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SQL Server Express Features

SQL Server 2008 Express is based on SQL Server, and supports most of the Database Engine features of that product. 


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

SQL Server Express Feature Support

SQL Server Express supports most of the features and functionality of SQL Server. 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

Import/Export Wizard

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 is supported with the trace flag 7806. For more information on trace flags and Dedicated Administrator Connection, and Using a Dedicated Administrator Connection in SQL Server Books Online.

Security noteSecurity Note

During setup of SQL Server Express a login is added for the BUILTIN\Users group. This allows all authenticated users of the computer to access the instance of SQL Server Express as a member of the public role. The BUILTIN\Users login can be safely removed to restrict Database Engine access to computer users who have individual logins or are members of other Windows groups with logins.

SQL Server Features Not Supported in SQL Server Express

The following table lists the additional SQL Server 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 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 components that are not supported in SQL Server Express:

  • Reporting Services

  • Notification Services

  • Integration Services

  • Analysis Services

  • Full text search

  • OLAP Services / Data Mining