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SQL Server Management Studio Express

New: 14 April 2006

Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio Express (SSMSE) provides a graphical management tool for SQL Server 2005 Express Edition (SQL Server Express), SQL Server 2005 Express Edition with Advanced Services, and SQL Server Compact Edition (SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition). The SSMSE user interface is a subset of SQL Server Management Studio that is available with other editions of SQL Server 2005.


You must install .NET Framework and MSXML 6.0 Parser before you install SSMSE.

SSMSE Download Site

You can download SSMSE from this Microsoft Web site.

Features in SSMSE

SSMSE is different from the complete SQL Server Management Studio in the following ways:

  • SSMSE cannot manage Analysis Services, Integration Services, Notification Services, or Reporting Services.

  • You cannot update the full-text catalog by using SSMSE. You can use sqlcmd utility or Windows Scheduler to update the full-text catalog.

  • Interactive Resolver, which lets you resolve conflicts manually during on-demand synchronization in Microsoft Windows Synchronization Manager, is not supported in SSMSE.

  • SSMSE does not support scheduling administrative tasks by using SQL Server Agent.

  • SSMSE does not support importing and exporting data.

  • In SSMSE, Object Explorer only supports Database Engine instances. The Connect to Server dialog box prevents connecting to other services, such as Analysis Services.

  • Because SSMSE is a subset of SQL Server Management Studio, all objects that would normally be enumerated for a specific Database Engine Object Explorer tree are still visible in SSMSE. If it is an object for an unsupported item, only the refresh command is available.

  • Help for SSMSE is not installed by the product. If you press F1, MSDN Online help opens. Pressing F1, you are able to access all F1 help topics, but you do not see a table of contents or an index for the SQL Server 2005 documentation. To add SQL Server 2005 documentation to SSMSE, install SQL Server 2005 Books Online from SQL Server 2005 Books Online Download Center. After installing, in the Contents pane of the Books Online, you can use the SQL Server Express filter to hide the content that does not apply to SQL Server Express edition.


    When you press F1, the topics that open may refer to user interface elements or features that are not supported by SSMSE. This is because the documentation was written for SQL Server Management Studio, which is installed with SQL Server 2005.

Connecting to SQL Server Express

To connect to a SQL Server Express Database Engine instance by using SSMSE, in the Connect to Server dialog box, specify any of the following:

.\sqlexpress, (local)\sqlexpress, or server name\sqlexpress

Note   The default installation of SQL Server Express uses an instance name (SQLExpress). This instance name must be supplied to connect to SQL Server Express by using SSMSE. If you have an instance name other than SQLExpress, connect by using computer name\instance name.

See Also

Other Resources

SQL Server 2005 Tools and Utilities Reference Overview
SQL Server Management Studio Tutorial

Help and Information

Getting SQL Server 2005 Assistance