Main Limitations of SQL Server Express Editions

Main Limitations of SQL Server Express Editions

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SQL Server Express Editions are a handy solution for small businesses with small databases with no special requirements about performance, high availability, encryption, etc.
However, the Express Editions of SQL Server, even free, as expected, have certain limitations. In the below table I have gathered some of these limitations which I can consider are the limitations someone might want to check as a first look. In the end of each column, there is a URL with more information about all the limitations of the express edition for each SQL Server version.



Main Limitations of SQL Server Express Editions (note: this is not the full limitations list)
Feature/SQL Server Version SQL Server 2005 Express SQL Server 2008 R2 Express SQL Server 2012 Express SQL Server 2014 Express SQL Server 2016 SP1 Express
Maximum number of CPU/Cores 1 socket or 4 cores 1 socket or 4 cores 1 socket or 4 cores 1 socket or 4 cores 1 socket or 4 cores
Maximum memory per instance 1 GB 1 GB 1 GB 1 GB 1 GB
Maximum database size 4 GB 10 GB 10 GB 10 GB 10 GB
In-memory OLTP N/A N/A N/A No Yes
Always Encrypted N/A N/A N/A N/A Yes
Row-Level Security N/A N/A N/A N/A Yes
Dynamic Data Masking N/A N/A N/A N/A Yes
Partitioning No No No No Yes
AlwaysOn Failover Cluster Instances No No No No No
Always On Availability Groups N/A N/A No No No
Transparent database encryption N/A No No No No
In-Memory Columnstore N/A N/A No No Yes
Polybase N/A N/A N/A N/A Yes
URL for more info/full limitations list Click Here Click Here Click Here Click Here Click Here
For more articles please check: The SQL Server and .NET Blog Article by Artemakis Artemiou, Microsoft Data Platform MVP
The SQL Server and .NET Hub
Reference: The SQL Server and .NET Hub (http://www.sqlnethub.com)


*Note: The above table does not contain all limitations of SQL Server express editions. For the full lists of limitations, click on the URL provided in the end of each column for every SQL Server version.

Last Updated: Nov 19 2016




Recommended eBooks on SQL Server:

Tuning SQL Server: eBook by SQL Server MVP Artemakis Artemiou
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Artemakis Artemiou
Artemakis Artemiou is a Senior SQL Server Architect, Author, Software Developer and a Microsoft Data Platform MVP. He has over 15 years of experience in the IT industry in various roles. Among other, via his initiative SQLEBooks.com, Artemakis authors and publishes eBooks on different topics on SQL Server. Artemakis currently serves as the President of the Cyprus .NET User Group (CDNUG) and the International .NET Association Country Leader for Cyprus (INETA). Additionally he is the founder of the SQLArtBits initiative that aims to provide the technical community with simple, yet powerful and high-quality SQL Server tools. Currently, the highlights of these tools are DBA Security Advisor and In-Memory OLTP Simulator. Artemakis's official website can be found at aartemiou.com. Artemakis's blogs can be found at: SQLNetHub.com and TechHowTos.com.