Main Limitations of SQL Server Express Editions

SQL Server Express Editions are a handy solution for small businesses with small databases with no special requirements about performance, high availability, encryption, etc. This article discusses about the main limitations of SQL Server Express Editions.

What are the Main Limitations of SQL Server Express Editions?

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: SQLNetHub Article by Artemakis Artemiou, Senior SQL Server Architect

*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

 

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