Sunday, March 08, 2009


SQL Server 2008 Express Edition

Did you know that the free SQL Server 2008 Express with Advanced Services can run SQL Server Reporting Services reports on data on the local instance? You can use all the report definition features that you find in other editions of Reporting Services. For example, you can create drill-through reports, sub-reports, and parameterized reports that include charts, tables, matrices, and lists.

There are a few differences when compared to the full version of Reporting Services:
  • All server components must be installed on a single server. You cannot use a remote server for the report server database.
  • All report data sources must be from SQL Server databases that are installed on the local SQL Server instance.
  • All reports are processed on demand. Scheduled and unattended report processing is not supported.
  • Data source connection strings and Reporting Services URLs have different default values in a SQL Server Express installation. SQL Server Express always installs as a named instance. Any URLs or connection strings must include the instance name.
  • It’s free!
Whereas SQL Server 2005 Express Edition had a downloadable Toolkit containing Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS), which was required for creating reports for SQL Server Reporting Services, SQL Server Express 2008 with Advanced Services contains BIDS as part of its install. (Note: The Feb 2009 version of Books Online still states that it is a separate install). For more information, see the section “Reporting Services in SQL Server Express with Advanced Services” in Books Online.

The official SQL Server Express installation guide is here. The pre-requisite list is here: Hardware and Software Requirements for Installing SQL Server 2008

For ongoing SQL Express announcements, check out the SQL Express blog.

If you only have the vanilla version of SQL Express installed, there is also an express version of SQL Server Management Studio available for download.


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