agent included, which makes it impossible to automate various functions. Furthermore, a maximum of 1 gigabyte of memory can be used by the SQL Server Database Engine and the Buffer Cache has a maximum of 1 gigabyte.

If Microsoft Server 2022 Express does not meet your software requirements, consider SQL Server 2022 Standard. It is a more comprehensive version and has more features. Below, the two editions are still well contrasted, so you can be sure which edition suits you best.

SQL Server 2022 Express VS. SQL Server 2022 Standard

Both SQL Server 2022 Express and SQL Server Standard are both easy to use. However, the editions meet different requirements. The Express edition does not require an extensive background in SQL, making it suitable for developing small and scalable applications. SQL Server 2022 Express is a free version mainly intended for developers, students or enthusiasts.

The paid SQL Server 2022 Standard edition offers a larger scope of a relational database and is instead intended for small to medium-sized businesses. For this reason, prior knowledge or experience with SQL is required. This allows you to manage your database effectively using the wide variety of tools offered by the Standard edition. Also, SQL Server 2022 Standard has fewer data limits and more features compared to SQL Server 2022 Express. For example, the Standard edition allows you to automate functions through SQL Agent. Furthermore, with the Standard edition, you can also benefit from business intelligence tools and more extensive features such as Database Tuning Advisor. Other benefits are briefly listed below:

  1. On-premise and cloud-based development tools are supported.
  2. The maximum size of a single relational database features 524 PB (1PB contains 1,000,000 gigabytes)
  3. 128 gigabytes of maximum memory used by the SQL Server Database Engine

Read more about the functionalities of SQL Server 2022.

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Besides the Express and standard editions, there is also SQL Server 2022 Enterprise. This is the most comprehensive version of SQL Server and is generally the best solution for large organisations. If you are not sure which edition suits you better, read more about the main differences between SQL Server Standard and SQL Server Enterprise.

Buy SQL Server software

SQL Server licences can be very pricey, so you may want to consider a second-hand licence. Buying pre-owned licences can save you as much as 70% off the price of a new licence. Softtrader is a specialist in second-hand Microsoft licences and offers a wide range of Pre-owned software, including SQL Server licences. Contact us about pre-owned software from Softtrader Banner

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