sql-server-express-setup-installation-page-standard-differenceIt is a common misconception that SQL Express 2016 cannot or should not be used in production environments.  SQL Express 2016 (and SQL Express 2014 and 2012 and…) are most certainly licenced to be used in production at no cost.  In fact, for most small and medium applications the only significant difference between SQL Standard and SQL Express are performance and backup.

SQL Server Standard provides a very high level of performance that many applications will not need.  Often the end user cannot tell the difference between SQL Express and SQL Standard performance because humans cannot detect results returned in .005 seconds from SQL Standard appear vs .05 seconds from SQL Server Express.

Below is a nearly complete list of features in SQL Server Express and SQL Server Standard in decreasing order of importance (for most small and medium applications)




10GB Unlimited Maximum Database Size
4 Cores 24 Cores Maximum Number of CPU Cores
.35GB 32GB Maximum Memory Per Database
1.2GB 128GB Maximum Memory Buffer (Per Instance)
.35GB 32GB Maximum Memory Columnstore Segment (Per Instance)
4GB 64GB Maximum Memory for Reporting Services (Per Instance)
No Yes Two Node High Availability
No Yes SQL Server Agent
No Yes Database Mail
No Yes SQL Server Analysis Services
No Yes Replication to Azure
No Yes Encrypted Backup
No Yes Backup to Azure
No Yes System Center Operations Manager Management Pack
No Yes Database Tuning Advisor
 .  .  .
Yes Yes SQL Manager GUI
Unlimited Unlimited Maximum Number of Databases
Yes Yes Full Text Support
Yes Yes Change Tracking
Yes Yes Database Snapshots
Yes Yes Basic & Full Auditing
Yes Yes Powershell Scripting
Yes Yes SysPrep Support
Yes Yes Visual Studio Integration
Yes Yes Internationalized Versions
Yes Yes SQL Server Migration Assistant


To confirm these numbers you can wade through Microsofts own SQL Server Comparison charts HERE and HERE .




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