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SQL Server Express Features

Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition (SQL Server Express) is based on Microsoft SQL Server 2005, and supports most of the Database Engine features of that product and previous versions of Microsoft SQL Server.


If you create and design a database in SQL Server Express, you can migrate this database to SQL Server 2005. However, you will not be able to use the SQL Server Express database with previous versions of SQL Server, including SQL Server 2000.

SQL Server Express Feature Support

SQL Server Express supports most of the features and functionality of SQL Server 2005. The following table lists some of the major features and components that are supported.

Stored Procedures

SQL Server Configuration Manager


Replication (as a subscriber only)


Advanced Query Optimizer



sqlcmd and osql utilities

Integration with Visual Studio 2005

Snapshot Isolation Levels

Service Broker (as a client only)¹

Native XML support, including XQuery and XML Schemas


Transact-SQL language support

Multiple Active Result Sets (MARS)

Dedicated Administrator Connection²

¹ SQL Server Express supports Service Broker, but direct communication between two SQL Server Express servers is not supported.

² The Dedicated Administrator Connection feature for SQL Server Express Edition is supported with the trace flag 7806. For more information on trace flags and Dedicated Administrator Connection, see the Trace Flags (Transact-SQL) and Using a Dedicated Administrator Connection topics in SQL Server 2005 Books Online.

SQL Server 2005 Features Not Supported in SQL Server Express

The following table lists the additional SQL Server 2005 database features that are not supported in this version of SQL Server Express. It also lists database features from previous versions of SQL Server that are not supported.

SQL Server 2005 features not supported in SQL Server Express SQL Server features from previous versions not supported in SQL Server Express

Database mirroring

SQL Mail

Online restore

Fail-over clustering

Database snapshot

Distributed partitioned views

Parallel index operations

VIA protocol support

Mirrored media sets

Log shipping


Parallel DBCC

Address Windowing Extensions (AWE)

Parallel Create Index

Hot-add memory

Enhanced Read Ahead and Scan

Native HTTP SOAP access

Indexed views (materialized views)

SQL Mail and Database Mail

Partitioned views

Online Index Operations

SQL Server Agent and SQL Server Agent Service

The following list highlights the major SQL Server 2005 components that are not supported in SQL Server Express:

  • Reporting Services
  • Notification Services
  • Integration Services
  • Analysis Services
  • Full text search
  • OLAP Services / Data Mining

See Also


Comparing SQL Server Express with MSDE

Other Resources

Features Supported by the Editions of SQL Server 2005

Help and Information

Getting SQL Server 2005 Assistance