SQL Server Development Edition For Free
SQL Server Development Edition For Free
Wednesday, 06 April 2016

SQL Server Developer Edition can now be downloaded for free, as long as you have a Visual Studio Dev Essentials membership.

 

The current release is SQL Server 2014 Developer Edition, which used to cost $50. It is for development and testing only, and not for production environments or for use with production data.

Visual Studio Dev Essentials is a collection of tools and services that combines free downloads with $25 per month Azure credit for free for 12 months. Tools include Visual Studio Express, Community and Code, and Team Foundation Server Express. You also need to sign up for a Microsoft account if you want to use Visual Studio Community edition after 30 days.

SQL Server 2014 Developer Edition provides the same feature set as SQL Server 2014 Enterprise Edition. The only limitation is that the license terms barring you from using it for production environments. This contrasts with SQL Server Express, which is also free, can be used in production environments, but is limited to one socket with a maximum of four cores for CPU power, 1 GB of memory, and a database size of no larger than 10 GB.

One point to note is that while SQL Server Express includes a Windows Azure virtual machine image, you don't get the operating system to run SQL Server on. The release notes point out that:

"90 to 180 day free trials of Windows and Windows Server are available on the TechNet Eval Center."

 

SQL Server 2016 Developer Edition, when released later this year, will also be free.

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More Information

Visual Studio Dev Essentials

SQL Server Blog

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